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The essential website search functionality requirements


June 22, 2023


Site search

The need for a precise and robust search has increased recently, especially for businesses, such as e-commerce, media portals, online knowledge bases, etc. When a user tries to find a specific document (e.g., e-learning lesson), s/he has an exact document in mind. That’s why a company's search engines must retrieve exact file matches to be effective. If the search engine does not find the document the visitor needs, even after a few tries, s/he may leave your site.

Site Search in the Past 5 Years

For general visitors, site search functionality helps initiate substantial curiosity. Search tools available on your website provoke your viewers’ interests, providing them with satisfying experiences, content, and products. Their continuing engagements with your website will, eventually, transform into additional values. 

In the past 5 years, company searches were primarily based on keyword searches, and visitors often expect more meaningful and connoting results, including instant and personalized search results. This can only be achieved with an AI-powered search. Aside from the text-based search, today’s speech and visual searches are making trends in searches on mobile, thus opening new possibilities for AI-powered search. Gartner predicts that 70% of customer interactions will be speech-based and assistants will soon dominate the market.

AI-powered semantic search with NLP and machine learning means that the search can work independently and produce even more relevant results. Search engines tend to discover meaningful content and always are based on some sort of NLP algorithm. NLP is based on machine learning, which means that the algorithm finds patterns in the text, thereby performing tasks that would take human operators weeks or months. Students and attendees will highly benefit if they have the possibility to perform AI-powered content searches. 

The Connection Between SEO & Site Search

Relevance is a very demanded concept in search engines, but it’s rather complex to measure, as there is a degree of subjectivity in the definition of relevance. In reality, many people spend too much time trying to manage their relevance. 

The site search will improve the overall usability of your website, which will bring you a better SEO ranking. Site search is based on content placement, which allows search engines to understand your main topics and products. Site search analytics can help you uncover the precise desire your visitors have, thereby refining and enhancing your SEO strategy. The users usually look for a word or phrase on your site and simultaneously perform the same procedure on other industrial giants like Google for comparison. Therefore, you can adjust the content to better suit your users’ intents based on the highly-searched terms on your site.

The Main Website Search Functionality Requirements

Here we present 6 main website search functionalities that you should have on your mind when implementing your site search engine:

  1. Personalized AI-powered Search: AI-powered search will definitely bring the site visitors what they need, and this will help you to achieve better customer satisfaction, higher conversion rates, and increased revenues. An efficient search engine must display results that are personalized to individual users and their profiles.
  2. Better UX: The search bar is the main point for users to engage with your website. Research shows that customers need good search and excellent navigation and UX to find what they need on a website. You can improve the overall look and style of your website by placing the search box front and center. All sub-pages should have the search bar in exactly the same location. Its size should be large enough to bring attention to it. The search bar should be long enough to accept an average search string. You may also consider the possibility of having an expandable search box whenever an interaction begins.
  3. Proper Results Page: The role of a good site search is to enable the users to find what they want. The results page should be easy to read, comprehensive, and predict user needs - without being crowded. The search bar should be present on the results page, so users can refine or change their query. The search terms could be highlighted within the results. A “no-results page” should be avoided. Instead of showing a “no results found”, you could redirect users to other products or content to accelerate their conversion. Make sure that you have a library, and well-defined user profiles, so that the product page and content can be indexed by your site search.
  4. Optimized Relevance: Relevance is a long-term concern, so the search engine should provide queries with relevant issues. The search should take into consideration the big picture in mind, and not optimize your relevance for just a specific query. The setup should allow you to efficiently test your modifications on the whole set of query logs, ensuring that you won’t reduce the relevance of other queries. Lastly, proper deep testing is recommended.
  5. Search Data Analytics: When a user uses the search option, s/he generates valuable data that you can use to analyze his/her intents and set up your business goals. Your site search data can help you test the quality of your search bar, unveil essential keywords, and give you insights to improve conversion rates. Content-rich sites (e.g. e-learning, or media sites) can identify content gaps - topics that users are searching for, but that are missing - and correspondingly eliminate them. You should make the more important resources easier to find, and direct users to content related to what they initially searched for.
  6. Optimization for Mobile Searches: Mobile browsing is dominant today. You should adapt your search experience to accommodate mobile screens in order to engage your visitors on the devices they are likely to choose. 

Optimize with Omnisearch

At Omnisearch, we offer an effective AI-powered site search tool for all types of content – audio, video, and text (including PDFs). Visitors around the world benefit greatly from our tools that transcribe audio and video files into text and perform keyword-based content searches, thus getting the needed information within seconds.

One of the key differentiating features of Omnisearch is that it provides an API that can be used to integrate video search into your own applications. Search API is a direct way to integrate modern search capabilities into your website or application. It allows you to expose video search functionality to your own platform (end users) directly. 

Another Omnisearch feature is that it performs a site search analysis that helps uncover the visitors’ search habits on your website. The habits include which keywords and phrases have been searched for, and also - acceptance of search suggestions, thus providing invaluable insights into users' behavior.

Omnisearch tools can significantly improve your website functionality, and increase overall visitor satisfaction. As always, if this sounds interesting we’ll be happy to do a quick demo and help you utilize Omnisearch and deliver a next-level search experience.

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