The number 1 necessity of site search
The first thing you need to know about site search may seem like the most obvious, yet, is forgotten a lot. What we’re talking about? The search bar. You know, that box where you type in what you’re looking for within a website and/or shop. It might sound way too simple, but a lot of websites make their site search pretty hard to find. Basic necessities that get overlooked? The size and even more important: where the search bar is placed on a page.
Ideally, a search bar should be present on every webpage. Even when you don’t sell anything, visitors should be able to find what they are looking for. All they are looking for. Both content & product. From sale items to last items in stock, and from blogs to return policies. The search bar should be in plain sight, at the top-right (-preferably) left, or middle of each page. This, so your visitors don’t have to start off with a bad experience because they are wasting time searching for the search, even before their actual search has begun!
Longer queries are more common nowadays than short ones, especially in this age of voice (search) technology. When talking to your voice command device, you don’t just say ‘shoe’ when looking for a certain shoe. Saying: ‘Hey, Alexa (or Google, or Siri) can you find me a red shoe with a 15inch heel?’, would be more likely. With this change in technology also comes a change in how we search. Now, more than ever, you need to make sure your search bar is big enough. Give it at least space to fit in 30 characters. This, so your searching visitors have enough space to write down (or say) what they’re exactly looking for. Also, keep in mind that your search box shouldn't be the same size as, for example, a button to subscribe to a newsletter or a shopping basket, or your searching visitor might get confused.