Lets face it, people are all wired up differently. Personally I never use the search functionality on a website unless I’m desperate, but to a lot of people it’s their first port of call when looking for information. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Always have Search available on your website.
Even with a simple site structure with supporting sitemap, sometimes people are looking for something very specific and want to be able to search for it! In the ‘old days’ adding Search was hard, but now, with something like WordPress, it can be there right out of the box.
- Monitor site Search in Google analytics
Don’t let a hugely valuable source of information go to waste. If hooked up correctly, you can monitor what people actually search for on your website within Google Analytics. This might tell you about products or services that aren’t prominent enough on your website, or even ideas for new ones that you don’t offer but which people are searching for!
- Improve your Search
Even if Search comes with your website CMS, that doesn’t mean it is delivering good results. Test it. Bad results often mean poor SEO across the site making it hard for a simple Search system to ‘get it’ – think what the implications are for Google as well. Look for plugins to improve Search by adding more intelligence – we certainly install a dependable plugin into all our WordPress websites to make search results better.
Don’t forget Search when you’re looking at improving the way your website works, and – in particular – don’t forget to look at the search terms that people are actually using: you never know what YOU might find!