Faceted Guide: Enriching Search Query Responses

Abstract search bar and results

Optimizing the user experience on your website is paramount when it comes to increasing conversions.

One feature of a webpage that can turn consumers away is an improperly organized navigation function. If the user feels that they have to dig through your content to find what they’re looking for, they’re likely to go back to Google — where they will potentially find a competitor who can answer their question.

There are many ways for a business to clean up their page and increase positive user experience, from a high-quality search engine like Yext Answers to AI Chatbots.

But one powerful approach, in particular, is called faceted search.

Faceted search can boost your online business’s organization by allowing users to focus their search queries and limit the number of results returned by your internal search engine.

Getting your customer to what they’re looking for as fast as possible will raise your conversion rate.

So what is a faceted search, how does it work, and how does it benefit your business? Yext is here to walk you through it.

What Is Faceted Search?

Faceted search is a function that organizes your online content into familiar categories and allows your user to stack filters to refine the results that show up for them.

This isn’t the same as a simple filtered search system, but it is close. Faceted search blends multiple filters flexibly.

The goal of faceted search is to narrow down the search results for your user, allowing them to find what they’re looking for swiftly.

Imagine that you have an online jewelry store with hundreds of different pieces. A customer visits your shop with something particular in mind but isn’t sure what it’s called on your specific site.

Faceted search would allow them to create a narrow field of search results by filtering unique qualities. They might be looking for a women’s ring with diamonds and opal in the $300-$600 range.

Offering customers the ability to layer filters like these qualities increases the likelihood that they find the right product that is good for your customer and your business.

Why Is Faceted Search Beneficial to Your Business?

Faceted search is a great way for company websites to organize their online information with a lot of content. Customers appreciate a streamlined online experience, and you have the opportunity to present products or information similar to their initial query.

At Yext, we’re on a mission to increase your company’s success and your customer’s satisfaction which is why we’re so interested in bringing faceted search to your attention.

Here are a few benefits that faceted search can bring to your business.

Focus Your Content Options to Fit The User

Market expansion is a double-edged sword. Businesses may want to expand their content in order to keep up with the ever-growing amount of data on the internet and stay relevant.

But this can negatively impact your customers by overloading them with options, especially if they have something specific in mind.

Customers who have a hard time finding what they want in an ocean of unrelated products and content on your page will more than likely turn to someone else.

Faceted search allows companies to continue their content growth while also providing users a way to limit the number of available search results based on their set criteria.

Optimize Your User Experience

Sometimes your user has an idea of what they want but isn’t sure how to find it. Instead of fumbling around on the search bar, faceted search gives the customer a tool to slowly close in on exactly what they’re looking for.

Faceted search is personalized to attributes of the content on your page through meta tags and content. This means that users are given a personalized list of filters to include in their search based on your content.

Tips For Faceted Search

While simply having a faceted search function implemented on your website is a positive step, there are a few tips that will help you optimize your customers’ online experience, increasing your conversion rates.

Create Facets With Your Audience in Mind

It will depend on what information or products your website hosts when deciding what facets to create to help narrow your search options, but one thing is the most important to keep in mind: The user.

Consider your website’s specialized topics; what facets are going to help users find specific pages? Of course, they should be personalized to your material, but beyond that, they should be easy-to-understand attributes your customers can use to focus their queries.

A popular facet that most users will use is a price range. Most people have a specific budget in mind when shopping online, and being able to narrow down their search to fit their budget will help consumers find the right match for them quickly.

Create Thematic Facets

The type of search facets you offer to your users completely depends on what your website is offering, but implementing relevant yet suggestive or thematic facets can inspire their search beyond what they may have originally come for.

For example, if you had a business focused on body soaps and lotions, you would probably have general facets including scent genre, price, and specialty attributes such as coarse soap vs. lotions.

But just as useful to you and your consumers would be facets that include special occasions or holidays, such as soap products frequently bought for Mother’s Day or specialty products exclusive to the Halloween season.

While specific and relative facets are important, thematic facets like this can suggest other products to users that they might not have thought of before coming to your site.

Limit The Amount of Facets

While having a wide array of facets is important, it’s also important to remember that your users are on the internet with more than enough options.

Too many options. There’s an overwhelming amount of content and options for products and data right now that users seek out organization. An overpopulated facet list might overwhelm consumers and lead them to other pages with a more restricted number of search options.

Also, the more facets you have, the less content shows in search, and while that is the goal of search facets, you don’t want users crafting search queries that return with only one product.

Especially if they’re using facets to narrow down their search, it’s a good opportunity to show them what they want and other products that are similar enough to interest them.

What Companies Should Use Faceted Search?

As we’ve discussed, faceted search can be a major benefit to your users when it comes to narrowing search results and quickly finding what it is that they want.

But it isn’t necessarily for everyone. Optimizing your user interface is essential, and at the end of the day, faceted search, as powerful as it is, is another UI element for the user to interact with.

If your online business only has a hundred or so products, faceted search may not be necessary. You could use single-use filters to help consumers find what they’re looking for.

However, if your online content surpasses that by much, then faceted search might be right for you. While filters are useful, they’re pretty limited when it comes to an expansive index full of all types of different products.

When your content has a wide range of options, attributes, and styles, the extra element of faceted search becomes extremely worth it to your users and your business.

In Conclusion

If you have a business website with a large amount of content, optimizing your user experience is one of the best ways to raise your rates of purchase.

Customers often come to your site already knowing what they want; if not, they have a general idea.

Using faceted search, you add a level of organization and personalization to your internal search engine, helping users narrow down their options and find the product they came to your web page for.

Currently, 70% of online businesses require consumers to type in specific product titles to find them, limiting the probability that they’ll see what they’re looking for easily, which could very quickly drive them away.

Implementing an easy-to-use faceted search designed with the user in mind into your site enables customers to quickly and conveniently browse your inventory and successfully reach the page that they’re seeking, boosting your conversion rates.

References:

  1. Top 10 turnoffs that keep visitors from your website
  2. Infinite Scroll: Let’s Get To The Bottom Of This
  3. The Current State Of E-Commerce Search
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