September 11, 2009 ByDennis Dornon
Recently we were attempting to establish why there were a proportionally large number of visitors leaving a site from the site search results page. In other words, a customer would search for a product and then leave without clicking on any of the products.
We decided to install a “sniffer” to watch what keywords users were using when they performed a search. We not only wanted to find failed searches we also wanted some more in-depth intelligence on the customers and their intentions when they performed a search.
Almost instantly our preconceived notions on how a visitor interacted with the site’s internal search engine were shattered. We were able to determine the majority of visitors performed their searches based on the model number not the actual name of the product and if they added a # sign before the model number the search failed.
The client was also able to see products they did not carry but their visitors were searching for so they now have an additional way of determine future inventory.
Your site search should be able to:
- Provide information on visitor searches
- Allow for trackable analytics on top keywords and failed searches
- Provide Spelling Suggestions to visitors
- Make recommendations if product not found
- Provide refinement options based on product attributes such as model and color
- Help you determine which keywords drive conversions
Within a few of hours of activating the “sniffer” we were able established some actionable items to not only improve the user experience but also to increase the client’s conversions.