When prospective customers hit your website, they aren’t thinking about search the same way you do. As a matter of fact, they probably aren’t thinking about it at all. They just want to get to the content they are looking for–be it information, blog posts, research materials, or products. When they have questions, they expect your site search to answer them.
High quality content for website visitors is only as effective as it is discoverable. Site search serves as the critical connective tissue to your brand’s entire digital experience. The problem is that site search is often overlooked by businesses. 84% of businesses don’t optimize or even consider the functionality of their site search, yet 30% of site visitors will use it.
The following are five ways that site search supports content marketing and digital experience:
1. Expand access to the website
Site search expands the breadth of information that website visitors can discover. Think of it as an expansion of navigation. Some visitors come to the website knowing exactly what they are looking for. Site search makes it easy for them to bypass what is irrelevant to their needs and get straight to the answers and data they are looking for quickly.
2. Amplify content marketing
Ebooks, blog posts, thought leadership articles, videos–all the pieces of content that take time and resources to develop–are only effective when they are discoverable. Good site search has the ability to unearth and extend content marketing efforts far beyond their initial publishing dates. By making content more discoverable, site search gives content a longer tail so these assets can continue to deliver results and contribute to marketing goals.
3. On-demand education
Site search can help position your company as a thought leader. When website visitors seek knowledge via site search,they’ll read about the things you sell, and also read about your expertise and thought leadership–all at their own pace serving their own unique interest. They want to know they are buying from the experts in that particular industry, vertical, or landscape. Making this easy goes a long way to establish brand leadership and trust.
4. Increased brand engagement
When you earn a visitor’s trust by providing the right information so they’re satisfied with what they see, they’ll continue to rely on your site as the best source of information and data. That’s more clicks across your pages, more opportunities for recommendations, and more chances for engagement. This greatly increases conversions on contact forms and engagement with other calls-to-action.
5. Guided content development
From the site owner’s point of view, the activity of a site search application can illuminate a lot about who is coming to the website and what they are looking for. Reports and analytics will reveal the most popular queries. This can allow brands to determine the most relevant topics and create content for the funnel, top-to-bottom. Reports of queries that produce no results (or require users to add terms to refine their search) highlight what is missing–allowing teams to create tailor-made content for the site and its visitors.
Site search is capable of enabling all of the above and more–but only with thoughtful application. At Lucidworks, we specialize in AI-powered search that delivers personalized, meaningful search experiences to your customers. Learn more about the basics of good site search in our ebook, and reach out to us today to talk about what’s possible.
Looking for an even more hands-on walkthrough? Take a look at our recent webinar!
Contact us today to learn how Lucidworks can help your team create powerful search and discovery applications for your customers and employees.