The Swiftype Blog

How to add advanced search to WordPress and other CMS’s

Businesses need advanced search for their CMS’s

Content management systems (CMS’s) like WordPress and HubSpot make it easy to create and manage content including landing pages, blog posts, and other types of media. In general, CMS’s provide a robust platform that can be implemented with much less technical expertise than a system built in-house.

Navigating CMS’s with lots of content

CMS’s are great platforms for enabling you to create and publish content, but they can become difficult for visitors to navigate once you have published a lot of content.

Take a moment to think about how website visitors land on your site and how they navigate around once they are there. If a visitor didn’t come to your site by directly entering your URL in their web browser, they probably found your content through social media or a Google search.

Once a visitor consumes the content that they originally visited your website for, are they able to easily find other relevant content pieces? It’s likely that you have a header or sidebar menu for the visitor to find additional content but do you also have a search box?

If you have advanced search implemented on your website, visitors have a single window into all of your content.

Site search keeps visitors on your site and gives you insight about their interests

It’s important to have a search box on your CMS website because visitors who utilize in-site search are high intent. They trust your website enough to explicitly search for content, and they’re expecting relevant results. If you have advanced search implemented on your website, visitors have a single window into all of your content.

Additionally, site search provides you with rich analytics including popular queries, queries that return no results, and CTRs. After reviewing your search analytics, you can optimize your search results and add new content based on queries that are returning no results.

Gain full control over your CMS search

If you’re using out-of-the-box CMS search, your site search might be delivering relevant results. Unfortunately, if it’s not, there’s not much you can do to fine-tune the results. On the other hand, if you add Swiftype Site Search to your CMS, you will have full control over your search experience including the ability to weight certain data fields, re-rank results on a query-by-query basis, and set synonyms.

Swiftype Admin Dashboard

Adding Swiftype Site Search to any CMS

You can use the Swiftype web crawler or API to index your content and make it searchable on your website. If you elect to use the Swiftype web crawler, you can easily optimize content extraction with HTML tags. If you elect to use the Swiftype API to index your data, you will create a search engine schema that makes sense for the data you want to make searchable.

To implement a search UI on your website, you can use the Swiftype Embed Code or our jQuery libraries.

Adding Swiftype Site Search to WordPress (via a plugin)

The Swiftype Site Search WordPress plugin replaces the standard WordPress search with a better, more relevant search engine. It is used by many of the largest WordPress sites (including TechCrunch) and has over 3,000 active installs. 

The Swiftype Site Search plugin doesn’t require coding and takes a minute to install. Swiftype uses the WordPress search results template, so you have total control over the design.

To get started, just create a Swiftype account, copy your API key and paste it into the Swiftype WordPress Plugin. Then you click a button and Swiftype will index your WordPress site. For more advanced use cases, Swiftype supports the WP-CLI.

Additional resources:

Media & Publishing: How TechCrunch, Engadget, and DramaFever boosted engagement with better search technology

Engagement, engagement, engagement

As a media company, you live and die on the level of engagement that your content generates. If people are digging your content, you’re happy because your hard work is getting exposure and the advertiser dollars are rolling in. On the other hand, if you don’t produce engaging content or your website visitors can’t find what they’re looking for, people will move on to other, more interesting websites.

The struggle for website visitors is real

Getting people to consistently visit your website is no easy task. First you have to create interesting content and then you have to distribute it, reaching your audience through increasingly competitive channels. To push out new content and drive traffic to your site, it’s likely that you’re active on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Additionally, you probably use daily or weekly email newsletters to send out content to your reader bases. If you’re utilizing other distribution channels and they’re working, then more power to you.

Keeping visitors on your site

Once someone is on your website and they have finished consuming the content they originally visited your website for, they will likely take one of the following actions:

  • Click a link in the nav bar, usually from a dropdown
  • Click on a recommended article on the side panel or bottom of the page
  • Go to the search bar and enter exactly what they’re looking for (history of Facebook, blockchain, AI, etc.)
  • Exit your website

Site search as an engagement tool

When a visitor decides to use the search bar, will they find what they’re looking for? It’s important that your site search delivers relevant results as visitors who utilize this feature are trusting you to help them find specific information.

Since website visitors who utilize search are relying on you to deliver, great site search is not just a nice-to-have. It’s a critical website feature that is utilized by your biggest fans and most engaged users. You don’t want to let them down by providing a poor search experience.

Search analytics help you to better understand your audience

In addition to contributing to the user experience of your website, site search is a source of valuable data that informs you of your visitors’ interests and whether you have the content they are looking for.

