Internal search statistics tell the story

I mentioned in a post last month that internal search data from your site contain insights that can be quite valuable. The assumption was that the people using your internal search aren’t doing it for amusement. They want answers, presumably about your products or services. A recent white paper on the topic by WebSideStory provides two eye-opening stats that hammer home the importance of improving your internal search function and watching its data closely.

The first has to do with who uses internal search. The white paper contends that these “searchers” are definitely in a buying mood. They were almost three times more likely to make a purchase (or in some other way convert) than people who had not used the internal search function.

But another stat from that report indicates that, “Nearly 12 percent of all site searches led to zero results. Among e-commerce sites, this figure was 8.5 percent.”

In other words, approximately one in 10 of all visitors is being frustrated when they do an internal search — and they are some of the people most likely to be ready to purchase!

To build upon my recommendations in my prior post, follow this tip: Look through your search data for the most common search phrases, and make sure they are yielding good results. If they don’t, create a forced search return index (FSRI). In other words, make sure that the correct page shows up for the search phrase typed in, even if that phrase is misspelled.

According to this new set of findings, and the experience of my team at ec-connection, you’ll be rewarded with more conversions and happier customers.

2 thoughts on “Internal search statistics tell the story”

  1. Monitoring failed searches for ecommerce companies is imparative to see what products you should be carrying that you aren’t. You will be surprised what people are searching for that you never would have thought of. If you truly want to cater to the customer it doesn’t matter what you want to sell, it matters what they want to buy (within reason obviously).

    If you can’t or won’t carry products people are searching for then make sure you have at least one result for a similar or competing product. You never know when you can get a conversion even though it isn’t exactly what the customer was searching for.

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