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.

Target Search BarWeather Search Bar

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.