Learn from TechCrunch, Engadget, and DramaFever

Are you looking for a way to boost engagement on your media website? Here are some ways that TechCrunch, Engadget, and DramaFever used search to increase overall page views, increase ad revenue, and better understand their visitors.

 

TechCrunch

Since its founding in 2005, TechCrunch has become the leading source for technology news. Today the website, which is now owned by Oath, attracts tens of thousands of visitors on a daily basis, with hundreds of new articles being published each week.

How TechCrunch uses Swiftype Site Search:

  • TechCrunch’s search stays up-to-date as new content is indexed automatically
  • TechCrunch has implemented faceted search so visitors can easily toggle between most relevant and most recent filters for results. As you can see, the Swiftype Search UI can be completely customized to match the design of your website.
  • TechCrunch uses the powerful Swiftype admin dashboard to customize search results on a query-by-query basis, enabling them to promote content and ensure readers are finding the best content. This feature is particularly helpful in the lead up to TechCrunch’s annual Disrupt conference, as it allows the TechCrunch staff to feature promotional content and drive more publicity around the event.

Key Results after implementing Swiftype:

  • Search volume increased by 30% on the TechCrunch website, causing a noticeable increase in overall website page views, in the first month after launch
  • TechCrunch saw their search exit rate decrease by nearly 50%, meaning their search results began to match user expectations and dramatically increased conversion rates

 

Engadget

Since 2004, Engadget has exhaustively covered cutting edge devices and the technology that powers them. More than ten years after their founding, Engadget, which is now owned by Oath, receives around 1M daily visitors and publishes more than 150 articles every week.

“When we launched Swiftype search, our staff was finally able to control results, relevance, and more all through an app. It was great. We couldn’t find that anywhere else.” – Jose del Corral, Head of Product at Engadget

How Engadget uses Swiftype Site Search:

  • Engadget is able to crawl all of their content by using Swiftype’s web crawler, Swiftbot
  • Engadget automatically keeps their search results up-to-date and free of duplicates
  • They use Swiftype’s drag-and-drop results ranking feature to customize results and promote content
  • Each week, the team looks at the top search queries to gain insight about what their readers are interested in, along with the top searches that return no results

Key Results after implementing Swiftype:

  • 18% increase in pageviews coming from search results
  • Site wide increase in average time on site

DramaFever

DramaFever is a Warner Brothers-owned online video site for the distribution of international televised content. Their current library is comprised of over 13,000 episodes from 60 content partners across 12 countries.

According to DramaFever’s data from NewRelic, Swiftype’s API ranks among the fastest that they integrate with.

How DramaFever uses Swiftype Site Search:

  • To index their content, DramaFever uses the Swiftype API
  • DramaFever relies on data points in the Swiftype weekly analytics emails to determine what new media they should add to the site and what media to feature on their home page

Key Results after implementing Swiftype:

  • Since Swiftype search has built-in mobile functionality, DramaFever was able to increase mobile engagement
  • According to DramaFever’s data from NewRelic, Swiftype’s API ranks among the fastest that they integrate with
  • DramaFever saw a 21% increase in total page views, drastically enhancing their value proposition to advertisers

Getting started with Swiftype Site Search

To get started with Swiftype, you just enter your website’s address and Swiftype will index your site and create your search engine in real-time. No coding is required, but developers can use the API for extra control. Swiftype can index any amount of content and new content is indexed automatically, so your search is always up-to-date.

A free trial makes trying Swiftype risk free

Want to try out Swiftype Site Search for your website? You can sign up for a free trial here.

5 Ways Your Company Can Improve Customer Experience

Retaining customers is hard

Getting customers to try your product is really hard. Retaining them as happy customers year after year might be even more difficult.

“Our customers are loyal to us right up until the second somebody offers them a better service” – Jeff Bezos

When a customer uses your product, whether it’s an HR platform like Gusto, an internal messaging platform like Slack or a marketplace like Uber, they are going to have certain expectations about how it should look, work, and feel. When a customer lands on your product’s home page for the first time, the clock starts ticking for you to make your mark and retain them as a long-term customer.

Great customer experience leads to increased retention

A great framework for thinking about customer retention is customer experience. What do people think about when they hear your company’s name? Would they recommend your product to their friends? Optimizing the customer experience that your company provides will help you to improve retention and boost revenue. When thinking about providing a better customer experience, there are many different customer touch points you can work to improve. Here are 5 ways you can improve customer experience at your company.

1 – Simple customer onboarding

Drive new users to your core features

A new customer has just signed up for your product. Your goal is to quickly help them to realize the core value of your product so they will incorporate it into their workflow or daily life. According to CloudLock, there are 150,000+ unique apps used by their 10 million users at over 750 companies. With so many apps on the market, you only have a short window of time to prove your product’s value to your new customer.

