A recent study from leading analytics blog, the Baymard Institute, indicated that 31% of all product searches on the top 50 U.S. ecommerce sites ended in vain, and that these sites are very likely leaking sales from these users that don’t find what they are looking for.
So why is site search such an overlooked and undervalued part of the website user experience?
For the most part, it’s due to a lack of visibility into how often search is used. Google Analytics users are very familiar with the ‘behavior’ view showing the most popular pages on your website, but how many website owners track the number of internal searches and search terms used? The answer is not many, which is a huge hole in understanding the complete picture on any website.
“Intent, expressed through search, is valuable”
A lot of internal search users are new visitors to your website, driven there by a google search or a quest for a specific product. Returning visitors are more likely to be a regular browser of your product range and familiar with your site’s navigation. Therefore its critical to capture new users via the search function, to increase your customer base. For a complete analytics picture, its essential to know what people searched for when they arrive on a certain page on your website.
Consider the following graph from Twitter user Ian Maude.
Why does Google make more money than Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc, combined?
It has everything to do with intent. Google are the best in the business at monetising your intent via all the little paid ads that appear every time you search for something. Intent, expressed through search, is valuable.
Which kind of suggests the search experience on your website is just as valuable. Let your users find what they want faster and more accurately and they are more likely to buy or explore further on your website, giving you more page views and more dollars.
Is your search experience lacking?