Site search is one of the most important features a business can implement on its website. While this feature can be highly valuable to both businesses and online visitors, it needs to be optimized to provide a positive user experience.
Enter Progress Sitefinity(opens in a new window) (or Sitefinity for short): A Content Management System (CMS) that you can use to create, publish, store, and manage your website’s content. As one of the best CMS platforms available, Sitefinity is a feature-rich platform that can handle even the most complex functionality, including intricate site search.
Using Sitefinity’s site search functionality can greatly improve your user experience, and ultimately, help you grow your business.
What is site search and how does it work?
Site search(opens in a new window) enables visitors to type queries directly into a search box on your website, where they can look for specific products, services, webpages, or other information. Once entered, results will be generated, and your visitor will be that much closer to finding what they’re looking for. However, site search is more than just having a search box on your website. In order to provide a great user experience, site search requires helpful, strategic features.
Sitefinity offers built-in site search functionality.
Sitefinity has built-in search functionality and leverages three search services(opens in a new window): Lucene, Azure Search, and Elasticsearch. Each service has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking for basic search capabilities, you may be able to use one of these options to fit your budget, needs, and preferences.
You can enhance site search with third-party search platforms.
If you’re looking for more robust and feature-rich capabilities than what Sitefinity’s built-in search functionalities offer, choose a third-party search integration. Third-party platforms are a great way to enhance Sitefinity’s search functionality as they allow better performance and advanced search capabilities.
- Typeahead, also known as auto-complete or auto-suggest, uses predictive software to make entering a query easier and quicker.
- Faceting enables searchers to refine and categorize their results.
- Personalization tailors the results specific to each unique user.
- Analytics and reporting give you valuable insight into visitor behaviors.
- Boost and bury rules allow you to strategically change the order of search results.
- Pinning keeps a specific result at the top of the page.
- Synonyms allow users to find a result they’re looking for based on intention and context. For example, a searcher might type in “jacket,” and you may have products also named “coat,” which is a synonym to this term.
- Spell check, also known as “did you mean,” accounts for user error in that it shows correct versions of misspelled words, enabling users to re-submit their query with accuracy.
You can customize the site search functionality to fit your needs.
Sitefinity’s customizability makes it easy to work within your budget, bandwidth, and capabilities to guarantee you have the features you need. Since 68% of visitors(opens in a new window) say they won’t return to a website with poor search functionality, you want to make sure you have these key features in your search experience:
- Simplicity. Your search experience should be straightforward and easy to use.
- Speed. How quickly search results load is critical to keeping visitors on your website. In fact, as a page’s load time goes from one to three seconds, the probability a visitor will bounce increases by 32%(opens in a new window).
- Relevance. You want to make sure that your website generates results that are not only relevant to a search, but also take into account the user’s intent behind it. Be sure your search experience generates relevant results regardless of misspelled words, plurals, symbols, spaces, synonyms, punctuation, capitalization, etc.
- Responsiveness. You want to make sure your website and search experience are responsive and can be used efficiently and effectively on different devices such as mobile phones and desktop computers. This is especially important considering that mobile accounts for about half of online traffic worldwide.
With just these essential features, you’ll provide a great site search experience. By using a third-party search integration, however, you can do even more. You will have the flexibility to create highly detailed, intricate features such as faceted search and filtering capabilities.
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