In order to help your customer understand the key benefits of your app, you should have a simple onboarding flow. You should be very strategic with your onboarding flow and not walk through too many of your features as this may overwhelm a new user. Your onboarding flow should highlight your key features and encourage users to take actions that you know lead to retention. You can use a tool like WalkMe or Appcues to easily add in-app onboarding flows to your product.

Img via Appcues

Furthermore, you can send new customers emails or other notifications to nudge them towards taking specific actions. For example, a project management app might send you an email with instructions for creating your first project and inviting teammates to collaborate.

Don’t rely on your documentation to guide new users

It’s really important to remember that most of your customers are not going to read the documentation before they try your product. They’re just going to start using it and expect to learn how it works. By providing in-app onboarding and sending informational emails, you can add structure to your new user experience and boost your retention rate.

2 – Have a well-documented help center with advanced search technology

Customers prefer self-service

According to the HBR, 81% of all customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative. Customers want to be able to help themselves, but all too often, companies do not enable customers to find what they need on their own.

Companies like Asana, Twilio, SurveyMonkey and Lyft have invested in creating high-quality customer knowledge bases and then making them accessible with advanced search technology. At Swiftype, we work with these companies and others to provide search technology that integrates with their help center platforms and enables effective self-service customer support. 

Resolve support tickets before they happen

Some companies that use Swiftype have been able to drive down the number of support tickets they are receiving by making their support ticket description field searchable. By suggesting relevant help and documentation to their customers as they file support tickets, companies are able to resolve support tickets before they happen and reduce their overall support load.

Data-driven customer support

Furthermore, using search in your help center enables you to recognize trends in search data. These trends, such as frequently asked questions or questions that return no results, will help you to decide what new support content to create and can also inform your product roadmap.

For more on using search in your help center see:

3 – Have a scaleable system for answering customer questions

What about questions that customers can’t find the answer for in your help center? Whether they issue a support ticket, come in through live chat or send you a tweet, you want to provide consistent and timely answers to their questions.

Img via Front

Give your support team the tools they need to succeed

In order to scale your customer support operations, you need a help desk platform like Help Scout or Zendesk and then a reliable platform for aggregating customer questions from disparate channels like Salesforce Service Cloud or Front. This will help you get the most out of your customer support team by quickly assigning new questions to team members and making sure they don’t duplicate their work.

In general, customers aren’t used to quickly getting helpful answers to their questions. If your company can do this, it will be a huge plus to you customer experience efforts and will positively influence customer perception of your company.

4 – Iterate based on customer feedback (listen to your customers)

“Listen to what your users tell you, improve your product, and then listen again.” – Sam Altman

This is a pretty straightforward tip but one that gets easily overlooked or even dismissed. As you continue iterating on your product, you’ll want to take customer feedback into consideration. Every company knows they should do this; the hard part about listening to customer feedback is deciding how much it should actually influence your product roadmap.

Customer feedback and your product roadmap

When it comes to building new features based on customer feedback, take a look at this post by YC Partner Geoff Ralston: http://blog.geoffralston.com/startup-priorities.

His post focuses on helping resource-constrained startups figure out what to build next, but I think it applies to software companies more widely as it’s very common to be constrained when it comes to developer resources.

Balancing feedback with product vision

Although customer feedback is a valuable tool for shaping product vision, it’s also important to draw some inspiration from other sources. Steve Jobs is well known for saying, “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them” (Source). This makes sense considering he conceived of the iPod which most Apple customers at that time probably would not have thought of, let alone have considered technically possible. So, it’s important to listen to customers but don’t let their feedback steer you away from testing out some big innovations.

As for collecting customer feedback, you should have a system in place for doing so. More on this in tip #5.

5 – Measure customer happiness (so you can keep improving)

Simply put, it’s important to measure customer happiness so you can work to improve it. We all know that it can be difficult to get customers to answer surveys, so you should aim to measure customer happiness in a simple and concise manner.

Easily measure customer happiness and loyalty with Net Promoter Score

One popular way to measure customer happiness is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is a popular measurement because it’s a single question and research has shown that strong NPS ratings correlates with revenue growth (Source).

Img via Zapier

How NPS works

If you’re unfamiliar with NPS, it is calculated based on the responses to a single question: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague? The scoring for this answer is based on a 0 to 10 scale.

Customers who respond with a 9 or 10 are called Promoters and you can expect them to be loyal customers. Customers who respond with a score of 0 to 6 are considered Detractors, and those who respond with a 7 or 8 are labeled as Passives.

NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are Detractors from the percentage of customers who are Promoters. So, if 40% of respondents were Promoters and 15% were Detractors, your company’s NPS is 25.

Other NPS notes:

  • Because many companies measure their NPS score, you can benchmark your score against your industry to get a feel for how you’re doing.
  • As part of your NPS survey, it’s a good idea to ask a follow up question like, “Can you share why you rated us a 6?”
  • Tools for measuring NPS: SurveyMonkey, Promoter.io, Wootric

Getting started with Swiftype

After implementing Swiftype, SurveyMonkey noticed that over 90% of people that visit their help center find the information they’re looking for without contacting a support specialist.

Swiftype Customer Support Search enables companies to quickly help their customers find what they’re looking for. After implementing Swiftype, SurveyMonkey noticed that over 90% of people that visit their help center find the information they’re looking for without contacting a support specialist.

Interested in implementing Swiftype for your help center. You can sign up for a free trial here or learn more on our website here.

Do you use Zendesk for customer service and support tickets? Check out Swiftype for Zendesk.

Dreamforce: Search across all your apps directly from the Salesforce Platform

Data in Salesforce drives our businesses forward

For many of us, Salesforce is where we spend a large amount of our working day. Whether you use Salesforce for CRM, marketing automation or customer support, it’s a critical platform for getting work done.

When it comes to using Salesforce as a sales platform, it’s a resource for staying up to date with leads and closing new business. Salesforce holds the data that helps a company to understand current sales performance and make future revenue projections. This is information that helps to drive a business forward, so having it organized and easily accessible is a big benefit to most companies.

On the Service Cloud side, Salesforce helps companies to maintain high-quality customer service which is a critical ingredient to operating a sustainable business. With Salesforce, customer service representatives are able to interact with customers in a single place, streamlining operations, and helping customers to get answers faster.

Search across all your apps directly from Salesforce

At Swiftype, we recognize the important role that the Salesforce platform plays for many companies, so we’ve built a search tool that makes accessing external content from Salesforce much easier. The Swiftype Browser Extension works alongside you as you work in Salesforce, surfacing relevant content based on account, lead, and opportunity information.

Get a cross-platform view of people, accounts, and other key entities

Swiftype enables you to search every object and field from your Salesforce Clouds (Sales, Service, Communities) and across any other cloud data sources (G suite, Office 365, Box, Dropbox, Slack, Zendesk, Evernote, etc). With Swiftype, you can get a full, cross-platform view of an opportunity or account, which helps you to quickly identify any potential roadblocks and take action.

Complete functionality inside of Salesforce

Furthermore, if you’d like to access Swiftype from a full screen UI inside of Salesforce, you can tab over to that experience. From the full Swiftype Enterprise Search view, you’ll be able to search for files and team members, configure your settings, and see your organization’s recent activity.

Swiftype is an AppExchange Partner

Our Enterprise Search app has been through a qualitative and quantitative review process with Salesforce and has met the highest set of security standards and best practices.

Visit Swiftype at Dreamforce 2017 – booth #1928

Getting started with Swiftype

Swiftype has a connector framework that enables you to connect to all of your cloud data sources with a few clicks. Swiftype gives you the ability to add content sources at an organizational, team and individual level, ensuring you’re searching across the apps that are relevant to your job. By connecting to all of a company’s apps, Swiftype enables organizations to unify their fragmented data and boost productivity.

Search Quiz: How much do you know about search history and technology?

Search is playing an increasingly important role in our lives. Much of the world’s knowledge is now on the internet and search is the technology that unlocks that content, making it accessible with the stroke of a few keys. Here are a few data points about the growing volume of search queries and internet content.

  • Google handles about 63,000 searches per second (Source)
  • In 2016, Google handled 2 trillion searches, up nearly 70% from the year before (Source)
  • Researchers estimate that there are about 1 billion websites and 4.66 billion web pages (Source)
  • There was about 81.8 million WordPress blog posts published last month, a 27% increase from the previous year. (Source)

As the amount of information on the internet continues to grow, search researchers and companies will continue to innovate, leveraging technologies like AI to make search even more intuitive and relevant.

Swiftype Search Quiz: Top scorers get a t-shirt

At Swiftype, we like to think we know a thing or two about search, so we created a Search History and Technology Quiz. From the name of the first search engine to some of the key search algorithms, this quiz is a chance to test out your search knowledge.

How much do you know about search? Take the quiz here.


If you score in the top 10 percentile on the quiz, we will send you a free Swiftype t-shirt.

*Limit to one entry per participant during the contest period. Contest ends on Oct 31, 2017. Winners will be notified by email.

