Google Site Search is a powerful tool to enhance website usability. A website’s search tool must be accurate and reliable since it can be the fastest way to connect users with the content for which they are looking. We recommend using a search tool that returns results via content analysis.
For many users, Google has set the standard for search. Some of Google’s search functionality can be applied to the search engine that is employed on a site. One of the best practices utilized by Google is query suggestions. If users misspell a query, the search engine should provide a level of forgiveness and suggest possible terms and search results. Searches should never return zero results. Google Search provides automatic recommendations that help to avoid misspelling and drive traffic to the most relevant pages on your site.
The location and design of a search tool is very important for usability. The conventional location of a site search bar is at the top right of a page, yet major search engines place search in the top center. It is important that the search bar be immediately recognizable on a website. The box itself should be large enough to type an average sized query and the search button should be prominent.
Site search can also be a useful tool in determining frequently used keywords for paid and organic search optimization. Site administrators can identify content users consider most interesting or may need help finding through the query history. Simply match this information up with the keywords users searched to get to a website, and you can generate all kinds of new ideas worth testing for your search campaigns. You may also find that your site could benefit from new content specific to the most popular queries or a navigational redesign.
There are several free and paid options for site search. We recommend Google’s search services.
- Google offers free custom search and paid site search. Site search features on-demand indexing of your website, synonyms, and top results biasing.
- Google offers several pricing plans for low and high volume sites looking for more customization.