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On Site Search: How to Convert High-Intent Visitors

January 22, 2019
3 Min Read
On Site Search: How to Convert High-Intent Visitors

Over the years, we've encountered many businesses who want to increase transaction conversion rate. However, very few of those companies use or are aware of the benefits on site search can offer. Our benchmarking shows visitors who interact with site search are 3-5x more likely to become customers. Of those orders, average order value (AOV) is 25-50% higher than normal.

With such a captive audience, it's essential to make sure you remove any friction in the buying process. By doing so, you create a faster path to purchase and encourage repeat buying habits. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just getting started with on site search, we've outlined a few tried and true tips to point you in the right direction.

What is On Site Search?

On site search refers to the tools and strategies used to index and display results within a single website. Businesses can use a variety of different technologies to implement on site search, including Google and Search Spring. To learn how to leverage on site search for your business, we recommend exploring our comprehensive eCommerce Site Search guide.

Tips to Get Started

1. Choose a Site Search Provider

On site search providers can vary significantly in terms of cost and features. When you're getting started, we recommend first deciding whether you will use a paid provider or a free solution. The strongest site search providers require an ongoing fee, but the investment may be worth it in order to get a larger return. In fact, we almost always recommend that our clients use a paid on site search tool because they directly contribute to revenue growth in the long run.

Paid on site search providers offer robust features to help businesses accomplish specific goals for their websites. For example, tools like universal and filtered search have a significant impact on user experience. Does your search focus on products, or does it display all aspects of the site including things like blog posts? Nuances in the way results show can dramatically influence visitor likelihood to purchase.

Also keep in mind that not all paid providers are created equal. Businesses should evaluate tracking and reporting features, including popular searches, search revenue, exporting data and more. It's easy to overlook small features during the evaluation process, so make sure you have a wish list of your needs before you sign on the dotted line.

2. Activate Reporting

Once you've chosen an on site search tool, make sure your tracking and reporting is accurate. For our clients, this often begins with activating the Site Search Report in Google Analytics. Businesses can use the Search Terms report to display the top 100 keyword searches on your site.

Although these insights may display directly within your site search tool, we recommend adding them in Google Analytics because it is one of the strongest measurement and tracking tools available. As a result, keeping your insights in a central place can help you create a more-unified picture of how each tactic affects your business. 

3. Implement & Experiment 

When you use a paid on site search tool, you gain access to a variety of features that can enhance your overall website experience and improve eCommerce site search. We recommend taking the time to customize these tools to meet your business needs. We often recommend SearchSpring to our clients because of its depth and breadth of functionality. Among it's basic search functionality, SearchSpring allows brands to implement the following:

  • Product Awareness
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Search Preview
  • Search Suggestions
  • Product Suggestions
  • Predictive Visual Autocomplete
  • Synonyms
  • Redirects
  • Business Rules
  • Did You Mean Suggestions
  • Customizable No Results Page
  • Definable Search Fields
  • Query Replacements/Ignore Terms
  • IntelliSuggest Elevations
  • Stemming
  • Typo Tolerance
  • Boosting Rules

When implemented together, these features create a seamless eCommerce search experience that helps customers quickly find and purchase the products they are looking for. With the advent of these new features and functionality, businesses have tremendous opportunity to explore new ways to improve and test what works for their customers.

We recommend regularly monitoring your site search queries and adjusting over time. For example, revenue tracking from site search can help businesses uncover in-demand products. You can use these insights to create specific tailored promotions, move products higher in your listings and more. The possibilities are truly endless and it's an exciting landscape that every eCommerce business should explore.

Still have questions? We'd love to hear from you and learn more about your business. Feel free to reach out through the form below and we'll be in touch.

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About the author
Internal Marketing Manager

Spencer Flaherty is an eCommerce blogger who loves exploring the latest trends and technologies in the industry. From chatbots to virtual reality, they cover it all.

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