February 7, 2017
Effective Web Experiences Pt. 6: The Search Experience

All great web experiences offer search, the ability to enter keywords or phrases in a search box and find the most relevant information.

Search seems like a simple capability to implement; connect a search engine, or use the one that comes with your Web CMS, and let the indexing begin. But it's much more involved than it appears on the surface.

Continually bombarded with information, your customers and prospects have limited time and attention spans. You need to cut through the noise and provide relevant content at the right time. A strong search experience can help you do this. 

If you want your search capability to be truly useful and return results that best match the visitor's search request, then your search engine should be able to search for all the content available on your website regardless of format and you should also be able to weight certain content in your CMS to rise to the top of the search results based on certain keywords or content importance.

A great way to achieve this is through faceted or guided search.  

Key Steps and Best Practices

What things should you consider when implementing your search capability? 

  • Your search engine should index all content types - web pages, documents, images and other digital assets - and return a single set of results.
  • When planning your search strategy, think about content that you might want available in your search that you don't store within your Web CMS. Ensure your CMS offers federation capabilities to support search external repositories.
  • Faceted or guided search helps visitors find the information they need more quickly, but for this functionality to work well you need to have a solid taxonomy and metadata strategy in place.
  • To ensure your search returns the best results configure capabilities such as weighted results, keyword matches and featured results, along with spell check and "did you mean" fuzzy search.
  • Add a recommended content section to your search results to display additional content that is relevant based on the search performed. 
  • Along with providing multilingual search results, decide if you need localized results, something that is very useful if your website involves ecommerce.
  • Leverage search functionality on other web pages for features such as Recommended Content, related links, and navigation. 

Some Useful Links:

We've created a few assets that you would find very useful:

If you think you don't need search capabilities on your website, think again. Search is an effective approach to helping your customers quickly find the information they need. The faster they find the right information the more likely they are to convert. Website visitors have limited time and attention spans and will often look to search to find information before they navigate the website.

Don't take search for granted. Learn more about how Ingeniux implements search in the Ingeniux CMS Platform Overview.

Posted by Dave Hillis
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