Top Onsite Search Tips by Sooqr: #1 The Search Bar
By now you should know the purpose of a proper working internal search engine. When ‘searching visitors’ can’t find what they’re looking for within a split second, they will leave the site. And with every second of waiting, up to 15% will click away. Here at Sooqr we aim to make your search engine awesome. Getting you instant results and increasing your conversion rate. With years of experience in the field, we’ve come to quite a list of factors that influence the process. And because we care & like rocking your socks off, we like to share. Today we kick off with.. the search bar.
Where’s my search bar? The search bar is one of the basic necessities of search. How else are your visitors supposed to let you know what they are looking for? Let alone find it? It might sound way too obvious and simple, but a lot of websites make the search bar pretty hard to find. Make sure it isn't the same size as, for example, a button to subscribe to a newsletter, or a shopping basket. Make it easy to find so your visitors don’t get confused. We already live in a land of confusion.
Big with words, small in space Whether you’re a person of big or little words, you need the right amount of space to speak your mind. This also applies in site search. Visitors need space to type what they are looking for. Try to make your search bar big enough for typical queries, with space for at least 30 characters.
Instant gratification As we all know, we live in a society in which everything has to happen fast. Instant gratification is the norm, so why isn’t it the same case with search results? Use relevant auto complete, giving searching visitors instant suggestion(s) while they are typing their query in the search bar. Or even better, kick it up a notch and make your search engine give results instantly.
Seeing is believing Ever wondered why supermarkets always seem to be baking fresh bread & pies? They do this deliberately. Smelling the bread makes you want to dig your teeth in a piece of the warm & fluffy & delicious baked goods. It makes you crave it and eventually buy it. Now, we know a search bar isn’t an apple pie, but the same concept works here too. When you place text in a search bar, you will encourage visitors to start searching. Obviously make sure that as soon as a person starts typing into the search bar, you make the ‘bait’ disappear.
Nobody puts ‘the bar’ in the corner? The placing of the search bar is just as important as there even being one in the first place. Nobody puts ‘Baby’ in a corner, but if ‘Baby’ were a search bar he would be. Preferably in the top left or top right of the page. Of every page on the website. And if you really want to emphasize search: stick it in the middle, top of the page. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, just making site search awesome.