The Swiftype Blog / Year in review: our favorite implementations from 2014

Year in review: our favorite implementations from 2014

To kick off 2015, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite 2014 Swiftype implementations across a range of different websites to demonstrate the results that some of our users have been able to achieve. In all, Swiftype started powering search on thousands of websites this year, and served billions of queries. Nearly three years after launching, we are excited that so many people have found Swiftype to be such an integral part of their website, and we want to share these stories to inspire users in the future.

Qualcomm

Qualcomm is a global semiconductor company that designs and markets wireless telecommunications products and services, serving millions of customers worldwide, with more than 25,000 employees across 150 offices. When Qualcomm approached a leading web development agency to help them rehaul their existing website, search was a top priority. Because Qualcomm offers such a wide variety of products and services, they wanted to create an easy browsing experience to let customers hone in on exactly what they are looking for quickly.

Qualcomm made search a central pillar of their website user experience.
Qualcomm’s search implementation is great for several key reasons. To begin with, their search tool is prominently displayed on the left side of the page and remains visible on every page of the website. This makes it easy for users to search, browse, and re-search without needing to scroll to the top of the page. Another aspect we like is their autocomplete and faceted search options. The combination of these two features cuts down the time users need to spend searching by directing them straight to content they are looking for and letting them refine their results without moving to a separate results page. Lastly, we are happy to see the great results that this web development agency produced with Swiftype—providing their clients with a powerful search engine without the need for back end development work.

HubSpot

HubSpot is a major inbound marketing and sales platform that came to Swiftype for help powering their knowledge base search engine. While HubSpot’s support team had spent countless hours developing helpful content to answer user questions, their previous search solution did not allow enough control over their search experience. By switching to Swiftype, HubSpot was able to completely customize their search engine and create the user experience they hoped for.

Hubspot is a great example of powerful search over a large knowledge base.

HubSpot’s search is simple yet effective. For starters, we appreciate how they prominently displayed the search bar on their support page—a clear prompt for users to begin their support questions with a search. Furthermore, the placeholder text in the search bar clearly tells users how to interact with the search box, reassuring them that they should feel free to “type your question here.” From there, the fast autocomplete drop-down is color coded to differentiate between “quick answers” and “user guides,” letting users choose results based on the article type. Similar refinement options are available on their results page, where users can select the types of articles they’d like to see displayed.

Qualified Hardware

Qualified Hardware is a B2B retailer that sells high quality door and lock hardware. Before switching to Swiftype, Qualified Hardware was using a home-grown search solution that was costly to maintain and often failed to return relevant results for the highly specific queries that their customers were performing (such as item or part number searches). Swiftype’s powerful search algorithm helped return better results immediately, and to bring their search to the next level, Qualified Hardware took advantage of Swiftype’s custom meta tags to create a highly refined relevance model, as we’ll discuss below.

A quick search will immediately reveal the great work that their team put into styling their autocomplete with suggested brands, categories, and specific products. The results page also offers the option to display products in a grid or list format. These elements give users a great front end experience, but what makes this implementation truly outstanding is the skill with which Qualified Hardware leveraged Swiftype meta tags to deliver highly relevant results based on a wide range of product attributes.

Qualifed Hardware distinguished itself by creating a highly refined relevance model optimized to drive conversions.

Swiftype meta tags are a unique tool that any site owner can leverage to pass specific information to our web crawler as it indexes your site’s content. This allows site owners to fine-tune their relevance algorithm and deliver highly relevant results (for specific details about using Swiftype meta tags, see our tutorial). Qualified Hardware used this tool to its fullest extent, listing detailed information for each product such as popularity, whether or not the item is in stock or needs to be special ordered, the product SKU, and more. A quick peek at their source code on a product page will demonstrate just how extensively they used this tool. Once this information was indexed, Qualified Hardware was able to tweak their search algorithm to feature popular products, move special order products to a lower position for general queries, and overall optimize their results for conversions.

Modern Healthcare

Modern Healthcare is a leading source of healthcare business news, research, and data, with thousands of articles and publications. Before Swiftype, Modern Healthcare used their CMS’s default search function, which was slow, produced poor results, and was difficult to customize. Swiftype gave them improved speed and relevancy, with the ability for non-technical team members to customize search results.

Modern Healthcare's search bar is easy to find across their whole website.

Like Qualcomm, Modern Healthcare made their search bar easy to find by floating it in a static header element that follows users as they scroll down the page. This makes it easy for users to always have access to search and begin a new browsing process from any page on the site. Once users begin searching, the autocomplete quickly suggests articles, while displaying thumbnails of images associated with each article. Finally, on the results page, users have the option to refine results by publication date— ensuring that results are from the specific timeframe they have in mind.

These implementations demonstrate some of the incredible results our customers have been able to achieve with Swiftype. If you’re thinking about taking your search experience to the next level, we’re here to help make it happen. To see how Swiftype can work for you, contact [email protected] to request a demo.