6 min

Resources and Skills to Build an Internal Search Engine

Internal Search Engines are the way of the future, but what goes into developing one? And how would they affect your business?

By Yext

Aug 20, 2021

6 min

In the internet age of today, it's more important than ever to offer your users a highly optimized and streamlined online experience.

Online customers enjoy websites that offer intuitive UX, design, and tools to find web pages, blog posts, or products.

And 60% of users reported that they prefer to do all of this by themselves without the assistance of customer service or heavy site interaction.

This means that convenience is key, and if your own ecommerce website is clunky or disorganized, you're more than likely losing potential conversions without even knowing it.

But with the technological advancements that we now have available, it's easier than ever to ensure your website can be helpful and intuitive for current and prospective customers.

This applies to internal search engines. Now, the powerful algorithms of Google and other major organic search results pages aren't just for the massive search engines anymore – search options are now available for companies like yours.

What Is An Internal Site Search Engine

Simply put, an internal site search engine is a search function that lives on your website and enables users to navigate all of the content you have available.

Less simply put, it's a complex system of layered search analytics that organize, access, and build upon an index created out of all the digital material your business provides to create optimized site navigation abilities.

For instance, with the AI integrated Natural Language Processing protocol our search feature has the ability to actually listen to your customer and understand the way they communicate in order to create a highly personalized response system for your entire website.

Bringing Artificial Intelligence to Search

As mentioned, in order to have a truly optimized internal search engine you must implement artificial intelligence into your custom search engine.

If you're not familiar with the current developments in artificial intelligence, it's no longer a "thing of the future," rather it's around us every day.

Yext uses a level of AI called Machine Learning, which is a digital analysis system that takes data and makes a decision based on the initial data. As the function absorbs data, it becomes able to make better choices based on the additional information.

Here are some familiar examples:

  • Spotify uses machine learning to determine what songs to suggest to its subscribers based on the music they've already clicked on, combined with what similar listeners also listen to.

  • Virtual Assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant are able to recognize the distinct vocal qualities of their users the more they talk to them. The more examples of data the virtual assistants have of the voice, the more it's able to actively recognize and respond to them.

For more detail, the code end of Machine Learning is complex but its practical operation is straightforward.

Not to say that any part of it is simple, but when you picture the process as a machine that absorbs data and adds it to how it calculates new answers, it starts to become a little less fuzzy.

Think of Machine Learning as an information analysis tool rather than true "artificial intelligence." It collects data, analyzes and constantly adds to its collection, and then operates based on that data.

Why Build an Internal Search Engine

Besides recent case studies reporting that 68% of online users said they would not return to a website if it had a difficult to use search bar, there are a lot of reasons to develop an internal search engine.

A primary goal is to create accurate and reliable site search functionality tools that can help businesses connect with their audience better and deliver the best internal search results page.

From a business point of view, there is relevancy in building an internal search engine on your site as well.

Too Much Noise

Users are constantly flooded with blogs, ads, new information, and millions of new websites. And it isn't slowing down- According to research, the amount of content on the internet is doubling every year.

That's why it's so important that your website has a reliable and easy-to-use internal search engine to help your users find what they need without all the extra noise.

You need a search engine that organizes all of the content in your CMS into an intuitive and convenient structure because, with all of the unreliable information out there, users won't waste time wading through your content. They want fast answers in real-time.

Customers appreciate a well-designed search bar so much that conversion rates increase up to 43% when websites have highly optimized search bars.

Customer Data

Besides customer satisfaction, one of the big advantages that an internal search engine brings to your business is a large amount of consumer behavior data.

The search engine collects and catalogs patterns in your user's queries, including what they're looking for, what's most popular on your site, the demographic of users, and what your customers might be looking for that you don't have.

With this information that the search engine collects, you can really shape and personalize your customers' online experience to be something unique and locked into their specific needs and wants.

Internal Search Best Practices

When creating your custom internal search engine we work with your company to ensure that your website has the most beneficial search bar possible.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when considering optimizing your search bar and your results pages.

Search Bar Design

A balance of fashion and function is necessary when considering a search bar on your website's homepage.

Of course, you want it to aesthetically match the rest of your content, but don't underestimate the benefit of having an easy to see and use search field for your users to find. Especially on mobile devices, it's important to always make sure that the search bar is easily accessible at all times.

Intuitive Meta Tags

You probably already have meta tags all over your website. These tags are what major search engines like Google use to index your website and decide whether it's a reliable and appropriate response to a user's search.

Meta tags are just as important to an internal search engine, and this may be a wonderful opportunity to update and optimize them.

Creating well-thought-out title tags and meta descriptions will help the search algorithms put together the perfect response to your customer's queries.

And making use of LSI Keywords within your content will help not just your internal search engine catalog your information, but it will also improve your success with the general search query engines, bringing you more traffic.

In Conclusion

Internal Search Engines are a powerful new tool that allows webmasters and businesses of all sizes to strengthen the relationship they have with their audience.

By utilizing artificial intelligence we have the ability to share the functions once reserved for the major search engines like Google with your business.

Not only do internal search engines create a more satisfying customer experience, but a great search function also captures useful user data. This way, your business can optimize your content management system, your on-page content, and can convert your site structure into exactly what your target audience is looking for.


  1. The Ways And Means Of B2B Buyer Journey Maps: We're Going Deep at Forrester's B2B Forum | Forrester.com

  2. 9 Site Search Statistics You Need to Know in 2020 | Addsearch.com

  3. Internal Site Search Optimization: Best Practices for Your Site | CXL.com

  4. Beginner's Guide to Meta Tags for SEO | SEMRush.com

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