The Swiftype Blog

Swiftype Enterprise Search Now on Salesforce AppExchange

Two weeks ago, we launched Swiftype Enterprise Search to revolutionize the way employees find content across their data sources. Today, we’re excited to announce another advancement in helping workers quickly find the right information: our just-released Salesforce AppExchange app.

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Why the AppExchange? Because Salesforce isn’t just the world’s #1 CRM platform; they’ve helped more than 150,000 companies grow every part of their business from the cloud. They pioneered the concept of cloud-based business applications and, in the process, have fundamentally changed how companies view and use technology.

The cloud is now where business takes place. It’s where your data resides and where your applications live. And, it’s why we built Swiftype Enterprise Search for Salesforce to help your workers find information across all Salesforce Clouds: Sales, Service, and Communities.

Swiftype for Salesforce helps sales, service and support, managers, and even customers quickly find the right information, right now. Here are a few examples of how Swiftype can help your teams today:

  • Swiftype helps sales teams be more productive in their jobs as they work with prospects and customers by presenting information related to their accounts before they’ve even searched for it.
  • Swiftype helps service and support teams with case deflection by presenting related information to help solve cases faster so they’re not wasting time hunting for or recreating information.
  • Swiftype helps customers find answers before they think of opening a case by connecting content from Communities, Salesforce’s KnowledgeBase, and your company’s internal content repository.  

Best of all, Swiftype isn’t just limited to Salesforce. Our app indexes content across any cloud data source—from Salesforce Clouds to Dropbox to Google Apps and more—and delivers results in a single search experience. And, it takes just days to roll out Swiftype, with no IT development resources needed.

Swiftype for Salesforce also gives you all of the advanced features you’d expect from a leading enterprise search application. Search results are predicted and delivered based on a user’s role, permissions, search behavior, and preferred data sources and objects. Administrators can customize results based on tools and filters. Our dashboard lets you easily monitor and customize the search experience without any technical skills.  Swiftype Analytics help you understand what your employees and customers are searching for and how to make them more productive. And there’s so much more!

Come find us in the AppExchange and learn why those who’ve tried us love us!

Your Search for Love Love for Search Starts Here

On Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to be bitter if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Searching for data over a stack of different cloud technologies (Salesforce, Dropbox, G Suite, etc) is like hitting the bars every weekend, hoping your soulmate walks up beside you and asks, what’s your sign?

Sure, you might get lucky, but chances are at the end of the night you’ll be left sifting through irrelevant results and looking for your match in all the wrong places.

We just launched the world’s best wingman for your cloud technology suite. Using AI technologies, Swiftype Enterprise Search understands context — we get that it’s not just about what you say, but how you say it.

We’ve married artificial intelligence with our industry-leading algorithm, to make indexing content across disparate cloud data sources effortless. Employees get the information they need, when and where they need it.

Stop settling. Get Swiftype Enterprise Search and fall in love with your cloud technologies again.

Introducing AI-Powered Enterprise Search

User experience continues to be the driving force behind technology, and our expectations as consumers are growing every day. Just look at any successful app on your phone —- from Uber to Instagram — and it’s clear that a refined user experience is very important to those businesses. We’re also in a time where AI is beginning to make a measurable impact on our lives — most notably when it comes to Search. Whether you are asking Siri a question or searching the web for a restaurant menu, we as consumers are again coming to expect the technologies we consume to exhibit increasingly complex levels of machine intelligence. Despite this, the technologies we utilize in our professional lives have remained mostly unchanged, and today they stand in stark contrast to the experiences we enjoy elsewhere.

Think about how often you sit in front of your computer thinking “is there something that already exists that could help me right now?”  Most people will give search a try, scroll through a few results, ask a couple of colleagues, but eventually give up and embark on creating something from scratch. Searching through all the data you need to do your job has never been easy, but today’s employees face an even greater challenge because the work they do gets scattered across a multitude of popular software platforms — from Google to Dropbox to Salesforce. At Swiftype, we believe this makes enterprise search for modern businesses a much more complex and important problem than ever before.

