If you're looking for a site search solution, you'll know that site search is an important way for website visitors to interact with you business. Having the right site search solution can increase conversions and provide new growth opportunities.
But understanding which site search solution is right for your organisation can be challenging. In this post, we'll explore what to consider when choosing a site search tool and some of the best site search solutions to help enhance your site visitors' search experience.
What is site search?
A site search tool allows users to search the content of a specific website or domain. This includes public-facing websites and apps or internal site search such as an organisation's intranet.
Whatever the use case, a good site search solution should deliver relevant search results that match a user's search query.
For consumer-facing websites, where a site conversion often means revenue, the stakes are arguably even higher. Here, having site search functionality helps users find what they are looking for quickly and easily, and increases the likelihood of a conversion.
Benefits of using site search on your website
As many as 43% of website visitors actively use on-site search to find products, with these users 2-3 times more likely to convert, according to a report by Forrester Research.
Providing a great site search experience not only improves the overall user experience but can also help achieve your business objectives.
Other benefits of site search include:
- Relevant search results: A good site search solution will not only return results that match the searcher’s initial query but will also enable you to rank the most relevant results first.
- Higher conversion rates: With site search users more likely to convert, providing the right match to their query increases the likelihood of conversion.
- Reduced bounce rates: If your site visitors can’t easily find the information they're looking for, they’ll leave, unsatisfied. Implementing a search tool allows users to find exactly what they’re looking for, faster.
- Site search analytics: Search analytics can provide valuable insights into user behaviour - such as the specific products or services they are looking for - which you can use to improve conversions and retention.
What type of sites should have a site search tool?
E-commerce sites can easily have hundreds, if not thousands, of products listed at any one time - a daunting prospect for even the most determined shopper. Instead of navigating through pages of content, site search allows users on e-commerce sites to search for the product they want.This greatly improves the shopping experience and helps to increase conversions.
Job boards allow jobseekers to search for open vacancies and submit their job application. However, matching candidates to the right roles requires site search functionality that allows candidates to search for the right job based on criteria such as commute time, salary and location.
From breaking news and updates to ‘snackable’ content, media sites are continuously publishing new content. For this reason, site search is useful for allowing users to find new and relevant topics or search for past news events or archived content.
A good site search solution on property websites allows users to search for property to rent or buy based on criteria such as location, price and commute time to points of interest, such as a work address or school.
Travel and tourism websites use site search to allow users to search for holiday destinations, hotels and other points of interest easily. Results can be filtered and ranked by criteria such as reviews, ratings and travel time to points of interest.
What to consider when choosing a site search tool
One of the most important factors to consider when evaluating a site search solution is its ability to deliver relevant search results. This ensures that users can find what they are looking for on your website and, as a result, maximises the chances of getting a conversion. Your solution should, therefore, allow you to rank search results based on the criteria of your choice and fine-tune the final search results.
As well as providing relevant search results for users, a good site search solution should provide results that are tailored to the specific search query. Personalisation offers a good opportunity to cross-sell or upsell in the future.
Nowadays, online users expect a fast search experience. Slow websites are a frustrating experience and can easily drive your website visitors to a competitor’s site. When evaluating solutions, ensure that your site search tool can return search results quickly.
Ease for developers
If your developers are responsible for maintaining your site search functionality, you'll want to make sure that your search solution is straightforward for them to implement and maintain. Ensure that you have access to clear documentation so that your developers can implement the solution with ease.
The volume of queries that your website receives is likely to vary over different periods of time. For this reason, it's important to make sure that your search tool is flexible enough to scale with seasonal demands or surges in traffic.
Another important factor to consider is how much support your provider offers. This might include assistance with technical implementation and customer support, in addition to technical guides and tutorials.
Finally, ensuring the security of your users’ data is critical. That’s why your search solution should offer functionality that can mask private data – or better yet, doesn’t use or save your users’ data at all.
20+ site search solutions to improve search performance and functionality
Now let's take a look at some of the best site search solutions on the market, categorised by use case.
E-commerce site search solutions
E-commerce site search allows users to easily find the product(s) they are looking for through functionality such as faceted search, semantic search and product ranking.
A site search software platform that combines site search, navigation and merchandising solutions for e-commerce websites. Comes with a personalisation module and AI capability.
An e-commerce site search and merchandising platform for retailers. Key functionality includes product recommendations, category navigation and reporting and insights.
A site search platform that uses features like faceted search, autocomplete and real-time search to deliver relevant search results. It also offers solutions for media sites and enterprise site search.
Particularly targeted at developers, Algolia offers a hosted search and discovery API for websites and apps. As well as e-commerce, it also offers solutions for media and SaaS websites, as well as enterprise site search.
On-site search tool that uses a semantic engine and ontology to return relevant product search results.
AddSearch offers a customisable search tool that allows you to adda site search engine to your website through an API.
Uses a semantic search engine to deliver relevant results to customer queries.
Offers a search and product discovery platform with functionality including analytics, real-time relevance settings and A/B testing.
Location site search solutions
Location site search solutions sort location and geographical data to provide relevant location-based recommendations for services, products and points of interest.
The TravelTime API allows you to filter, rank and list relevant location search results on your website or app by time instead of distance. Filter and rank by a user’s choice of transport mode, including public transport, driving and cycling – thereby making their search content more relevant to the world around them.
A platform that helps brands with multiple locations optimise for proximity search and have greater visibility across local discovery channels – to generate more foot traffic and revenue.
Mapbox offers a Geocoding API that can find query results and includes built-in ranking. Can be used within local search apps.
Enterprise search solutions
Enterprise search solutions allow organisational data to be searched and retrieved. This can include data within an organisation or externally facing sources of data such as websites and apps.
Lucid Works makes documents and data easier for employees to search and includes AI-powered recommendations. It also provides search solutions for e-commerce and customer service.
Enterprise search software that delivers relevant, personalised information, complete with knowledge management and intelligent help desk functionality. It also provides search solutions for websites and e-commerce.
An open-source enterprise search platform that includes full-text search, faceted search and real-time indexing.
IBM Watson Discovery’s search and text-analytics platform allows you to retrieve information within your company’s data.
Offers customisable enterprise site search solutions to help teams find internal content easily and supports real-time search and multitenancy. It also powers search for apps and websites.
Cloud search solutions
Cloud search solutions are hosted by a third party and can scale alongside the size of your website’s traffic.
A fully-managed custom search service that comes aspart of AmazonWeb Services. It currently supports 34 languages and comes with functionality that includes autocomplete, free text and faceted search.
Microsoft’s Azure Cognitive Search offers a cloud-based, search-as-a-service platform that optimises content search within your website or application. Functionality includes auto-complete, semantic search and faceted search.
A cloud-based site search and analytics solution that allows marketing teams to optimise their website’s search functionality. Cludo uses an intelligent search algorithm and customisable features to return search results.
Offers a hosted search API that comes with full-text search ,faceted search and the ability to sort and filter by distance.
An open search and analytics engine that allows you to store, search and analyse large volumes of data in milliseconds. Can be deployed as a hosted service or in the cloud.
Site search with TravelTime
If you're looking for a powerful location site search solution,TravelTime is the leading choice. With the TravelTime API, your website or app can sort and rank thousands of location search results by your users' preferred travel time and transport mode.
Ranking location search results by time not only eliminates hard-to-reach locations but also means your users can easily compare locations side-by-side and convert faster.
To test the TravelTime API for yourself, sign up for a free API key.
Create travel time polygons and matrices with the TravelTime API