Thanks to Yext for the blog post that spurred the need for us to talk about site search and if/who really needs it.
After a recent football game they went through and picked one PAA (people also ask) about each of the advertisers and checked if they could find the answer on the advertiser’s site using site search. Pretty much everyone but one failed.
For a quick comparision note our own sites:
- Dave Rohrer Personal – small static site of ~10 pages with no site search.
- Avalaunch Media – ~1000 pages in Google with an easy to find site search in Blog.
- NorthSide Metrics – small static site of ~16 pages with no site search.
Do Websites Need Site Search?
While the long answer takes us almost 20 minutes to get to, the short answer and questions you need to ask yourself around if your site requires some type of site search are here:
- If the answer to these questions is NO then you might be able to get along without one.
- Can you and users find things easily without it?
- Do you have a small and limited in scope site?
- Is your site pretty static and small?
- Did you ask 5-10 people to find things on your site and they easily did?
- If you answer YES to any or all of these questions you really should have one.
- Do you have lots of products or services?
- Do you have lots of content in the form of articles, blog posts, FAQ, service pages, product pages, etc?
- If you search Google/Bing for your brand and answers to the PAAs that come up all are not easily found on your service/product/internal pages.
FAQs, Blog Posts, and Content Findability
For a great example of content and why you might want site search no matter what your business type go back and listen to E17 – The Good, Bad and the Ugly of Content with Melissa Fach. In it we dig into creating good content to answer your prospect/client questions and making things find-able on a site.
Need ideas on how to test your site search and site overall?
- Talk to any and all prospect and client facing people.
- Customer Service
- Receptionist, front desk or appointment setters
- Ask friends, family or strangers to find X on your site.
- Use 3rd party testing tools that allow you to record people as they navigate your site to answer questions.
- Ecommerce site? Test searching skus (yours, manufacturer and any others)
Additional Site Search Resources
- 14 eCommerce Site Search Best Practices for 2020
- 12 Site Search Best Practices (with Examples)
- On-Site Search & SEO: Everything You Need to Know
- Why it’s super-important to consider your internal search when migrating