Today, we’re excited to announce a new product that addresses this problem head-on: Swiftype Enterprise Search. By integrating artificial intelligence with our industry leading search technology, Swiftype Enterprise Search is a powerful new way for employees to seamlessly access the data they need, from any device, across the many applications their jobs require. Our new platform will bridge the gap between the tools we use at work and the expectations we’ve developed from our consumer experiences.

We’re excited to show you more and invite you to sign up for a free 7-Day Trial of Swiftype Enterprise Search.  We’re confident that it will transform the way you and your employees search and work.  Read more about how it works here and start connecting!

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On the Search: St. Mary’s University Implements Swiftype

On the Search: Elaine Shannon Web Developer & User Interface Specialist

What kind of challenges with search did you face before Swiftype?

One of the biggest challenges we hoped to solve with a new search tool was the ability to search across multiple domains. Over the years we have created many websites, both internal and public-facing, and there was no good way to search across them. It seems like an easy problem to solve, but on our main platform, we didn’t have a tool that could handle results from more than one website.

We also had a hard time making sure search results were relevant. As soon as we installed Swiftype, we started spending time customizing results. Users don’t need to sift through the thousands of pages and documents we’ve indexed across all these sites, they just need the top handful of results.

What were your “must-haves” for search during your evaluation?

The most important factor for us was building a search engine that spanned multiple websites on multiple domains. We also wanted to be able to have better control over search results. We can’t always change our content to match searchers’ intentions — for example, we don’t call our residence halls “dorms” — so being able to set up synonyms and custom result sets at an affordable price point sold us on Swiftype.

In what creative ways have you used Swiftype to improve your search?

Students don’t always know what major they want to pursue, so it’s not always easy for them to browse through a university website and find a program they want to commit to. We thought it might make it easier to decide if we set up a list of interests and linked those to related programs. So, we built a dedicated search tool. If you’re interested in art, you can type that in and be presented with five different program options that match that interest.

Our program page used to be a long list of everything we offered, and we found that site visitors didn’t stay on that page very long. Now, we offer a combination of options — you can search by interest, or you can filter through programs by degree or by school, and we’ve found that 34% of visitors are now using the Search by Interest tool and immediately finding what they’re looking for.

How are you making ongoing adjustments to your relevancy model?

I check on the dashboard weekly, even if it is just a quick glance. If there is anything glaring, like a popular search that’s not returning any results, or a search result set that’s not getting any clicks, we’ll quickly update those results. Otherwise I try to make a focused effort once a quarter to go through our data more deeply and customize our results to provide a better visitor experience.

We also build out content as needed for empty search results. A fun example of this is we didn’t have anything on our mascot for a while, so that was an easy one to add.

What kind of success have you seen since improving your search with Swiftype?

Search is one of the most popular ways to navigate our website. We’ve heard a lot of positive feedback on both our main engine (which searches cross-domain, so you can find the main site, the law school, the bookstore, and the intranet all in one engine) and our Search by Interest engine.

For us, the gold standard of conversion is when a visitor applies for admission, but prospective students are a long sales cycle and visit our sites multiple times before they take that step. We know that registering for a campus visit is a high indicator of a user’s likelihood to apply, and we can track those metrics and how site search has impacted them to date.

Like any tool, there was a bit of a learning curve when we first set up Swiftype. We had to learn which factors impacted the search results most — whether it be a headline, title, or page content. Now that we’ve had more than a year to tweak results, we’ve found a good balance and are serving our visitors more relevant results, which keeps them on the site longer.

Questions about your Swiftype installation? Our Support Team has answers.

Congrats on your Swiftype implementation! You’ve already started delivering a powerful site search experience for your visitors. Trust me, they’ll thank you for it.

We’ve been listening to our community and we’re here to answer 4 of the most commonly asked questions from Swiftype customers.

