Do you have a comprehensive site search function on your Web site?
What does that have to do with marketing your Web site?! A lot!
One of the most important things you can do to market your Web site is to make it as user-friendly as possible. What’s the point of trying to attract visitors to your site if they can’t find what they’re looking for when they get there?!
Provide a Site Search Function
There are numerous studies showing that visitors will leave your site almost immediately if they can not find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Even if you do a good job with navigational aids on your site, there’s no way to guess what each visitor is looking for.
Therefore, the next best thing to designing a unique site for each visitor is to provide a comprehensive search function on your site.
Sounds good, but how do you do that, especially if you’re not a CGI or HTML guru, and you can’t spend a ton of time or money on a comprehensive search function?
Google Site Search – Going, Going, Gone
Actually, there (was) a really simple solution called Google Site Search.
NOTE: In early 2017 Google announced that Google Site Search is being discontinued!
Help from Search Engine Land
Luckily the good folks at Search Engine Land have come to the rescue! With Google sunsetting its site search product, many companies are wondering where to turn for this functionality. Columnist Paul Shapiro provides some alternatives in his article titled, “Google site search is on the way out. Now what?”
Another Web Site Search Option
If you are using a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal to manage your site, you can try out their built-in search function.
For example, this Web site (Digital Marketing Tutorial) uses the WordPress CMS and the built-in site search function that comes with it.
Check it out by clicking on the (small) magnifying glass symbol in the far right corner of the top menu and enter a search phrase. I find it to be more than adequate for my needs.