On-site search is often a component that often gets overlooked because it can be complicated and challenging to tweak and tune this element of your site with ease. However, before jumping in to set priorities for boosting specific terms, which could lead to negative consequences elsewhere on your website, I recommend looking at product data to enhance your on-site search.
Product data is vital to the success rate of accurate search results for users. The search engine implemented within your commerce platform is looking at various elements and ranking metrics to determine which results to display when a user performs a search on your site. These rankings and priorities provided by the search algorithm need robust product content to draw on to show targeted search results.
Consider this: Google has one of the best search experiences out there, but without the billions of websites in the world to index and all the content that goes with it, their search results wouldn’t be too high. Just like Google, your site needs the data to feed the algorithm to search, resulting in better outcomes and a more exceptional user experience.
The question is, how do you know if your product content isn’t up to par? First and foremost, you must start at your Product Experience Page ℠ (PEP). If you’re wondering what a PEP age is, take a look at my blog post from last week. I recommend looking at these areas:
- Product title and description
- Product attributes
- Product content (PDFs, videos, images, etc.)
These elements are essential to start with because they likely hold a significant amount of weight within your on-site search engine. Making sure that you have robust content for all areas is critical, but more importantly, the content should be relevant to the users shopping for your site. Customers fall into various personas with their own method of searching for products. Your product content should remain specific to your industry to help customers during their search.
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Additional data points and analytics to consider when determining remaining underlying issues occurring in your site search are the following:
On-site search algorithms place weight on product titles vs. product descriptions vs. attributes and other product features. It’s helpful to understand how this weighted process is being leveraged within your site and why some searches pull up odd products, thus providing you a path to resolution.
Search to Conversion Rate
Take a look at how many searches are resulting in a transaction on your site. This could be specific to certain terms, products, or personas.
Number of Sessions Resulting in Searches
This is an excellent identifier of how your customers think of your on-site search. A good search experience comes from searches in sessions that result in transactions, but those that result in bounces/exits from your site will require you to dig deeper. I recommend drilling down further and looking into your recurring customer base and seeing how many searches they are initiating.
On-site search is a never-ending project. If you believe your search is lacking, start looking at your product content and check if there any changes or additions can be made to help improve the user experience. If you’ve checked this box and are still running into roadblocks, Perficient is here to help.