1. Why do my results all look the same?

When Swiftype’s crawler, lovingly called “Swiftbot”, crawls a domain, there’s potential for repetitive template elements to be indexed with the page body. Most notably the navigation/header, sidebars, and/or footer content. With all the great, meaningful content encased in template noise, the quality of the customer’s search experience can be negatively affected.

For example, Apple.com has these elements on their website:

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Since these elements appear on all pages, when their site it indexed, in the Swiftype dashboard, it looks like this:

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You can easily clean this up by using our Content Inclusion/Exclusion tag recognition. By adding Swiftype specific meta tags (data-swiftype-index=’true’) to the HTML container(s) that holds the primary page content, it’s possible to instruct Swiftbot to index only those sections of the page body.

The best practice is to set the main content container to true. If you want to further refine what’s indexed from that section, you can add additional tags with a value of false to containers nested within.

Example

<body>
    <nav>Blah Blah blah</nav>
    <div id="main_content" data-swiftype-index='true'>
         <p>All of my sweet, sweet 5/7 content is going to go in here.</p>
             <div id="ad_widget" data-swiftype-index='false'>This bit really isn't as important which is why I'm going to add a 'false' exclusion parameter.</div>
         <p>This bit will be indexed though, because it’s still within the ‘main_content’ div that’s set to 'true'. Everything outside of the ‘main_content’ div container will be ignored, yo.</p>
             </div>
    <footer>Copyright Attempting to Sound Official© 2016</footer>
          </body>
        

2. How do I prevent Swiftype from indexing certain pages of my site?

For crawler based engines there are three approaches you can take to determine what pages are indexed from your domains: URL path rules, a customized robots.txt file, and robots meta tags.

Path Rules:

From the Manage > Domains section of the Swiftype customer dashboard, there’s an option for each domain that will allow you to ‘Manage Rules’ for that domain. From here, you can define specific paths to include (Whitelist) or exclude (Blacklist) when crawling your site.

Examples of common cases are the exclusion of /category/ paths for ecommerce sites, so the focus is exclusively on crawling product pages. For other CMS based sites, you’d likely see paths to login or administrative pages excluded, as well as dynamically generated content, like pages based on tags or categories. More examples and tips on using this feature can be found here.

Robots.txt Files:

A robots.txt file is a plaintext document that you can upload to the root directory of your website’s domain. With the robots.txt file, you can define URL path exclusion rules for all or only specific web crawlers to follow. Many websites will commonly have a robots.txt file already in place, and it’s presence is one of the first things Swiftbot will look for when starting a crawl process.

Check out our Robots.txt documentation to learn how you can leverage this with Swiftype.

Robots meta tags:

If you need to exclude content in a more precise way (page by page or page template basis), we recommend and fully support robots meta tags. We adhere to the robots tag standard that’s a companion to the aforementioned robots.txt file.

This means that we’ll pass over any page we attempt to crawl that contains a meta tag:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

You can also configure these tags so they only apply to Swiftype’s web crawler:

<meta name="st:robots" content="noindex">

Similar to the robots.txt file, meta tags are configured and managed outside of the Swiftype dashboard via their webhost/CMS.

You guessed it. We’ve got documentation of robots meta tags support here.

3. “Why are pages missing from my search engine?”

Here are 3 reasons why Swiftbot, our crawler, may not be able to locate and index pages on your site:

A. We’re unable to find the content because it’s not linked to from other pages.

When spidering a domain, the Crawler will examine all links within a page to discover URLs that are part of the domain submitted to the engine and also adhere to any configured path rules (see question 2 above). If content exists within a site that is not linked to from another known page, within the site’s navigation menu, or listed on a domain’s sitemap, chances are Swiftbot will not be able to locate it.

One of the best ways to ensure our Crawler is able to index all desired content is to include a current sitemap. Sitemaps are files that are typically stored at the root of a URL domain and contain a list of links to pages on their site(s) that are available for crawling. Our documentation for sitemap support and installation notes can be found here.

