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Optimize the website search functionality to drive conversions

Optimizing a website's search functionality and appearance is an important aspect of improving the overall user experience and driving conversions.

The latest iteration of Sitecore's DXP offers an enhanced user experience with a range of new options. Sitecore 10 features an upgraded content manager called Horizon that replaces the Content Editor and Information Editor. This feature is integrated with SXA and enables content management without the presentation layer, resulting in a headless experience. By combining media content from the Content Marketing Platform (CMP) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) into a centralized source of truth, the marketing team can manage their content more efficiently. Now, content items can be published and prepared from a central command center, with all changes synchronized automatically. As a result, optimizing the search experience becomes more critical than ever.

It is essential for company websites to provide users with convenient and efficient ways to search for information, such as easily locating subject matter experts in their desired practice area and location. The website's search functionality should be well-designed to increase engagement and drive conversions across the entire site. As users navigate through various pieces of information, there is a growing need for enhanced search capabilities at every stage of the search experience. The search experience should be tailored to the user's specific needs, guiding them from finding a specific page of interest to discovering the entire website and presenting results that can be utilized based on their requirements. This process involves four fundamental levels that enable users to effectively utilize the search functionality.

Reasons for optimizing website search

Finding relevant information like expert articles, or areas of application

When visitors are unable to locate the information they require on your website, they often resort to using the search function. By entering a query into the search box and adding any necessary details, they increase their chances of finding the desired information on your site.

Boosting relevance of search results

It is crucial to ensure that search results are relevant for a diverse range of search queries, which are based on various rules and parameters that align with the website's business objectives. For instance, on an insurance website, visitors may prefer to view producers' areas based on their demographic location.

Boosting thought leadership content by date

Visitors typically like viewing the most recent blogs, news, publications, etc. over older entries.

Creating an effective content strategy

When visitors browse insurance underwriter websites, they may be searching for articles or gathering information about a specific policy/practice area, or more importantly, looking for producers or specialists. Since customers use website search to communicate precisely what they are searching for, the search function can help you create an effective content strategy and promote relevant information throughout the website. Optimizing the website search can improve bounce rates and increase the time visitors spend on the site. By quickly providing the information they need, optimized website search can keep visitors on your site for longer periods. If your website search can deliver relevant results, it can lead to lower bounce rates for individual keywords as well as for the entire website.

Improving web site conversions and client engagement

Reducing bounce rates and increasing the time spent on the website can improve customer engagement and enhance the likelihood of quality conversions. Website searches can be broadly classified into two types: external website search and internal website search.

External web site search

External website search refers to customers searching for specific information through search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., and eventually landing on your website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can assist a company in generating higher and improved website rankings. Ranking is crucial since most users do not review more than two search pages. Therefore, the higher your website ranks on search engines, the better your chances of attracting a potential customer and ultimately making a sale. SEO includes well-developed search techniques that help a digital marketer capture the user's attention and persuade them to choose their website. The best way to enhance website rankings is to use commonly used unique keywords in the page address and header tags. However, there are many other techniques as well. Nowadays, every website focuses on SEO practices to increase the number of visitors on its webpages, which helps in expanding the customer base and generating more revenue.

Internal web site search

This is about optimizing the website's internal search functionality. The search function must be constantly improved to deliver optimal results. It should not only extract multiple types of data such as text, video, images, etc., but also provide features such as type-ahead, auto-complete, and auto-suggest options. The search box should provide suggestions/corrections to the user based on their needs, which can be presented in a list. The search box should be able to understand the user's search query, which will improve the visibility of your content and enhance the user experience of your website.

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