Today we’re kicking off a new series of blog posts with tips for improving your on-site search. The series is part of a new SLI Systems whitepaper called the “Big Book of Site Search Tips”. The whitepaper contains nearly 80 tips for how companies can improve the look and feel and the relevance of search results pages; as well as how to use search for merchandising and how to get the most out of site search data.
It’s no secret that site search is an ever-more critical part of the online customer experience, and our new paper – and forthcoming series of blog posts – are intended to help companies take care of fairly simple aspects of the search function on their sites to make sure customers find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. The tips will also provide guidance on how to drive more people to use the search box to browse your company’s web site, as research shows that people who use site search convert at 2-3 times the rate of those who don’t.
A 2009 report by Forrester Research for Shop.org shows that retailers rank “improving site search results pages” as the third most important area of focus in 2010;, the report also says 71% of retailers surveyed will make site search/browse results a priority in the months ahead. We want to help retailers (and other content-rich sites) as they take a closer look at their own site search and give them ideas for simple things they can do that can have a tremendous impact – things like making sure the search box appears on every page of a web site, and ensuring that the search box is prominently placed where visitors can easily find it – e.g., not next to another similar looking box, which might be used for newsletter sign-ups.
We’ll get into more tips here on our blog (see our next post), and every Tuesday for the next several weeks we’ll present more tips from the whitepaper. We’re also creating a #SiteSearchTues hashtag on Twitter which we’ll use to post the tips – so feel free to use the same hashtag as you provide feedback or post tips of your own.
The “Big Book of Site Search Tips” is now available for FREE download (registration required) from our web site. We look forward to sharing the tips with you, and hope to hear from you about what’s helped you improve your own site search.