How site search makes higher education websites more accessible

Lots of website content and many types of visitors

As a higher education institution, you have thousands of pages of content that you want to make easily accessible to your wide range of constituents. Prospective students, current students, alumni, faculty, staff and parents all need to be able to find information on your website. How do you ensure they can find what they need?

Search makes content more accessible

Over the past 10 years, we have all grown accustomed to opening up Google, typing in what we want to find and getting relevant results. Search is an intuitive and flexible way to navigate the web as well as individual websites. A search bar is a window into many types of content and the interface can handle a wide variety of use cases.

Website searchers are on a mission

When a website visitor elects to use the search bar on your website, they have a specific goal in mind, so it’s important to provide them with relevant search results. At Swiftype, we specialize in building relevant site search technology and making it incredibly easy to set up on your website. We’re fortunate to be able to work with some great universities, and we wanted to highlight their Swiftype success stories.

Roanoke College

Located in Salem, Virginia, Roanoke College has an enrollment of 2,000 students. In 2014, Roanoke was ranked 2nd on the U.S. News and World Report list of Up-and-Coming National Liberal Arts Colleges.

Michael Santoroski, Director of Web and Software Development at Roanoke, was recently tasked with improving the college’s site search functionality as part of an overall website redesign. Roanoke had been using Google’s Custom Search Engine, but it was no longer meeting their needs. With a limited IT team, Roanoke needed a solution that would be easy to implement. After doing some research, they decided to go with Swiftype.

“We were constantly getting emails through our contact page from users who couldn’t find content they were looking for, whether that be an upcoming course schedule or an event. As soon as we implemented Swiftype, the emails stopped…virtually overnight.”

– Michael Santoroski, Director of Web and Software Development at Roanoke College

Before implementing Swiftype, Roanoke was constantly getting emails through their contact page from users who couldn’t find content they were looking for. After implementing Swiftype, Roanoke cut the number of web support emails to virtually zero, and they’ve improved the overall user experience of their website.

READ MORE ABOUT ROANOKE + SWIFTYPE

 

NYU Libraries

New York University (NYU) Libraries is a global organization that advances learning, research, and scholarly inquiry in an environment dedicated to the open exchange of information. As the library of a prestigious university in the 21st Century, their proactive focus on technology enables them to actively reach users at their point of need, wherever that may be.

NYU Libraries was using Google Site Search, and they didn’t have a lot of ability to customize the search. NYU wanted to have more control of their search, so they made the switch to Swiftype.

After implementing Swiftype in a single day, NYU Libraries was able to enhance the user experience on their website. Visitors are now performing more searches than before and “it’s become very clear that site search is a big deal for [NYU’s] users.” To better understand what visitors are searching for, NYU Libraries uses Swiftype Search Analytics to see popular queries and commonly misspelled queries. After reviewing this information, NYU manually adds search results for misspelled words through a drag-and-drop interface.

READ MORE ABOUT NYU LIBRARIES + SWIFTYPE

 

St. Mary’s University

Founded in 1852, St. Mary’s is a liberal arts school located in San Antonio, TX. Personal attention and powerful academic programs have made St. Mary’s a nationally recognized liberal arts institution.

Before implementing Swiftype, St. Mary’s struggled to search across all of the different websites, both internal and public-facing, that they have created over the years. When they went looking for a site search solution, they wanted to find a product that enabled them to quickly customize their search results and have their changes go live immediately.

According to Elaine Shannon, Web Developer & User Interface Specialist at St. Mary’s, “search is one of the most popular ways to navigate our website.” They’ve received a lot of positive feedback on both their main site search engine and their Search by Interest engine. St. Mary’s Search by Interest engine is a dedicated search tool for prospective students to enter the subject matter they’re interested in and be presented with relevant majors at the school.

READ MORE ABOUT ST. MARY’S + SWIFTYPE

 

“It’s a big deal when we can make sure we’re serving up the content our audience is trying to find—even with terms that are often misspelled.” — Dustin Reynolds, Assistant Director of Digital Marketing, Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University

Located northeast of Los Angeles, Azusa Pacific University (APU) is home to almost 10,000 students and counts 68 bachelor’s degrees, 45 master’s degrees, and eight doctoral programs within the system.

After years of using the Google Search Appliance for their website, the APU web team was faced with a new challenge. After Google announced it was phasing out the product, they were on the search for an even better solution—and not something so “old school.”

APU was able to get Swiftype fully set up on their website in about two weeks. During that time, they configured the search UI to match their website, created some custom meta tags to help guide the Swiftype web crawler (SwiftBot) and optimized the weights placed on fields in the their indexed data.

