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How Site Search is Killing Your Conversion Rate (And How to Fix It)

February 21, 2017

By Sherice Jacob


For many websites, an internal site search engine is a must-have. However, oftentimes it’s looked at as more of an afterthought than a true conversion optimization tool – and that in itself could be killing your conversion rate. So what should you know about improving your site search and how do you put these tips into practice? Let’s take a closer look.

Site Searchers are 200%+ More Likely to Convert

According to research from WebLinc, on-site searchers are 216% more likely to convert than regular users. And what’s more, Screen Pages shared the results of 21 of their clients, which showed that (with the exception of one case) the average revenue that came from site search was significantly higher than regular users.

Users who performed an on-site search spent more than regular users

But even with these kinds of numbers pointing to the sheer conversion potential from site search, only 15% of companies have resources dedicated to optimizing it. And only 7% of those companies are actually learning from internal site search data and leveraging it in other areas.

42% flat out admit that no one is responsible for site search, and another 42% have it added to their list of responsibilities. But let’s be honest, when was the last time you even looked at your site search? For many marketers and business owners – it’s just there.

And if customers aren’t getting the kinds of results they expect from your site search (or worse, getting links to your competitor’s sites), they’ll simply go elsewhere.

That’s why it’s vital to start paying attention to your internal search engine – and making changes that can lead to improved results for everyone. Here’s how to do it:

Targeting the “Spearfishers”

According to Forrester Research, which did an in-depth report on the importance of site search for retail, businesses should focus on “spearfishers” – those users who come to a site searching for a specific product. Forrester Research found that 43% of visitors to a site go immediately to a search boxes, and searchers are 2-3 times more likely to convert.

That means we need to make it push-button simple for them to do a search, right away. You can thank sites like Amazon and Google for making a prominent search box the first and foremost (and sometimes only) thing users see. But we also need robust, relevant results after the search is conducted.

Search with Autocomplete

swarovski-site-searchSwarovski’s site search offers suggestions based on a quick type

Going to the website without a specific product in mind will instantly lead the user to suggestions. I typed in “blue” and got 10 product suggestions right away. Kohl’s website goes even further to recommend (and show) specific products based on a basic search before the user ever hits enter: showing top products based on a basic user search

In suggesting specific products (or even showing top results), you’re guiding the user along the path …read more

Source:: Kiss Metrics Blog