Friday, November 9, 2007

Help Customers Successfully Search, aka. Keyword Search, the Successful Websites

Many users know exactly what they want and go straight for the search box. Unsuccessful searches equal missed sales, a diminished market basket, and eventual loss of the customer.

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1) Customer Insight

The following are representative customer comments about their experiences with the keyword search text box and advance search mechanisms:

  • Keyword search didn't take me anywhere except where I've already been:'
  • I didn't like the search. When I typed in my words, it really didn't find anything for me"
  • It would have been nice if it brought up what I searched for. But that's never been my experience."

I love search engines, when I type the words in right:

Some searches resulted in looping, where customers performed a search, received search results, selected an item from the list, and were brought back to the initial search box page. This occurred on several websites.

We also discovered that similar words typed in the search boa brought hack different results; which were also confusing to shoppers.

2) Recommendations

Users need to search when they are lost, and you don't know where they will he when they are lost. Help customers have successful searches by applying the following recommendations:

Tracking the top 100 customer word searches on your website gives you insight into what customers are thinking or needing in the way of assistance. In some cases, you may find incremental sales opportunities if several customers search for a product that you don't currently otter. Or you'll gain insight into how shoppers look for products.

Failed searches lose potential customers. If you can turn that bailed search into a hit you have a new customer.

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