A customer is on your site, you have what they are looking for, but they can't find it Fast enough!

OPPS, they're gone! AHHHH!

Is your on-page search engine scaring your customers away?

Blog entry > Is your website search friendly?

What are they waiting for?

The push for content rich websites and a got-to-get-there-first mentality has created an environment that demands instant, accurate information! Expectations have been set high by stellar companies that provide an exceptional on-page search engine experience, and 24hrs in a day just isn't enough!

Finding what we want fast, is becoming part of our culture, not only are we mad men & women in cars, now we're also mad men & women with devices. So optimizing the way your website presents on-page search information makes good sense, and if it benefits your customers, it benefits your business.

No one wants to wade through heaps of content! On-page search engines:

  • Bypass awkward navigation systems to hone in on the target information
  • Have the potential to be the quickest way to find what what your users want
  • Provide search logs, with information on the "secret words" your users are looking for, use that information to improve the on-line experience

You've got it, now make it faster?

Most content management systems will allow you to set up a simple or advanced on-page search engine, and these mechanisms typically present search results based on entry date, date range, channel, category or even popularity.

But just because you've got all that ammunition doesn't mean you have to fire that gun. Sometimes the human element just does it better.

What do we need, to do it?

A little planning and organization will go a long way.

Lets assume you have a content management system such as WordPress or ExpressionEngine.

Set page category priorities

Rank your page categories - what's more important the "about" pages or the "product" pages? For our on-page search purposes we prioritized our pages categories as:

  1. What we do (services)
  2. Blog (interesting tit bits)
  3. The work (samples)
  4. Contact
  5. About lbd

Just to clarify, we always want our search pages to display categories in order shown above.

Back date entries

Pretty much all content management systems track pages with a publish on date. Using this fact, we can use dates to group page categories and rank the pages within those categories.

  1. Using Ladybird-digital as our example, we started with the "About lbd" page category group which contained only 3 pages. We ranked the pages in order of what we thought was most importance as shown below.

    1. 2016-01-01 08:02 AM - Testimonials
    2. 2016-01-01 08:01 AM - Why Lbd
    3. 2016-01-01 08:00 AM - Opportunities

  2. Repeat this process for each category group until you are finished all of them. In our example the contact category would be next and we might start our re-date for that section with: 2016-02-01 08:00 AM... Note; We are using a new month for this page category.

Test your results

Now when you test your results pages, they should always show the page categories as you ranked them.

Meta description vs specific on-site results paragraph - anther tip

In ExpressionEngine, when we set up our page channels, we are given the opportunity to designate input field information to show as the descriptions in our results page. We could have used our meta description (for driving a user to the website) as an off-page search engine would do, but we decided to create a custom field that we felt would work better as an on-page description (for keeping the user on the site).

Teddrick.

What do you think?

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