This week our site search tips focus on relevance. In a nutshell, if your site search results aren’t relevant – and what’s relevant will vary from person to person – your visitors may very well abandon your site. Find our full list of tips (nearly 80 in all) in our “Big Book of Site Search Tips” – which you can download here.
- Exercise caution when using global factors – such as margin, price, and best sellers – to influence result rankings — For instance, you can ‘searchandise’ results by placing sale or promotional items at the top of search results to attract attention. A robust search solution should allow you to reorder search results as needed to promote products.
- Pay attention to no result pages — Arguably it’s better to show something that might be relevant than nothing at all. One approach is to show results for some of the words being searched if there are no results for all the words entered. If you do this, you should show a message saying something like, “There were no results that contained all of your words, but here are some results that contain some of your words.” Other approaches are to show a list of the most popular search terms, or show results for similar terms (e.g. other train sets if the search term is “Thomas the Train” and you don’t sell Thomas the Train items).