After implementing Swiftype, APU feels like they are providing a better experience to their website visitors. Additionally, they have a better understanding of what people are searching for on their website and can react accordingly.

READ MORE ABOUT APU + SWIFTYPE

Getting started with Swiftype Site Search

To get started with Swiftype, you just enter your website’s address and Swiftype will index your site and create your search engine in real-time. No coding is required, but developers can use the API for extra control. Swiftype can index any amount of content and new content is indexed automatically, so your search is always up-to-date.

A free trial makes trying Swiftype risk-free

Want to try out Swiftype Site Search for your website? You can sign up for a free trial here.

Site search is your marketing website’s killer feature

A visitor lands on your site. Now what?

Congrats, you’ve succeeded in driving a prospective customer to your website. Although most first time visitors to your site are not ready to buy (approximately 96%), you have a huge opportunity to educate them and create a future buyer.

Now that you have someone on your website, you need to make sure they can quickly understand what your product does and whether it is relevant to them. As for navigating your website, this new visitor will likely take 1 of 3 actions:

  • Click a link on your navigation bar
  • Click a CTA on the page they landed on
  • Go to your search bar and enter exactly what they’re looking for

As a marketer, you want to make sure you think through each of these customer journeys. According to Aberdeen Group, 39% of marketers say that promotion and discovery of content is a top challenge. No doubt, it can be difficult to show the right content at the right time to push a potential lead down the funnel so every bit of effort spent improving your conversion rate is worth it.

Website visitors who utilize site search

Here at Swiftype, we think a lot about search, so I’d like to really focus on the third customer pathway that I highlighted: when a customer decides to use your search bar. Over the past 15 years, Google’s powerful search engine has made searching second nature for many people and other leading tech companies like Amazon and Facebook are centering their products around search.

Amazon’s website prominently features search

 

Search done well is an extremely flexible and intuitive way to navigate a product or website, and it’s also a huge source of valuable data that can, among other things, signal macro trends and help companies to improve user experience.

Site search for marketing websites

As for companies that do search well on their marketing websites, let’s take a look at HubSpot’s website. HubSpot is a B2B SaaS company that builds marketing and sales software primarily for SMBs. They are well known for their effective inbound marketing strategies, and they’ve done a great job with their marketing website, including the site search feature.

HubSpot Marketing Website Homepage

 

Search Results Page

 

It’s clear that HubSpot has made sure that the experience for website visitors who want to utilize search is optimized. And for good reason.

Website visitors who perform a search are 216% more likely to convert than visitors who don’t.

Why is site search so important?

Website visitors who perform a search are 216% more likely to convert than visitors who don’t. When a visitor searches for anything on your website, it is a strong sign of intent. For one, you know they’re interested enough in your product to try and learn more and two, you know exactly what they are searching for.

When visitors utilize search on your website, you want to make sure they can easily find what they’re looking for. If they can’t, they will use Google to search your site at which point you will lose all control of your potential customer’s journey. If one of your competitors outranks you on Google for certain topics, it’s likely that your new website visitor will end up on your competitor’s website.

The benefits of great site search

Aside from helping your website visitors to find what they’re looking for, site search is also a great source of actionable data. You can use search analytics to determine:

  • Volume of search queries
  • Popular search queries
  • Queries returning no results
  • CTRs on search results

There is a LOT you can do with this information. At Swiftype, one big way we’ve seen our customers utilize search analytics is for data-driven content development. They look at what their website visitors are searching for that is returning no results, and then they create content to fill those voids.

By pinning their highest converting content to the top of the search results for relevant queries, companies can boost conversions and ultimately increase revenue.

Since the Swiftype Site Search Solution features a drag-and-drop interface for ranking results on a query-by-query basis, it’s easy for companies to make changes, and they have full control over their site search experience. The drag-and-drop interface also makes it easy for companies to optimize their search conversion rates for popular queries. By pinning their highest converting content to the top of the search results for relevant queries, companies can boost conversions and ultimately increase revenue.

Drag-and-drop interface for ranking results

 

Getting started with Swiftype Site Search

To get started with Swiftype, you just enter your website’s address and Swiftype will index your site and create your search engine in real-time. No coding is required, but developers can use the API for extra control. Swiftype can index any amount of content and new content is indexed automatically, so your search is always up-to-date.

A free trial makes trying Swiftype risk-free

Want to try out Swiftype Site Search for your website? You can sign up for a free trial here.

Want to improve your customer support experience? Think search.

