The future of search is now. Your customers and potential customers alike can go directly to your site’s handy-dandy search bar to plug in exactly what they are looking for and go directly to it, and the convenience cannot be denied. Search used to be nothing more than a workaday tool that helped searchers hammer their way through labyrinthian websites, but no more. Search has the potential to serve as a powerful conversion tool, which should be used to your advantage.
Crunching the Numbers
Econsultancy reports that, according to its in-depth research into smallish and boutique businesses that offer from a few hundred to a few thousand products, onsite searches bolstered conversions considerably, including:
- For those who used search, conversions increased from the sites’ average of 2.77% to 4.63%, multiplying effectiveness by nearly two times.
- Search users accounted for 13.8% of total revenue.
It’s important to note that simply having a search function doesn’t cut it. One out of five people who engaged in searches had to submit another search to refine their results, and a bit more than one in five left the website directly from their search results. In other words, we have work to do, people.
Search Smarter, Not Harder
There is no denying that once guests land on your search bar, they are farther along in the funnel than casual passersby are, but some search functions perform better (even much better) than others – and you want to be a high performer. When potential customers take the time to type something into search, they have high hopes, and when those hopes are dashed, you can take a real hit – not only in the loss of that sale but also in the loss of future potential sales. You want your search to be everything it can be.
Search Abandonment Is Real
It may be hard to take, but – according to Google Cloud research – a good chunk of customers are willing to abandon ship (in the form of leaving their cart entirely) when search fails to cough up even one item sought. Consumers want what they want, and they want it now. Consider the following:
- Every year, Google searches that include in stock increase exponentially.
- A full 76% of shoppers in the United States report that they’ve abandoned purchases due to failed search results (48% of these consumers take their business to other retailers).
- More than half of online shoppers make it their habit to abandon an entire cart when they’re unable to find one desired product.
- 69% of shoppers are so buoyed by satisfying searches that they make additional purchases.
- 99% – yes, 99% – of searchers report they are drawn at least somewhat to well-oiled search functions.
The points listed above nicely sum up just how important search can be to your business.
What You’re Going For
If you are under the impression that search just does what it does and there’s not much you can do about it, it’s time to dig deeper. Search can and should be tweaked to the exacting needs of your business in terms of all the following:
- Speed – Before you consider all the bells and whistles, it’s important to maximize your speed. Customers who head right for search are on a mission, and they don’t want to be slowed down.
- Specificity – You must give the people what they want. To do so, you have to know what they want, which includes seamlessly providing recommendations that are predicated on location, price preference, search history, and more.
- Relevance – It’s no longer enough to identify a keyword or two and go from there. Consumers expect sophisticated AI that streamlines the process by analyzing nuanced subtexts such as intent, context, and even sentiment (without pesky randomness).
- Reliability – Visitors on your site want to know that, when they search, they’re getting the full picture and aren’t missing out on relevant hits. If they don’t trust your search function’s reliability, they’ll shy away from it.
- Clutch Options – Your business can’t possibly have everything every searcher is looking for, but you can come up with creative ways to offer intriguing alternatives that may pique some interest or may fit the bill entirely. Giving up, after all, isn’t a great strategy.
Show the User Some Love
- Don’t hide your search bar for aesthetic reasons – it needs to pop. The tried-and-true magnifying glass located near the top of your page has stood the test of time and is what searchers are looking for.
- Potential customers are weary of typing in all those letters, which makes predictive text very inviting. A drop-down of well-edited suggestions is welcomed by all.
- Your search bar needs to play well across platforms. Whether that potential customer is on a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop, your search function needs to perform.
- Ignore voice search at your own peril (its popularity is soaring).
Search Gives Back
When your search is in good shape, it’s great for your site’s visitors, which is great for your business, but there’s more. The more your search bar is used, the more valuable data there is for you to mine – in terms of maximizing your online offerings and making your site shine.
Get the Jump on Search with a Seasoned Digital Marketing Pro
Your site’s search bar has the power to give and the power to take away, and the digital marketing hype guys at The Web Guys are here to help you land on the right side of that important equation. Help your search function work for you by reaching out and connecting with or calling us at (317) 805-4933 for more information today.