Unlock the full potential of your website's search experience with faceted search, the powerful tool that will revolutionize how your users find what they're looking for!
Faceted search enables website users to easily filter and refine their search results based on specific criteria, or facets. By providing these facets as filters, website owners can significantly improve their website's search experience, making it easier for users to find what they're looking for quickly and efficiently. Only 40% of online retailers offer faceted search, so adding it to your site can boost your conversion rates and make you a lot more popular with online shoppers.
In this article, we'll delve into how faceted search works, explore different types of search facets, and reveal the best practices for unlocking superior search performance on your website.
Faceted search: how it works
When a user performs a search, the search engine analyzes the data and metadata associated with the items being searched to create a list of search results. Facets are then generated based on the available attributes of the search results.
Users can then use these facets to narrow down their search results and find what they are looking for more easily. For example, if a user searches for "running shoes" on a website that has implemented faceted search, they might see facets for brand, price range, color, and size. The user can then select one or more of these facets to refine their search results.
Types of search facets
Faceted search offers users the ability to refine their search results based on multiple criteria, or facets, which can greatly enhance the browsing experience. Here are the most common types of search facets to help you better understand their purpose and relevance in improving the search experience on your website.
1. Category facets
Category facets allow users to filter search results by category. These facets are particularly useful in e-commerce websites, where users can narrow down their search within specific categories, such as clothing, electronics, or home and garden.
2. Price range facets
Price range facets enable users to filter search results according to specific price ranges. By setting a minimum and maximum price, users can view products that fall within their budget, making it easier for them to find items they can afford.
3. Brand facets
Brand facets allow users to filter search results based on the brand of a product. This feature is especially helpful for users who have a preference for specific brands or want to compare products from different manufacturers.
4. Color facets
Color facets help users filter search results according to the color of an item. This is particularly useful for customers who have a preference for specific colors or are looking to match an item with their existing belongings.
5. Size facets
Size facets enable users to filter search results based on the size of an item, such as clothing or footwear sizes. This makes it easier for users to find products that fit their requirements without having to browse through numerous items that don't meet their size needs.
6. Rating facets
Rating facets help users filter search results by the average rating of a product. This feature allows users to focus on highly-rated items and make more informed purchasing decisions based on the experiences of other customers.
7. Availability facets
Availability facets let users filter search results based on the availability of a product. This helps users avoid the disappointment of finding an item they like, only to discover it is out of stock.
Best faceted search practices to unlock superior search performance
Incorporating faceted search into your website is a crucial step towards enhancing the user experience and search performance. To maximize the benefits of this powerful feature, it's essential to follow a set of best practices that cater to users' needs and expectations.
Let’s delve into the best practices for unlocking superior search performance with faceted search on your website -
1. Use relevant and prioritized facets
Understand user behavior and preferences to determine the most frequently used and effective facets. Prioritize these facets, placing them at the top of the list for easy access. Grouping related facets together can enhance usability, allowing users to quickly locate the filters they need. Periodically review the relevance of the facets based on user interaction data to keep the facet list updated and optimized.
2. Balance the number of facets and provide clear labels
Strike a balance between the number of facets and their usefulness, ensuring that users are not overwhelmed. Each facet should have clear and descriptive labels, making it easy for users to understand their purpose. Tooltips, explanations, or visual cues can provide additional clarity and help users navigate the facets effectively.
3. Consistent design and multiple selections
Ensure a seamless user experience by aligning the faceted search interface with the rest of the website's design elements, such as typography, colors, and spacing. Allow users to select multiple facets simultaneously, which will enable them to refine their search effectively. Providing an "All" option or a "Clear all" button helps users reset their selections quickly and efficiently.
4. Mobile and desktop experience
Optimize the faceted search interface for both mobile and desktop devices. Utilize responsive design and take into account the limited screen space available on mobile devices to provide a smooth browsing experience across different platforms. Simplify navigation and touch interactions for mobile users to make the facet selection process easier.
5. Show the number of results and avoid dead ends
Display the number of search results that match each facet selection, helping users make informed choices and understand the impact of their selections. This also helps users avoid dead ends by providing them with an indication of the results they can expect. Implement a "No results found" message with suggestions or alternative search terms when no results match the selected facets.
6. Progressive disclosure and collapsible sections
For websites with a large number of facets, using progressive disclosure techniques can improve usability. Show the most important facets first, and allow users to expand or collapse sections to view more options. This approach helps maintain a clean and organized interface while still providing users with access to the full range of available facets.
In conclusion, implementing faceted search on your website can greatly enhance the user experience and help visitors find what they're looking for more efficiently. By following search best practices and taking into account factors such as relevance, design consistency, and mobile optimization, you can unlock superior search performance and increase user satisfaction.
With site search playing a pivotal role in driving user experiences and product discovery, more businesses are now seeking AI and Machine Learning (ML) powered solutions like Zevi to elevate their search performance. To experience it for your business, book your free demo with Zevi today.