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.