Have you ever taken a closer look at your onsite search engine and thought about optimising it? No, this article is not about SEO. We’re not talking about optimising your website and its content, so Google ranks you higher on its result pages. We’re talking about the actual search engine within your website or shop. Why would you want to take a closer look? That’s simple: because your onsite search could be losing you money – unnecessarily. As it could and should be a conversion booster.
Your onsite search engine could and should be a conversion booster
Did you know that satisfied searching visitors find more products, buy up to five times more, stay within your website longer, have a higher order value and return more often to your site than non-searching visitors? Only 10% of your visitors could be making up to 50% of your total revenue. Who are these 10%? Visitors using your onsite search.
The searching visitor: high buying intent
Visitors using your onsite search engine have their minds set on something specific. They know exactly what they want, and they want to find it fast. They have a strong intent to buy. So the stakes are high: your potential customer either gets the desired experience or leaves your site to buy elsewhere. That’s exactly why your onsite search engine has to ensure instant and hassle-free shopping and show your searching visitors what they are looking for fast. With every second of waiting for results to load, up to 30% of your potential customers will leave your shop and take their business elsewhere.
When you start optimising your onsite search engine, your searching visitors will turn into happy customers. Searchers will find instant and relevant results, even when you have 100K products or more. The highest relevance within results means the best match to a query will always be shown at the top of a results list, with extended filtering, facets and sorting options. Customers can make all the spelling errors they like, as the search engine will know exactly what they mean and search for the correctly spelt query regardless.
In addition to boosting your conversion with optimised onsite search (you can increase your conversion rate by more than 50%), your brand will seem more trustworthy and reliable, and you’ll improve customer retention. What’s more, your search statistics will help you understand your customer better, so you can take respective actions.
How can you get started? Onsite Search Essentials
There are a few very easy steps you can take to start improving your onsite search.
The Size and position of your search bar
Your search bar should be in plain sight. Make sure it’s positioned at the top of your site and that it’s present on all your pages. Your visitors shouldn’t have to search for your search bar. What’s more, you want to have your search bar big enough, so that even longer, specific queries fit. We usually recommend accommodating at least 30 characters. Keep in mind that your search bar should stand out and therefore shouldn’t be of the same size as e.g. buttons on your site.
Leave the query in the search bar
You want to keep the query clearly visible in the search bar during the entire search experience. Your visitors might like to check or change it. Let your searching visitors see what they’ve been looking for, even when showing a results page. They’ll be very thankful: because they’ll be able to find their way back.
Sort out your sorting
Sorting is an important tool for your visitors to find the best match for their query fast. With a well-working site search engine, lots of relevant results should appear, within seconds. But how are they shown? Low to high-priced items, newest in, popular first, season first or items on sale? Create a great customer experience by letting them sort the results. Also think beyond the classic sorting options. Maybe in your line of business social proof is very important. Then you want to e.g. let your customers sort by best reviewed or most purchased.
Advanced, conversion-boosting features
Once you’re all set with these essentials, also implement advanced features to start using your onsite search engine as an additional marketing tool. Within onsite site search solutions like Sooqr, these are easy to set up, and you’ll see conversion boosts instantly.
In every language we use different words for the same things, e.g. “trousers” and “pants” or “bike” and “bicycle”. For your searching visitor, this can be annoying. Imagine looking for a pair of “pants”, but you type in ”jeans” or “trousers”. Both are pants, aren’t they? Yet you get no results. This is because the search engine doesn’t use synonyms. While that’s annoying for your customer – who’s not finding what he/she is looking for – it’s even worse for you as a retailer: Products your customer can’t find aren’t being sold, making you leave money on the table. Implementing synonyms within your onsite search is therefore a must-do.
With Ranking Rules, you determine which products show up higher in the search results. A Ranking Rule can demote or boost products based on a specific search query or date. Ranking Rules are a simple and highly effective way to use your onsite search engine as a conversion-boosting machine. You are able to influence what your searching visitors see, while they still find what they are looking for, instantly.
Within onsite search tools like Sooqr, you can use Promotion Rules to promote certain products, brands, and sales items, by showing graphical banners at the top of a results list. Excessive stock? Seasonal sale? A new brand you want to highlight? Promote these products with promotion rules.
These are but a few of the actions you can take to start turning your site searchers into happy customers and to boost your sales and conversion. Remember that site searchers are more likely to convert, return to your site more often, and have a higher average order value. Stop leaving money on the table and start optimising your onsite search today. Would you like to try it out yourself (hassle-free and no strings attached)? Or would you like to read a little more about how to optimise your onsite search? Head to www.sooqr.com.
Sooqr helps online retailers around the world to skyrocket their conversion by offering a suite of tools and data-driven, actionable insights on the performance of their webshops. Sooqr is a fast-growing tech scale-up, based in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Founded in 2015, the company now has over 1.000 customers worldwide actively using Sooqr products, mainly within eCommerce. Major customers include brands such as Siebel Juweliers, Drogist.nl, Kamera Express and Ajax. For further information, please visit sooqr.com.
About Erik Keegstra
Erik Keegstra has been an entrepreneur for over 25 years. Having owned a web agency for over 20 years, he found his true passion in conversion rate optimization.
In 2015, Erik founded Sooqr, the Netherlands’ #1 onsite search solution. He’s since then been focused on delivering the best onsite search experience to businesses around the globe, boosting conversion and sales for customers such as Claudia Strater, AFC Ajax, and Drogist.nl.
In some cases, customers have seen conversion rate boosts of up to 400% within search after implementing Sooqr with Erik’s help.