You can find out a huge amount of valuable information by reviewing what users have searched for while using the internal search function on your site. In this article I will be going over how you can effectively use this data to your advantage and make using your website a better all around experience for your users. 5 things to look out for in your site search data;
1: Review Your Site’s Top Search Terms
Having a review for the most searched terms on your internal search functions gives you a much better understanding of what products or services your users are actually looking for. If you stock the particular item that is highly searched then you can feature it more prominently on your site. The use of autocomplete can make suggestions to your customers by showing them best sellers etc.
2: Assist Buyers & Sales Teams
Knowledge of the top searched terms on your website also enables you to get a better grasp on the changing demands of your products. This allows your buyers and sellers to get ahead of the curve and judge the demand for products that you currently don’t stock. Similarly it will also allow your merchandisers to decide which products should be most prominently displayed in site search and category pages.
3: Identify Bad Search Results
Bad search results can be anything from a search returning no results to it returning too many results. Too many results leads to user confusion due to often irrelevant results. This can be rectified through the proper use of filters and by displaying top rated and best selling products at the top of the list.
4: Click Depth
Knowing how many pages of results your users click through is very useful to keep your site searches relevant. If your customers have to go as far as page 6, are they having a hard time finding what they searched for?
5: Are Users Finding What They Search For?
Looking at the percentage of users that exit your site after entering a search query can also help you understand how relevant the items in the search were. This will vary quite a bit between different types of websites, however if you can find a good benchmark this data can be quite insightful.
In summary you should take time to look into your search data as understanding it can really help you gain an insight into how your site is being used. This small Web Design feature allows you to tweak your search function until it is far more effective at converting users into customers.