Increase Sales With Site Search

by Jim September 4, 2018

Taking a look this week at an oft-overlooked website feature that could be costing you big money. The site search feature greatly improves User Experience, conversions and revenue with useful data to see where visitors are coming from and their behaviours. So are you using it?

What I learned

  • Site search is a must-have for retailers
  • Site search isn’t for poor sites
  • Why it adds to a great user experience
  • See where users are coming from and what they’re spending
  • Site search is a powerful conversion tool


Hey, welcome back Rankers! You having a good week? I wanted to show you something that we look at all the time for all our retailing clients, and if you are a retailer and you’re not looking at this seriously, you’re really leaving some money on the table here.

What’s “Site Search”?
So, this is a graph that we’ve grabbed out of Google Analytics and what we’re doing is we’re looking at site search. And what I mean by that is when people come to your site and they use the search function on your site, that’s site search.

There used to be a school of thought that if someone has to use site search on your site, it possibly means they can’t find the thing that they want to as fast as they possibly can. That’s flawed logic, right? Because what we know with site search is that it’s just an easy user experience.

It’s a great way as I don’t have to look through menus. I can just easily type, or in some cases talk, into the device and it will give me back the results I want quicker than me trying to navigate through a large menu, which so many retailers have, massive menus, and they’re really complex.

So what we’re looking at here is just site search, users that have finally used site search, and we’re looking at it for the last 30 days compared to year on year. And you can see here that we’ve pushed a heck of a lot more people through site search so we’ve pretty much doubled the amount of people that are going through site search. And I’ve got two numbers here, ’cause I’m monitoring mobile traffic and then all users, so all users includes this mobile traffic number, as well.

But the big numbers here are, yes, we’ve got a lot of new users using the site search function itself, but the big numbers here is revenue for everyone using site search is 109%, and on mobile it’s up a whopping 164%. We’re not talking small numbers either. We’re talking $34,000 last year to $91,000 this year. And you can see here we’ve had a slight drop overall in the conversion rate, e-commerce conversion rate, but that’s just for the people using site search. And you might say well, you’ve had a bit of a drop. Yes, but we’ve doubled the traffic going to that function, and incidentally this drop here is we’re going from 7.85% conversion rate down to 7.55% conversion rate.

Site Search is the Conversion King
Now, if you own a retail outlet you’ll know at 7.8%, that’s a pretty awesome conversion rate. And this is why you push more people through site search, ’cause they convert better. And the other thing that I think it was Nathan Huppatz, from, that I heard say recently at a conference I was at that they found the majority of people, or 60% of the people that use search purchase so they try to push everyone through search. There you go; search on your site is really, really powerful thing because people find it as quickly as they possibly can.

Now this is just a segment I’ve added here, you can go and do this yourself. You find this data in Google Analytics down in the behaviour? I think it is, yes, behaviour. And it pays to really cut this data up and have a look. You might find further research might show you that the sources also affect how many. So if you get a lot of people coming through say a referral or something like that, and they’re looking for a specific product, you might find that influences how many of those go into search, that sort of stuff as well.

And just quickly, if you are looking for a plug-in, this is one that I love, and we use, it’s a Magento plug-in, I’m not sure if it’s available for other platforms, but if you’re on Magento you can use this. This one’s called Algolia. And once again, you’re looking at Nathan’s site here, but if you type anything into that search bar, let’s say a “pirate”, you can see it starts changing immediately, and that just speeds the whole process up. And we know, faster is better. Faster leads to more transactions and higher conversion rates, and more traffic from Google.

And that’s it for today’s show. If you’ve got any site search tips, please let us know or your favourite plug-in for site search on another platform, please let us know and we’ll see you next week. Thanks very much everyone. Bye!

Jim’s been here for a while, you know who he is.

« | »
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.