Search function is necessary in any website; therefore, you need to be more careful as search function could be damaging your conversion rates. However, when it is well optimized, you can enhance the search function, the usability and enjoyment of your site. As a web developer, you surely want more users enjoy your site, right? Learn how to optimize on-site search and avoid the common mistake that may occur.
It isn’t Visible
First, make sure that your search form isn’t invisible. Creating a search form that is hard to find will frustrate your users. So, ideally your search bar should be located near to the top and left side, the closer, the better. While the search box might not be the first thing that users will see, but you need to be smart to know where you can place it. The right location should be within normal reading patterns.
It isn’t Easy
Anything that places an obstacle between your user and completing their search detracts from its accessibility. So, make sure that any text would disappear once the user starts typing. On the other hand, it is important to increase the accessibility of your search bar include cosmetic changes like color use and text readability. Then, make sure they are sharp and contrasting.
Auto-Suggestions Aren’t Provided
With auto-suggestions, you can speed up the search process significantly for the user, especially if you offer multiple models or versions of a core product. In fact, the less time users must spend typing in their query, the longer they can spend engaging with the content they’re trying to find.
The 404 Isn’t Helpful
You can maximize the usage of 404 pages. It can be useful and beneficial for your users. For instance, you can place links to main directories, offer suggestions for reworking the search query, or direct them to your contact page. The point is to offer solution or answer to your users.
Results Aren’t Straightforward
It is important to create familiar and dressed down search result pages. Hide the bells and whistles of your engine under an advanced search link and, if possible, have the search menu expand without leaving the page. Make sure that the search results landing page is easy to read on first pass, providing legible, plain fonts, and clean composition so that results can be assessed individually.
Filters and Sorting Methods are separated
Since users don’t want to perform any additional work, ensure that sorting options, such as date, popularity, and etc. can be accessed from the same page. Place the options on the top left corner at the start of the search results to increase visibility.
No Search Variation
Always provide your users with variation search results. For example, when a user types “black dress”, you can offer them with alternative search query options and results (such as “black” and “dress”) in separate sections.
By this way, Google can provide closest equivalent, even if you don’t have the product or information they’re looking for. Providing something close, even if not exactly what they searched is more beneficial than an empty results page.