Have you ever conducted a search on an e-commerce site, only to wish it could read your mind and deliver the exact items you’re looking for? OK, maybe expecting “psychic search” is a little much, but it’s certainly possible for your search to provide results that are in line with your customers’ needs. Here are a few ways you can bring some psychic power to search:

Keep an eye on user behavior: How your visitors navigate around your site and click on products can help you do a better job of creating relevant results. Examine search data to uncover the products that customers click on after they enter a given search term. Then you can place these products at the top of search results, which makes the results more relevant.

Control results that matter to your business: Sometimes you need products to appear in search results in a different order than what your search product might recommend. For instance, you may want to place promotional or sale products higher, or perhaps highlight certain brand names. A full-service search solution should allow you to reorder results to suit business goals, while still ensuring that visitors see plenty of relevant results.

Jump directly to a product page: When you know exactly what visitors are searching for, it makes more sense to direct them to a product page, rather than a list of results. This may be the case if there’s only one result for their search, or if visitors type in specific product or SKU numbers, which means you know precisely what they want.  Similarly, if they type in a search term such as “returns,” you can take them directly to the page about your returns policy. This is a good way to improve visitors’ satisfaction with search.

You can dig deeper into tips about relevance and many other facets of site search by reading SLI’s 2014 edition of the Big Book of Site Search Tips. We’ve pulled together many helpful ideas on making search more relevant – along with more than 100 tips on search boxes, refinements, merchandising and many more key search topics. Here’s a free download of our latest e-book.