B. Improperly configured canonical URL elements/tags.

A canonical link element is often used like a meta tag, in order to prevent duplicate content indexing issues by pointing web crawlers to the preferred (or canonical) URL version of a web page. A scenario that can occur is that a customer’s site content is configured with static canonical tags that all point to the root domain URL.

Due to this misconfiguration, even if the crawler finds links to all the content on the site, it is being given instructions that all pages on the site are another version of the home page. With that directive in place, only the home page will be indexed. If the customer re-configures or removes those elements, a recrawl will be able to index their content successfully.

For best practices on canonical elements, you can refer to Google’s documentation here.

C. The content is being excluded by one of the methods noted in question 2.

Just as with misconfigured canonical link elements, misconfiguration or conflicts in a customer’s path or robots rules can cause pages to be skipped over.

4. My site is password protected / behind a firewall / hosted on our company’s intranet.

It is possible for Swiftbot to crawl secured content, but you’ll first need to make minor configuration changes to your web or intranet site’s host server.

All Swiftype accounts have an account specific User-Agent ID string. By whitelisting this identification string with your server, you can allow, or disallow, crawlers access to your site’s content.

Swiftype has a unique security feature where we encode our crawler’s User-Agent with a secure key that is uniquely tied to your Swiftype account. This approach enables you to limit access solely to Swiftype’s crawler, and is an extra level of security many customers enjoy.

If you’re interested in using the Swiftbot web crawler to access your secured content, please contact our support team and we’ll be happy to supply you with your account specific User-Agent ID string.

Hopefully these answers to commonly asked questions will point you in the right direction. If you ever have questions, suggestions, or feedback, you can always email [email protected] to reach our team. We’re happy to help!

On the Search: Roanoke College Implements Swiftype

On the Search: Michael Santoroski, Director of Web and Software Development

Roanoke College was ranked 2nd on the 2014 U.S. News and World Report list of Up-and-Coming National Liberal Arts Colleges. As the Director of Web and Software Development, Michael Santoroski was tasked with improving the college’s site functionality, after a site redesign. The initial search solution was not returning the desired results and with so much on the line after a complete site overhaul, search was critical to help visitors find their way around a newly designed website.

Today we discussed the ease of implementing Swiftype and the biggest impact it has had on both their internal and public-facing sites.

What kind of challenges with search did you face before Swiftype?

Roanoke is a small college with about 2,000 students.  Like many colleges, we don’t have the resources to have the latest technology, but we needed to improve our on-site search experience because our site serves such a wide range of audiences. From prospective students, current students, faculty, and alumni – search is often the fastest way for them to find answers to their questions.

We were using Google’s Custom Search Engine, but it was no longer meeting our needs. The tool wasn’t flexible enough for our site and wasn’t producing the results we expected.

What were your “must-haves” for search during your evaluation?

Two things were really critical for us. Weighted search and being able to rank search results was key for us. Secondly, the type-ahead feature was really important to me. It just made searching so much better when Google first implemented it for the web.

With a limited IT team, I was also looking for a solution that would be easy to implement. I like that it’s a crawler-based solution. I just had to add our domain and set up probably took less than an hour to get it to a functioning state. Swiftype has really made installation as unobtrusive as possible.

What has surprised you the most with your new deployment?

The number of emails to our web support has been reduced to almost none. 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.

What new things did you find readers searching?

We had one instance where a faculty member told me she couldn’t find the academic catalog. I was in a meeting, so I went in and switched the search results around a little bit, but then she emailed me two days later and said “Oh, I found my problem, I was spelling it like British catalogue – with “gue”. So I just added that as a synonym and it’s fixed either way now.

That kind of on the fly customization really helps us keep our site search results relevant.

What kind of success have you seen since launching the improved search with Swiftype?

For higher education, it’s a little harder to quantify our success metrics in relation to site-search. It is all about ease of use. Swiftype does have an engagement module for that, but I haven’t really gotten to play with those. What we end up seeing in the admissions process is that a student comes back to the site over multiple sessions, and when they come to the site, each time they have a different objective.