Key takeaways:

  • Customer support really, really matters
  • Customers want to help themselves
  • Search can help you drive down support ticket volume
  • Search analytics help you identify gaps in your documentation
  • Customize search results through a drag-and-drop interface

Great customer support creates loyal (and profitable) customers

We all know that customer support is incredibly important. In case you’re not fully convinced, consider these stats:

  • 3 in 5 Americans would try a new brand or company for a better service experience (Source: American Express)
  • News of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience (Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs)

Furthermore, it’s much easier to do business with existing customers than new ones. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.

So we know that keeping our customers happy is important but how should we support them? According to the HBR, 81% of all customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative. Customers want to be able to help themselves, but all too often, companies do not enable customers to find what they need on their own.

Customer support search

At Swiftype, we handle a wide variety of search use cases including customer support. Swiftype Customer Support Search helps companies to get the most out of their support documentation through advanced search technology.

Swiftype powers customer support search for Twilio, Lyft, SurveyMonkey, Asana, AppDynamics, Segment, PagerDuty and many others. After implementing Swiftype, support specialists from these companies spend less time answering support tickets and more time creating new documentation.

How Swiftype decreases support ticket volume

Swiftype actually helps you resolve support tickets before they happen by suggesting relevant help and documentation as your customers file support tickets. Customers are looking for immediate answers, so they’re happy to quickly find the answer they’re looking for.

Swiftype suggesting documentation

If your customer doesn’t think that the suggested documentation answers their question, they will go ahead and submit their support ticket. Over time, you will recognize trends in the support tickets that are submitted and be able to improve your documentation. As your documentation improves, customers will be able to self-service more and more.

Some of Swiftype’s other powerful features:

  • Search analytics
  • Drag-and-drop results ranking
  • Custom weighting
Swiftype Search Admin Dashboard

Data-driven customer support through search analytics

One of Swiftype’s most helpful features is search analytics. With search analytics, companies can see:

  • Overall search volume
  • Words and phrases that their customers search for most frequently
  • Queries that are returning no results

After seeing this data, companies can create content to directly address their customers’ questions that are going unanswered.

For example, Twilio noticed lots of customers were searching about session initiation protocols (SIP), but had never had time to develop in-depth content about that subject. After seeing the data, they developed an FAQ for SIP questions, and they saw the support tickets about them fall significantly.

Furthermore, Swiftype makes it really easy for companies to access their analytics by sending a weekly email with key metrics.

Drag-and-drop results ranking

Swiftype enables companies to customize search results on a query-by-query basis through a drag-and-drop results ranking tool. Whether they want to re-rank content based on trends they see in the search data or pin a new piece of content to the top of the search results, companies have complete control over their help center’s search experience.

Drag-and-drop results ranking

Custom weighting

Swiftype gives you granular control even if you’re not technical by enabling you to adjust the weights placed on each of the fields in your indexed data. With a simple slider, you can adjust the weight placed on a field and then immediately test the impact that your change has on your search engine. If you don’t like the effects of your change, you can restore the default setting with the click of a button.

Custom weighting dashboard

Getting started with Swiftype

Swiftype Customer Support Search enables companies to quickly help their customers find what they’re looking for. After implementing Swiftype, SurveyMonkey noticed that over 90% of people that visit their help center find the information they’re looking for without contacting a support specialist.

Interested in implementing Swiftype for your help center. You can sign up for a free trial here.

Want more information? Learn how about “How Asana, Twilio, SurveyMonkey and Lyft optimized their customer support centers”.

Do you use Zendesk for customer service and support tickets? Check out Swiftype for Zendesk.

Secret Search Confessions:
From an Online Shopaholic

NOTE: This has been published anonymously to protect the author’s identity.

By day, I work as an administrative assistant for a hospital. By…the rest of the day…I’m what my friends fondly call an “online shopaholic.” But I’m so much more than just an online shopper—I’m a lifestyle curator. Don’t just take my word for it! My half a million Instagram followers would probably agree.

It’s about creating a lifestyle

I get a lot of new followers every day because I take my unofficial job pretty seriously. I don’t just go to the H&M website and buy the first thing I see on the homepage. Anyone can do that! I’m all about creating a cohesive and unique look out of pieces that no one else would even think could work together. That requires a lot of digging deeper into sites, and searching for some pretty specific items of clothing.

Some days, I’ll be looking for some new athletic gear, and I can go to a website like Beyond Yoga and find whatever I want super easily. Their search is just so user friendly, and seems to know me well enough to show me what it knows I want before I have to look for it. For example, one time I wanted a new pair of leggings, but I wasn’t sure what style. I started typing in “leg” but before I got any further the search box had automatically suggested 4 pairs of awesome-looking leggings. I saw a gorgeous pair that were white and adjustable that I just had to have.

