Three Types of Search Functionality Your Website Needs Today
Whether you operate a simple blog or a more complex store front, search functionality matters. Users cannot reasonably expect to see everything you have to offer from the main page, so it becomes necessary that the site have ways in which to categorize, catalogue and store all of the products, posts and information within it. Most blogs and basic websites have generic and simple search functions, much to the dismay of users who have grown accustomed to the flexibility that Google and other search engines provide. Below, we’ll help bring your website into the 21st century by describing three types of search functionality that your website needs today to be successful.
If your website provides a variety of products and services to users for consideration, then you are absolutely under-selling the collection (and making life harder for your customers) by not including a feature search. Sites such as Amazon, eBay and Walmart all have one major thing in common: their search results can be customized in potentially dozens of different ways. By adding filters and features such as price, colour, type, condition, shipping costs and category, users are more capable of finding specific items. Think of this the same as pinging for SEO to search engines: by classifying your items with these relevant tags, your customers will be able to crawl through the maze of items and find exactly what you want them to find. This ultimately will boost sales and make everyone happier.
Abstract search (interchangeably referred to as semantic search) is something we have all grown to love when using Google, Bing and other websites. In years past, search engines could not “understand” what specifically we were searching for; they simply used the keywords to fetch what was believed to be most relevant. A good example of an abstract search is the phrase “items to take to the beach”, as opposed to “beach items”. A properly calibrated website with abstract search functionality will fetch the same items in both cases. This allows your shoppers to search more organically and possibly find items that they might not otherwise find with a simple search function.
Perhaps more valuable in the modern age than anything else with respect to time-saving, AutoComplete search functionality is the easiest “advanced” search functionality to add to a website. In many cases, you’ll only need to activate a widget on WordPress in order to get things started. Most AutoComplete systems work by assessing tags within your website, but there are some out there that even learn from combined user behaviour, helping to make the process more efficient over time. While you’re pinging for SEO by organizing your products and adding tags, you can also be improving users’ search experiences! Users can save potentially seconds with each search when AutoComplete is available, which inevitably reduces the amount of time they may have to change their mind about a click, a search or a purchase.
Multiple forms of search functionality now bring convenience and detail to users’ lives on some of the biggest websites out there. The good news is that there is nothing preventing you from adding these very same features to your own website! AutoComplete, abstract search and feature search are three great examples of the evolving trend we are seeing in search – and are must-haves for your brand!