A site search is exactly what it sounds like: Searching for products, services, or information directly on a business's website. Think of it as going directly to the source. You're cutting out third-party search middlemen like Google, Yahoo, Alexa, or Siri — or enhancing the customer journey by allowing visitors to continue their search once they land on your site.
Today's consumers expect a fast and relevant search experience. They're used to natural language searches, like asking, what's the best front-load washer for a small apartment? But brands must understand customers don't just want localized or highly-relevant answers through a search engine. They want the ability to find those types of results within a brand's website as well. They're looking for clear, direct answers and immediately finding the knowledge they seek.
A site search should be tailored to your unique website. It should guide users seamlessly while indexing so that the latest content is always readily available. It should let you personalize experiences and provide content, popular items, or product recommendations a customer might like.
Note that today's site visitors expect access to a search bar. It's a tool they use more frequently than navigation, filters, and recommendations. They're looking for answers to their specific needs. In fact, 90% of customers say a good search function is very important or absolutely essential, while 97% state their favorite retail websites are ones where they can quickly find what they're looking for. More importantly, consumers are more likely to convert when they easily find what they want.
Looking at site search from a business perspective, you can give consumers more knowledge, which boosts the chances they'll take action. It offers you a great way to track customer behavior and then make changes that optimize your site. It's also another way to strengthen SEO efforts.
When it comes to site search, the bigger question is, why wouldn't you have it? Especially with its benefits, from supporting growth to better understanding user intent. The people who land on your website are potential or returning customers whose business you want to capture. And a good site search experience does just that. Customers who can navigate to your website, ask a question about their needs and quickly see a relevant result are more likely to do business with you. Create a great site search experience on your website, delivering the right answers at the customer's moment of intent. You'll be able to increase conversions — and hopefully, you'll have provided a seamless experience that makes customers want to come back.