So, Beyond Yoga also has this section at the bottom called “complete the look,” which basically means they suggest other clothes that can, well, complete the look. But on the leggings I was looking at, that section was EMPTY! They had no idea what to use to complete that look.

Time to complete the look

Good thing I’m a lifestyle curator huh? Kicking into action, I jumped over to one of my go-to shops, Teespring, because they tend to have a lot of quirky and unique designs that I like to use in my casual looks. I typed in “tank,” but there’s no autocomplete function, it’s just auto suggestions, and for some reason “tank tops” is all the way at the bottom of the list. It’s okay, not everything in life is going to come easy, right? (I think I read that on a bumper sticker.)

After scrolling down to the end of the list and clicking on the “tank top” suggestion, I was horrified to find that I had to look through all of their tank tops. That’s over 24,000 results I got back! And two of the top three weren’t even tank tops! One was a t-shirt, and one was a mug! Who knows how many of those 24,000 results were actually tank tops? I tried to filter the results a little more by adding “yoga” to my search, and it helped a little, but there were still almost 2,000 results I had to sort through. Many of the results were off-topic and had nothing to do with yoga, so after clicking a few more filter checkboxes (“tank top” – but really, why would I have to filter by “tank top” when I was obviously looking for tank tops?—and “american apparel”) I ended up with seven results to choose from. None of them really fit the look I was going for, so I tried again with a different brand. There were about 50 results for Gildan, and I found a couple of designs that might have worked, but I kind of felt like I was trying too hard to force one of those tank tops to fit the leggings at this point. So I gave up on Teespring.

No time for bad search

I decided to try another one of my go-to shops: Azalea Boutique. They usually have a lot of great styles and are pretty good about organizing their looks by “moods.” I do like to browse their moods for inspo sometimes, but their “sporty” looks were just not hitting what I wanted to do with mine. It’s getting a little cooler, so I thought it would be cute to add a nice long sweater to my look. So I typed “sweater” in the search box and all these beautiful options showed up before I even hit enter. The first one looked really good: a beautiful white and black striped knit sweater, so I clicked on that. But on closer inspection it didn’t really go with the look I was curating, but they had some great suggestions right below it and one of them, the Longline Hoodie, was perfect! They basically did the work for me.

Last item: shoes. I used to love Quicksilver’s shoes, but after too many frustrating searches, I decided I needed better. My new go-to is FYFO. They’re from England, so they have different words for things. Good thing I’m a citizen of the world, so I know I’m looking for “trainers” instead of “sneakers.” Before I even finished typing the word, I found THE ones: Pineapple Mara Hi Tops. They were gorgeous, and they fit my look perfectly.

Some days are more frustrating than others, but that usually depends on how easy it is to search and use the filters for the online shops I like. If a store’s search sucks, I’m definitely not going to waste my time scrolling through thousands of items of clothes. I’m a pretty patient person, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

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Don’t risk your customers giving up on your products. Try Swiftype today.

Livin’ the Dream: Swiftype Joins Dreamforce 2017

Over the past two decades, Salesforce has become an undeniable stronghold in the Bay Area tech scene. But if there were any clear indicators of its widespread influence and fandom, it would absolutely be the behemoth of trade shows fondly know as Dreamforce.

A massive gathering of Salesforce’s customers, partners, and enthusiasts, Dreamforce is an annual culmination of thought leadership, innovation, and community all celebrating the world’s largest cloud ecosystem. It’s always the must-attend event of the year.

Still not convinced?

  • Sessions: Touting 2700+ sessions spread across all roles and industries, attendees have access to cutting-edge, up-close, information and exposure to the latest products and solutions.
  • Speakers: Not only are world-renowned leaders and Salesforce experts poised to speak on how to transform your business, hands-on training from the same experts is available to ensure user success.
  • Solutions: Finally, hundreds of Salesforce partners are showcased in the Customer Success Expo. who’ve built solutions that easily integrate with Salesforce and amplify its efficiency, productivity, and power.

Swiftype Joins the Ranks!

Swiftype is excited to sponsor Dreamforce for the first time this year. Our team will be joining the Customer Success Expo to show you first-hand how you and your team can connect your Salesforce universe and super-charge your productivity with Swiftype Enterprise Search and Site Search. Deliver AI-powered, highly-relevant results in a single search experience all without leaving your Salesforce environment.

Come join us and 170,000 of your closest friends for four days of career transformation, innovation, giving back, and community connection at the largest software conference in the world. It’s definitely going to sell out, so make sure you register now to secure your spot!

Looking to save a little $$ on your conference pass? We’ve got you! Use code D7EMSWFT when registering for your Full Conference Pass and you’ll save a quick $100!

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