Site Search: Best Practices for Driving Conversions

By Jeff Larche » 6 min read

We often talk to clients who have optimized online experiences for a dozen or more important segments but miss one that’s responsible for a majority of their online sales or leads: people who use internal search!

Independent surveys have shown that people who search are 5 times more likely to convert than site visitors who don’t. We’re not surprised. People who type in their intent are in a frame of mind to take some sort of action. Even those whose intent is to do research can often be persuaded to volunteer their email address in exchange for that information.

Internal search is so important that even minor changes to the search box design can improve conversions. In a famous, award-winning A/B test conducted by Dell.com, a cosmetic change to the search box improved revenue-per-visitor by 6%. That’s roughly 1 additional dollar of revenue for every 20 that the ecommerce site generated!

If you have a search engine your marketing team has been neglecting, read on. Much has changed since they last touched it. And if your site is missing an internal search engine entirely, we can help there as well!

Your “SERP” Is a Customized Landing Page

We like to frame search engine results pages (SERPs) in terms digital marketers can really get their heads around. We call them a different breed of customized landing pages. Marketing pros know that when they point clicks from paid search or display ads to landing pages tuned specifically for that campaign or creative, conversions go way up.


SERP

Now you should think of your internal SERPs as similarly turbocharged conversion engines. If you can improve the custom results pushed to the SERPs — especially those “above the fold” — conversion rates will rise.

Site Search Tracking and Analytics

Capturing the right data and behavior of your user with the search page is important. We like to define all the KPIs so that we can configure the right metrics in the analytics tools like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics. Once that’s complete, we’ll have access to the tracked data we need to begin monitoring and optimizing your internal site search.

Using Artificial Intelligence in Search

We can take the tracked data from the analytics to learn and measure the performance of your internal site search. We’ve actually created a product that does this fine-tuning for you. It’s called SearchBoost.ai, and it’s an overlay to your existing internal search.

It uses machine learning to improve search results by measuring how and when people who search become engaged with linked content and ultimately convert.

Improved Product Tagging and Synonyms

Our clients have used improvements to their product information management (PIM) system to improve internal search by feeding it more accurate and comprehensive information. The less someone needs to know to find their product, the better.

The same goes for the language typed in. A famous example of how a dictionary of synonyms can help is from a company that sold supplies commonly bought by the janitorial staffs of properties and municipalities. They reviewed their searches and found many misspelled words for their products. By adding a “Did you mean X?” feature, sales of those products went way up!

The Bottom Line

It pays to pay attention to the marketing segment that’s “hiding in plain sight” — the ones who are already at a starting point for conversion. Following a few best practices to optimize their experience and make it easy for them to take action can deliver a big boost to your conversion rate. If you need a little help with that, our specialists are standing by!

About TA Digital

TA Digital is the only global boutique agency that delivers the “best of both worlds” to clients seeking to achieve organizational success through digital transformation. Unlike smaller, regional agencies that lack the ability to scale or large organizations that succumb to a quantity-over-quality approach, we offer resource diversity while also providing meticulous attention to the details that enable strategic success.

Over the past 20 years, TA Digital has positioned clients to achieve digital maturity by focusing on data, customer-centricity, and exponential return on investment; by melding exceptional user experience and data-driven methodologies with artificial intelligence and machine learning, we enable digital transformations that intelligently build upon the strategies we set into motion. We are known as a global leader that assists marketing and technology executives in understanding the digital ecosystem while identifying cultural and operational gaps within their business – ultimately ushering organizations toward a more mature model and profitable digital landscape.

Recognized in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019, and 2020 Inc. 5000 list as one of the most successful technology companies in the United States, TA Digital is pleased also to share high-level strategic partnerships with world class digital experience platform companies like AdobeSAP, and Salesforce and possess global partnerships with industry leaders such as commercetoolsSitecoreEpiserverElastic PathBigCommerceAWS, Azure and Coveo.

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