What should be the search on the site?

    imageIt is not surprising that many modern sites do not have fully implemented basic functionality, which, it would seem, should be a standard requirement for every project created. This also applies to site searches. What horrors we didn’t encounter: a search that flips to a page of a third-party search resource, the word “search” wedged into the query, forms that simply do not work, etc. And this despite the fact that we are talking about one of the key elements of the interface.

    According to MarketingSherpa, customers who use the site search make a purchase 2-3 times faster than others. For tens of millions of buyers, search is the most convenient method in order to find the information they need in the wilds of the site. When it comes to online stores, it is vital to help the visitor in his search. Here are a few criteria that any search should meet:


    1. Place a search box on each page of your site.

    2. It should be easy to find. Usually users expect to see it at the top of the screen.

    3. The search box should be different from other forms and fields, such as registering or subscribing to newsletters.

    4. Do not place it too close to other forms.

    5. The search field must contain a minimum of 30 characters.

    6. It should be obvious that this is the search box. Write "search", use a magnifying glass or other familiar icons.

    7. The word “search” or other text set in the “default” field should be removed as soon as the user activates the form.

    8. The “Enter” button should start the search.

    9. The button located to the right of the search field should start the search process.

    10. A pop-up search box is often not the best solution. Perform an A / B analysis to see if this helps your visitors or interferes.

    11. Allow the use of familiar operators to search.

    12. The search should be able to recognize common abbreviations and slang words that relate to the subject of your site.

    Display of results:

    13. Show the user the total number of pages with results.

    14. Show the visitor his latest searches, this will reduce the time for repeated searches and personalize this process.

    15. Do not limit your search to products only. Make sure that the user receives relevant information in response to requests: “Delivery”, “Address”, etc.

    16. Add a few filters that reduce the time required to view the results.

    17. Track with Google Analytics or similar services all requests for which users could not find anything. Find the cause of each failure and eliminate it if it is within your power.

    18. Make your No Results Found page useful. There will always be queries for which the user will not find anything. Put here suggestions to refine your search, suggest similar ones, give links to product categories and the most purchased products.

    19. Allow users to save search results to “favorites” or something like a wish list.

    20. Be sure to place product thumbnails in the search results.

    Using autocomplete:

    21. Autocomplete should only work if there is an obvious error. This will reduce the time that visitors spend searching, and also help those for whom the interface language of your site is not native.

    A bit of evidence:

    In addition, the search queries that users enter on your site can become a reliable source of information, the correct use of which will improve it as much as possible:

    1. Is your marketing aimed at the audience? If you record a huge number of "extraneous" requests, the conclusion suggests itself that references to your site are found in the wrong context or the wrong audience.

    2. What other products do users need? Search queries can tell you exactly what the visitor needs to become your customer. If many are looking for a model that you don’t have, and it matches the profile of your store, then why not add it?

    3. How convenient and intuitive is the site interface? If the queries are dominated by “navigation” (“address”, “payment”, “delivery”, etc.), perhaps you should change the design of the site so that the user finds the appropriate sections without much effort.

    It is important to remember that today's user over-values ​​his time: if the site loads for more than 3 seconds, the visitor will go look for another site; in 8 seconds, the user decides whether he will use your services or not. Search is a tool whose main task is to save time, use it for its intended purpose, otherwise you will lose money.

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