If you’ve ever typed a word or phrase into a website’s search bar, you know what site search is. Simply put, site search is the process of searching for products, services or information directly on a business’ website, rather than looking up that information via third-party search services like Google, Amazon Alexa and the like.
Let’s use a simple example: a customer shopping for skirts navigates to her favourite retailer’s website and types “black silk midi skirt” into the search bar. Ideally, this search should surface results of black midi skirts for sale online — making it easy for the customer to find the item she came for, click on it, and make a purchase.
Why does site search matter to your business?
Site search matters immensely to businesses across verticals. Why? To start with, customers who begin a search on your website are telling you something important: they’re already aware of your brand and they’re looking for answers from you — indicating a higher intent to transact.
For example, someone who navigates to your financial organisation’s website to look for a “financial adviser specialising in family trusts” is showing a stronger intent to do business with one of your financial advisers than someone making a general Google search for a financial advisor. Both search situations are of key importance but the customers on your website are already interacting with your brand from the start — and these are existing or potential customers whose business you want to be able to capture.
A good site search experience does just that. A customer who can navigate to your website, ask a question relating to their needs and quickly see a relevant result is more likely to do business with you. They’re more likely to purchase that black silk midi skirt, or click to call that financial adviser. If you create a great site search experience on your website, delivering the right answers at the customer’s moment of intent, you’ll be able to increase conversions — and hopefully, you’ll have delivered a seamless experience that makes customers want to come back to you.
A great site search experience is highly valuable. On average, just 15% of visitors to a website use the site’s search feature — yet they account for 45% of revenue. And users who search are 1.8x more likely to convert than those who don’t.
On the other hand, a poor site search experience can cost you. What if that customer searches for “financial adviser specialising in family trusts” and sees only general financial adviser results — or a chaotic list of blue links? For every additional click, you run the risk of them becoming frustrated and giving up. This means a high likelihood of them bouncing back to a search engine that can provide that answer — where they might find incorrect information about your brand, or choose to transact with a competitor instead.
On your website, you control the experience. It pays to make sure your customers stay there.
Learn how you can build your own knowledge graph for your brand and turn your website into an answers engine, with Yext.