On the flip side, you also have alumni who receive emails, come to the site looking for alumni events and rely on search. Ultimately those are visitors you want making donations to the college, so each type of visitor has different success metrics.

Higher Ed websites are difficult. The administration wants all kinds of content on the site, but students want something else, so there is a balance in terms of what information to show.

I think in a way, search has solved that problem. It’s one of those things that works great and I don’t worry about it too much. It just does exactly what I need it to do and doesn’t make me spend a lot of time fighting with it. When I’m in a meeting and someone says “I tried to search for this thing and I didn’t find it”, I can just go in there and easily make it happen. Make that be the top search result and it’s super easy to do, even I can’t screw it up.

Swiftype Partner Spotlight: The Web Development Group

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Swiftype is not just a solution for end businesses, but also a partner to many other companies who navigate site search solutions on behalf of their clients. Today we’re introducing The Web Development Group (WDG™), a full-service digital agency based out of Washington D.C., who has been able to leverage Swiftype technology to effectively and efficiently deploy search solutions for their clients. I had the privilege of sitting down with Ab Emam, their Agency Director to discuss the challenges they face as a business and how they’ve been able to make great strides for their clients when it comes to optimizing on-site search.

The Web Development Group

The Web Development Group works in a wide range of verticals, from associations, foundations, and nonprofits to government entities, higher education, and Fortune 1000 businesses.  When clients sign on with WDG for a website redesign, it becomes critical to determine a robust site search plan at the beginning of a project due to the amount of content the typical WDG client normally houses on their site.

The Web Development Group offers both Web Design & Development services as well as Digital Marketing Consulting.  Partnering with Swiftype has allowed them to offer a robust site search solution that is not only easy for their developers to implement but has SEO and usability benefits as well. Initially, there was concern that developers would prefer to develop their own site search solution, but WDG has learned developers have become some of the software’s biggest fans for its ease of installation. WDG has since dedicated several developers who are completely knowledgeable with the implementation and functionality of Swiftype’s solution.

When a company is considering a site redesign it becomes an opportune time to evaluate their existing site search functionality. Many site platforms have built-in solutions or basic add-ons like Google Custom Search. But with such limited customizations available, WDG has chosen to work strategically with Swiftype on behalf of their clients to introduce the advantages a customizable solution offers within the initial exploratory phase of a project. In turn, Swiftype is able to provide comprehensive support to answer technical questions and help WDG implement successful site search functionality.

Customer Success

The City of Alexandria recently relied on the expertise of WDG for a site redesign, which included a new site search solution. As a government entity, the City’s site is home to a significant amount of content that needed to be easily accessible to end-users. While navigation elements remain a prominent feature of the site, an easy-to-use and efficient search feature greatly improved the new site’s usability. The site features a prominent search bar within its redesign as the site needed to deliver content efficiently to a wide range of users – tourists, residents, and local businesses. All these audiences have unique needs and by implementing a prominent search bar as a way of navigating through the site, AlexandriaVA.Gov is able to quickly serve up relevant content.

WTOP.com has also worked with The Web Development Group for a site redesign and, as one of Washington DC’s top news sources, a robust site search was critical for them due to the high volume of content published on a daily basis. Swiftype’s solution is a seamless integration for publisher sites where website managers can adjust search results to feature the newest or breaking content, as well as prioritize sections of their site based on selected keywords. The Swiftype product dashboard also provides publishers with insights into the keywords their audience is looking for which can help to shape news stories that haven’t even been written yet.

These partnerships are just that – true partnerships that allow for clients to benefit from the mutual efforts of expert digital teams. By leveraging the talents from both Swiftype and The Web Development Group, our clients stand to benefit from robust search capabilities with the potential to see exponential returns.

On the Search: Monetizing Search in a whole new way

Search has changed the way our customers do business, and we are on a mission to communicate the value of it. “On the Search” is a new series to help uncover the good, bad, and ugly of what many companies face with search today–and how Swiftype can help.

