How to Analyze and Optimize Your Site's Search Functionality

Search Functionality is Important for Allowing Users to Easily Navigate Your Website

Search functionality plays a critical part in your website’s user experience. Users should be able to search for specific information on your page and successfully receive the exact information they are looking for. There are numerous ways to effectively measure the success of your website’s search functionality, such as analyzing conversion rates, average order value, continue rates, and exit rates.

In our latest blog post, UXAX offers advice on optimizing your website’s search functionality.

Importance of Optimizing Your Site Search

A Strong UX Can Encourage Visitors to Keep Coming Back to Your Website

Your mission, if you choose to accept it: provide the best UX possible.

The primary goal of your website is to offer an optimized user experience for visitors. But if your website is difficult to navigate, it can deter people from visiting it again. After all, no one wants to waste time searching for something on a messy or unorganized website.

Visitors who are searching for something specific on your website are also different than those who are just scanning your website. Therefore, learning to distinguish them from each other and figuring out how you can improve their respective user experiences can help improve your return rate.

Methods for Measuring the Success of Your Search Functionality

UXAX Reviews Best Practices for Measuring Your Website’s Search Functionality

What are the KPIs you should be paying attention to when it comes to site search optimization?

Conversion Rates

Looking at your site’s conversion rates is one of the most effective methods for measuring its search functionality. If your conversion rate starts to improve, this could indicate that new visitors are easily able to navigate your site’s pages. But if it starts to fall, it might be a sign that your visitors are having trouble finding what they need on your website. If numbers aren’t your thing, use this conversion rate calculator to determine your website’s conversion rate.

Average Order Value (AOV)

The Average Order Value (AOV) refers to the average dollar amount spent on each online order. If your AOV is on the lower side and your customers tend to purchase only one product at a time, you might need to improve your site’s search functionality. Each search result should help persuade visitors to add related products to their shopping carts.

Continue Rate

The continue rate also measures the effectiveness of your site and its search function. A high continue rate means that your visitors are not only searching for specific products on your website, but they are also clicking on the results and viewing them.

Exit Rate

The exact opposite of continue rate is the exit rate. If you notice a large number of viewers leaving after conducting just one search, there may be something wrong with your website.

10 Best Practices for Improving Your Site Search

As You Work on Your Site’s Search Functionality, Make Sure You Are Including These Features

Broken site search? Don't fret. Try these fixes.

1. Make the search box easy to find

If you want people to use your search box, you need to make sure they can actually find it. We recommend placing it at the upper left, center, or right of the page. A study conducted by popular blogger Steve G. actually found that users favor sites that place the search box on the upper right corner of your page.

2. Insert text inside your search boxes to encourage searches

pandora search bar
Inserting text into you search box saves space and lets users know exactly what they can search for.

3. Allow people to save searches

Adding a “save search” function allows users to save products that catch their interest. This prevents them from forgetting about them in the future.

4. Offer different viewing options including “grid view,” “list view” and “large view”

Offering different viewing options makes it easier for visitors to see search results in a manner that best suits their needs and preferences.

5. Add autocorrect capabilities

Sometimes, the user will make spelling or grammatical errors, which ends up leading them to a “No Results” page. To prevent this from happening, make sure your search bar can correct any misspellings or typos.

6. Add voice search abilities

Did you know that 80% of internet users own a smartphone? Adding voice search capabilities can greatly enhance your website’s user experience.

7. Provide synonym results

It’s unlikely that your users will phrase product names the same way you do, especially if your targeted audience spreads across different generations. That’s why providing synonyms such as “earphones” and “earbuds” for a product will help your visitors to find exactly what they are looking for.

8. Make sure the search bar is featured on every page

Having to return to the homepage every time you want to search for something can be frustrating. Make sure each page on your website has a search bar to improve its search functionality.

9. Offer bigram matching to correct grammar mistakes

This search feature eliminates the possibility of zero-results by correcting mistakes such as not using a hyphen, spelling errors, or phrasing variations.

10. Add breadcrumbs and previous search options

Breadcrumbs show the user how they got to where they were in the search and break down the trail. Breadcrumbs also save the viewer from having to clear their search and start from the very beginning.

Want more advice on optimizing your website? Contact the team at UXAX for a free demo.

Written by
Charlotte Couch

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