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One measurement of website success tends to get overlooked a lot in favor of other, bigger numbers like traffic and bounce rate. That measurement is conversion rate, what percentage of visitors to your website convert into a lead. One of the biggest factors when it comes to optimizing your site for higher conversion rates is usability, if users can’t successfully navigate your site how do you expect to get leads out of them?
One way to easily boost your sites usability is to add site search. In a study done by Branded3.com 27 websites were evaluated for conversion data and it was found that “users were more than twice as likely to convert if they used a site search.” Their numbers put the average conversion rate for sites without site search at 2.41% and the sites with site search had a 5.45% conversion rate. Definitely an impressive difference, so there you go site search is apparently very important.
Obviously just throwing site search anywhere on your site isn’t going to get you more conversions, we are talking about usability here after all. Make sure that your site search is at the very top of the page and is featured prominently. Another thing you might want to make sure of is that it works properly. As part of the study Branded3 found that a user is 2.5 times as likely to leave your site if their search turns up nothing. A good way to mitigate loss if a user does happen to find the “no results found” page, is to offer them something else on that page like special offers or top products.
Make sure you also setup site search tracking with your google analytics. Data on what your visitors are searching for can be extremely useful. Especially data on what people are searching for that turns up no results, that way you know where you need to grow your site and add more content.
Original article about site search posted on Wikimotive's blog under the title Using Site Search To Boost Your Sites Coversion Rate.
Based on Tim's guidance, ADM has licensed a Google Site Search Application
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