EOMedia

On the Search:  Travis Clark, EO Media Group

Travis Clark was in a search bind.

As the digital development manager for EO Media Group, Clark needed to improve their search results—and fast. With only three weeks before launching a new ad marketplace platform, he was on the brink.

Here, he discusses the challenges and ultimate success of moving from a “black hole” to new business and revenue opportunities. And it’s all thanks to a transformation through search.

What kind of challenges with search did you face?

We are a small publishing company with 11 newspapers throughout the Pacific Northwest. We built some things with newspaper vendors and used WordPress, but the search for both was awful. Plugins didn’t work very well for us either.

I worked on building a new ad marketplace that is now running on the Capital Press site. We were looking to hit hundreds of thousands of searchable bits of content, and nothing we tried could handle that for us. It was very frustrating.

As a small team, we couldn’t say, “Okay, let’s throw a bunch of money at a developer to build something from scratch.” I wasn’t sure what we were going to do. Then Swiftype was recommended to us to check out.

What was your “must-have” for search in your new ad marketplaces?

Speed was definitely key. When we found Swiftype, we were able to implement it in just a couple weeks and right before our launch. And it had all the power we had been looking for.

It was also a priority to finally be able to do facet searches. The faceting part is super important because we really need to be able to drill down through the content. Now that we have Swiftype we can’t live without the results ranking. We literally need that to do our business.

What has been most surprising with your new deployment?

Before we pretty much had a black hole. We could track users, page views, and all the normal Google analytics. But we didn’t have any idea what people were actually searching for.

Case in point is our Capital Press site, which is an agriculture publication. We thought we knew the customers for it, but this changed once we started receiving the metrics on search queries from Swiftype.

There are parts of our audience we never knew existed. Now we can take these metrics to new advertisers who wouldn’t think we are a fit for them. Or, on the flipside, go back to old customers with new pitches and the numbers to back it up. We’re so happy with what we have now.

What new things did you find readers searching?

A couple surprising search terms were “Christmas trees” and “livestock.”

Christmas trees as a term starts popping up in the summer and tapers off after Christmas obviously. We didn’t know anyone was looking to our agriculture publication to buy and price the market online.

Our print publication had always sold to the livestock business. But there are also a lot of searches on livestock online, which we didn’t realize. This is a great example of a wide, open market because most of our advertisers for the digital site are not in that industry. We can now outreach to those businesses in our region and show them a market they haven’t hit yet.

What kind of success have you seen since launching the improved search with Swiftype?

Most telling is that ad revenue has increased 145% since implementing Swiftype. We’ve also seen some really incredible results with an increase in users (43%), sessions (17%) and new (46%) and returning (31%) users. This tells me that the new platform is attracting more people and more often.

The ability to refine the platform and begin seeing classified advertising more like a retail business has been very exciting. We believe powerful search has streamlined our user experience.

We have some really great stories from our customers, too. One has a tractor rental business and, after three months, he had to pull his listings because the booking was so far out. He switched it to used parts he sells and had to pull that because he got low on inventory. It’s pretty amazing.

Meet Zhen Liu: Got Questions? We have Instant Answers!

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We live in a world where the solution to nearly any problem can be solved instantly. When you need the answer to a question, there’s Google, or Siri. If your refrigerator is empty at dinnertime, you have Postmates or Munchery to the rescue. So when you need help for a product you purchased or service you subscribe to, waiting is not an option. As a Customer Success Manager at Swiftype, I help our clients build upon the success of their own customer service departments through the business of instant answers.

Many of Swiftype’s customers use our search software for their Knowledge Base. Knowledge Bases can vary from a FAQ or Help section provided for end consumers as a first stop in the customer support chain, to internal documentation for developers using a product. No matter what the final application looks like, help centers are becoming an integrated part of the product experience today.

