Our primary aim is to help create a better online experience for our customers’ visitors, and help improve our clients online business, through more relevant search. As we’ve discussed in recent newsletters, there are many ways to deliver a better search experience – beyond more relevant results – by integrating additional content, such as video, into your search results. So here’s another idea: incorporate user-generated content, such as customer reviews and social tags, in your site search results and give customers an even easier way to search your site.

I’ve talked in the past about the benefits of allowing user reviews on your site – and incorporating the reviews into your site search. For instance, reviews keep customers on your site – if they can find product reviews on your own site, they won’t need to go elsewhere to get them. You can also use ratings to weight search results, giving the products with better ratings more prominence.

One of SLI’s clients – an online gift retailer, who also works with our partner PowerReviews has taken this process a step further, allowing shoppers to narrow their search results based on social tags. For instance, they can refine the search by such tags as “Best Uses” or “Kind of Buyer.” People place a lot of faith in what others say about a given product, so if you can bring these compelling testimonials into search, you stand a greater chance of convincing shoppers to make a purchase.

We’re fans of the idea of Social Navigation. What do you think? Do you offer user ratings and reviews or social tags on your site? Do you include this information in your search results? Take a minute to answer our one question LinkedIn poll.

It’s easy to test if searching by social tags will help your business, since we collect social tags via our feeds from our partners Bazaarvoice and PowerReviews. Please contact us at sales@sli-systems.com, or watch my site search video tip demonstrating the integration of site search, ratings and reviews if you’d like to learn more.

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