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Increase your conversions using site search

19.06.2019

Are you under untold pressure to increase the conversion rate on your website? Producing report after report to try and uncover the reasons why your visitors may not be converting?

Setting up your eCommerce website to clearly communicate what your company sells, displaying your products and pricing, enabling the zoom-in feature, and strategically positioning CTAs – are just the beginning of the story.

In order to maximise your conversions, everything you do has to revolve around providing the best possible user experience.

When people land on your website, chances are they won’t be in the mood of browsing through your entire product catalogue, but they will look for a way to narrow their search and navigate easier through your pages.

That’s where site search comes to shine.

What exactly is site search?

Site search is a search engine that functions on the level of a single website. Thanks to it, your potential buyers can easily find the exact products they are interested in. The search box with a magnifying glass is typically placed in the upper right corner where it is intuitive for users to find it.

Site search tools can be software that runs on either your own servers or the hosted ones. It’s always a good idea to invest in a customisable solution. Integrating a third party software could make your site search functionality better, which will improve the quality of your UX. When it comes to Magento search, you can count on the Elastic search that comes with Magento 2 Commerce.

Elastic search works well out of the box and is easy to horizontally scale. It performs quick and advanced searches on products in your catalogue, while supporting multiple languages, stop words and synonyms. You can also take this Magento search and customise it or improve it.

There is also an option of switching to another site search engine such as Solr or turn to other third parties that rely on machine learning and AI to provide smarter results. In most cases, these types of solutions are based on an existing search engine but they have built their own software on top of it to improve results. Here, you have Klevu, Doofinder, SLI, and many more.

A few tips for higher conversions with site search

Now that we’ve explained why site search matters and how it works, it’s time to focus on the good practices, i.e. optimising site search for conversions.

  1. Autocomplete can be a huge help

    When designing experience for your site visitors, you have to prioritise convenience and simplicity. This means you need to ensure they will have easy access to your products and effortlessly navigate through your store with as little clicks as possible.Autocomplete or predictive search shows your potential buyers popular or suggested queries based on the word (or words) they’ve typed into the search box. This way, your customers can find what they are looking for faster and get redirected to the product just by clicking on the result. Not only does autocomplete significantly shorten the path to purchase, but it’s also a great means for upselling as visitors get exposed to similar products and might decide to buy more.

  2. Focus on spearfishers

    Spearfishers are those shoppers who know exactly what they came for. They have a specific brand or product on their mind and are fully ready to make a purchase. Since they are at the end of the sales funnel, you need to do everything you can to prevent empty carts and drop offs, and focus on enabling them the most frictionless experience possible.

To achieve this, keep in mind the following:

  • Make them type less and buy more by implementing rich autocomplete with graphics, i.e. preview of products in the drop down
  • Use fast redirects to drive your spearfishers to the product page they want to see

There are another two key things you need to do in order to satisfy people who are in the late-stage buying mode: 1) create separate landing pages and 2) ensure great experience for mobile shoppers. But we’ll get to it in a bit.

3. Optimise the search

When it comes to optimising your site search, there is a number of things to take in mind. In order to make the most of it, you should look into data.

Firstly, enable your on-site search history in Google Analytics. Identify what are the frequent user queries in your search logs and review what results do users get served with. See if there are more relevant products that should be displayed instead.

It’s also a good idea to enable semantic search. This means that, when users type in a keyword phrase that doesn’t 100% match what you’ve listed in your catalogue, they won’t face a blank “no results” page, but instead will encounter a contextually relevant product that matches their search intent.

Your search bar should also offer autocorrect. In addition, you should ensure filters are enabled to make it easier for users to navigate through your site.

4. Create landing pages

Once you’ve pinpointed the popular search queries, you can create dedicated landing pages for certain products you feel could drive more sales with a little exposure boost, as they already generate a lot of interest. Knowing what resonates with your audience can help you organise your product catalogue more efficiently.

Well designed and optimised landing pages can trigger a desired customer action and assist you in achieving sales goals. In addition, they let you isolate and track success of one particular product you’ve decided to single out.

In order for your landing page to convert, make sure you invest in persuasive copy, attention grabbing headline, comprehensive product details, and most importantly – high quality photos of the product.

5. Mobile searches are important, don’t neglect them

Did you know that mobile shoppers now make 62% of the total number of shoppers? This makes mobile optimisation more important than ever.

The biggest issues in this department include limited touch functionality that comes with browsing on a smaller screen and a narrow overview of products, typically two products displayed within a scroll.

In order to prevent your shoppers from abandoning the sales funnel, make sure you do the following:

  • Keep your mobile search box visible and easily accessible on the top of the screen
  • Enable rich autocomplete
    Use AI to collect data and promote products that your customers care about
  • Also, wherever is possible to include images without disrupting user experience and creating clutter, you should definitely do so.

How to improve the site search on Magento – a tech point of view?

When it comes to the technical side of improving Magento search, you’ll be happy to hear that this platform enables you to modify and control your search results page just the way you want it.

It’s necessary to start by setting up your products the proper way, which means you should include relevant keywords in product descriptions and write unique meta data. Be as specific as possible as this will ensure the site search engine retrieves the most relevant results.

Once you’ve created your product descriptions, it’s time for the next steps:

  • Analyse how users find products on your site and configure attributes accordingly
  • Utilise Magento reporting to identify what your potential buyers are searching for and what type of results do they encounter (check for any misspellings or lack of retrieved results)
  • Make the most of your Google Analytics and compare this data with the report you generate within Magento to determine any search gaps (keep in mind the data will probably vary, but it should resemble the one you have in Magento)
  • Extract the data to analyse the performance of each individual search term and make improvements

Keep your eye on the search exit rate and commit to continuously measuring your site search performance. Also, you should optimise your page load speed. Research has shown that around 40% of site visitors will bounce off a page if it fails to load within three seconds. Improve your page load speed by fixing coding issues such as calculating the size of an array on each iteration of a loop.

People who use site search are usually ready to purchase: they have done their research in order to make an informed buying decision and now they want to see the exact products you have to offer and get to know the details such as time of delivery, price, sizes, etc. They are shopping with intent, so it’s your job to create a seamless customer journey for them and push them towards making a purchase.

Did you know potential buyers who use site search are 216% more likely to convert? If you need help optimising your website and taking advantage of the great potential site search hides, then contact our team of experts today!

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