Customers are searching now more than ever
Thanks to Google, we’ve all been trained to search. Customers and employees alike expect a self-help channel to service themselves prior to getting on the phone for support. In fact a Forrester survey shows that for the first time in the survey’s history, customers of all ages are using the FAQ pages on a company’s website more often than speaking with an agent on the phone.

This change in user behavior has generated a significant need for our customers to have not only a robust Knowledge Base that they themselves can navigate and find answers within quickly, but the ability for their end customers to quickly search those databases and find answers to their questions instantly.

The need for instant answers is not confined to one industry or solution. Speed and accuracy are critical in a search solution within knowledge bases across the board.

Providing Instant Answers Three Ways
Customer Support teams are using Swiftype as a means to aggregate content in one location. A customer of ours has content that sits in multiple subdomains of their site for developers, designers, their sales team, within their blog, training center and help center. As each individual portal grew, it became increasingly difficult to quickly find the information you were looking for. They’ve successfully leveraged Swiftype to search across all content types, creating a one-stop locale for all internal users when they are unsure of where to locate content.

Another way Swiftype has been implemented by customers internally is to better support call center teams. We are the internal search engine for a global enterprise organization with many call center teams who need to be able to answer questions for their end customers quickly and accurately. If decreasing call time and increasing customer satisfaction are critical metrics for your team, consider ways to make your employees more successful with a customizable search solution.

Lastly, we’ve even been leveraged for instant answers before your customer is even actively searching. Swiftype results are shown to users in a right-hand drawer that slides in when users are in their dashboard for our customer’s product, suggesting answers that are related to the page they are on.

Maintaining a best-in class customer support system is critical to businesses. Knowledge bases are a key component to providing an excellent experience. Gone are the days where your customer is willing to wait 10 minutes on hold with a customer service representative, and another 20 minutes to explain their issue, and hopefully receive a solution. The faster you can provide an answer to your customer, the happier and more satisfied they leave.  And I’m in the business of making happy customers.

3 Tips to Increase Website Conversions with Site Search

As marketers, we’re always looking for ways to tweak our website to improve conversion rates. As a fairly new member of the Swiftype team, I’ve thought a lot about how Swiftype search could have helped me on past projects. I always thought Google was our only option for site search, or that something custom would need to be built. Little did I know there are amazing tools that help marketers focus on marketing without needing extensive IT support. Do you know if visitors are finding the results they expect when they type into the search box on your site? What results are they getting? What if you could control which results they see.

Improve your site conversion rate in three easy steps, just by optimizing one seemingly small, but mighty feature on your site – the search box.

Actually deliver the results your visitors are looking for. How frustrating can it be to find what you’re looking for on certain sites? If your site is returning poor results, you’re leaving your visitors frustrated and unlikely to return. Teams spend a ton of time optimizing site navigation and structure for usability, but your visitors may still be aimlessly clicking through pages looking for what they want. Look for a search solution where you can customize your results or let visitors filter what they’re looking for.  Take control of key information that already exists on your site, and guarantee that your most recent content is included in search results thanks to real-time indexing.

Pin your best performing offers on top. Consider what offers are best at driving meaningful conversions on your site. You can pin these to the top of your search results pages to drive more traffic into that content.  What if your awesome product demos always showed up at the top of search results? Or your best selling products?  Give your customers what they’re looking for, right at their fingertips. You know what converts best on your site, why make it hard for your visitors to find the good stuff.

Create the content of the future. Depending on the solution you’ve used in the past, you may not have been able to track your customer’s search queries, or what results pages they clicked on.  Wonder no more, with a complete dashboard of actionable insights. When you know what your customers are looking for, you can build content or products around the missing pieces.  Your content marketing team will thank you, and your customers will leave your site with the information they need.

As a marketer in charge of driving improvements to our conversion rates, I know I’m always looking for new ways to optimize our site experience for our visitors. Site search is so often overlooked in exchange for testing landing pages or navigation structure, but with the right tools you can make search have a meaningful impact on your conversion rate. Finding a tool that allows you to be flexible and have total control of the results your site displays goes a long way and in the end will help you generate more leads.

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