What is onsite search?
Onsite search is a term to describe the search functionality implemented on a website or any digital platform.
This functionality allows visitors to search for products, more information, help forums, resources, and/or content that lives on the same website. Onsite search is most commonly known as the just search bar – but there is so much more to it.
The search bar is the gateway to your entire website. With an onsite search function, users can type unique keywords and phrases into the onsite search bar to receive relevant results from your site’s database all on one page.
Why is onsite search important?
Overall, onsite search exists to improve the user experience by simplifying the search process and optimizing the hunt for key information. Without onsite search, users are forced to manually navigate through long lists of content, catalogs, and resources.
A well-functioning onsite search is equipped with algorithms implemented to sort and rank products. Distinguishing products and grouping their characteristics brings users satisfaction as it helps them find exactly what they’re looking for and eliminate the excess.
However, onsite search can bring users frustration if it’s not correctly constructed. Frustrations can arise when the right idea has the wrong execution.
For example, an algorithm needs to be designed based on data and human behavior to find what (and how) humans are searching for. It’s possible that your visitors may be using the “wrong” keyword to find what they are looking for. If a user on a footwear website is searching for “sneakers” but the brand labels them internally organized under “trainers” or “tennis shoes,” this will not help the user find their desired products. Instead, this will create frustration.
Any algorithm created needs to take a multitude of factors into account such as the popularity of items, keyword relevance, language discrepancies (even within the same language), and user behavior patterns. For a more advanced onsite search, features are sure to include autocomplete suggestions, typo tolerance, and interactive filters. All of these advantages will streamline the buyer journey so users have a seamless experience from the start.
Benefits of onsite search
Improves user experience
Onsite search is more than just a simple interaction with your website’s UX. This is how digital consumers interact with your brand and discover your products. A frictionless experience provides consumers with positive emotions surrounding your brand.
Meanwhile, if an onsite function search doesn’t display the desired results, it can create some real frustration. Give your products the spotlight and the visibility that they deserve to create a better user experience for your visitors.
Reduce bounce rate
Digital consumers are very accustomed to speed. If they cannot find what they are looking for in a matter of seconds, there’s a high chance that you will see a bounce. Don’t lose your hard-earned traffic due to onsite search frustrations.
Increases the chance of a conversion
By giving more visibility to certain items in your catalog, there’s a higher chance digital consumers will find what they are looking to purchase.
Whether your audience prefers exploring a wide variety of categories, typing in specific keywords, or using interactive filters to narrow their search, allowing them to search in their preferred way will result in more conversions. A positive experience really invites your visitors to continue scrolling and ultimately take action.
Learn more about your audience
Each time your visitors come to your website and use your onsite search function, you can gather data from their engagement. How are they interacting with your filters? What keywords are they using? What items are more popular? Are the bounce and exit rates high?
With onsite search, the door is open to discovering search trends on your very own website, identifying user frustrations and drop-off points, and even seeing where you can draw a user’s interest.
Is onsite search important to have on your website?
Onsite search is not a feature that you should ignore. In other words, merely implementing it on your site is not enough.
This dynamic tool can empower your entire digital catalog. It’s an integral part of a great user experience as onsite search is the connection between your visitors and your brand. Keeping your onsite search optimized and continually testing facets, filters, displays, and how information is sorted will help you see more engagement and ultimately more conversions.