Have you ever visited a website and struggled to find what you were looking for? Did you have to hunt around the website for several minutes before finally locating what you needed?
It’s a frustrating experience – and if your users experience the same issues, they’ll bounce and you are bound to lose out on sales and potential customers.
Optimizing site search is essential for any eCommerce website – site search is crucial to the overall user experience. The efficiency of your store’s site search determines how well and fast your users can find what they want.
Just how important is site search?
A majority of online shoppers expect to find what they’re looking for within three clicks. Research from Akamai shows that a 1-second delay in page response can cause a 7% reduction in conversions, while a 2-second delay in web page load times increases bounce rates by 103%.
So how do you measure site search efficiency and optimize it for success?
That's where site search metrics come in.
Understanding and utilizing site search metrics is crucial for the success of your online store – these will help you identify areas where optimization could be improved, allowing your users to quickly find what they want with minimal clicks.
But what are site search metrics, and how can you use them to your advantage?
Site search metrics are a set of data that measure how your customers interact with your site’s internal search engine – they can give you valuable insights into how users search for products on your website, such as how effective your website’s navigation and on-page elements are at helping users find the information they need.
Let’s take a look at some critical site search metrics and how to get the most out of them.
6 critical metrics to optimize right away
1. Percentage of site visitors using search
What is it? If your users aren’t even using your site search – there's a big problem.
This metric shows the percentage of users who use your site’s search function during their visit. It can give you an idea of how reliant your users are on your site search to find what they’re looking for.
What does it indicate? A low percentage of users using search indicates that your website’s navigation is not intuitive or that your on-page elements are not effectively leading users to the search bar.
To optimize: Consider improving your website’s navigation and on-page elements. Experiment with the search bar sizing, design, and location, so that the search bar is easy to find.
2. Searches per search visit
What is it? This metric measures the average number of searches a user performs during a single visit to your website to find products or information during each visit.
It shows how often your users have to refine their searches in order to find what they’re looking for.
What does it indicate? A high number of searches per session could indicate that your search function is not returning the most relevant results or that users are having difficulty finding what they’re looking for on your website.
To optimize: Your users shouldn’t have to make multiple searches to get the results they want.
Improve the relevance and accuracy of your search function, and implement facets and filters to help users narrow down their search results.
Add weighted search terms, and make sure your search engine can handle synonyms to improve the accuracy of your search function. Additionally, regularly updating your product and content metadata will ensure that your search function is able to match user queries to the most relevant results.
3. Search exit rate
What is it? Also known as the ‘search abandonment rate’, it measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website after performing an unsuccessful query.
What does it indicate?
This metric helps track how satisfied your users are with their searches – if users keep leaving after running queries, then it suggests that they aren’t finding what they want, or are not satisfied with your products.
To optimize: Improve search accuracy, and add internal links and related content suggestions to keep users engaged and on your website. You can also consider improving the layout and content on your product pages to better guide users towards making a purchase or taking other desired actions.
Additionally, regularly analyzing and testing different search function configurations can help you identify any areas for improvement and optimize your search function for success.
4. Click-Through Rate
What is it? This metric shows the percentage of users who click on a search result after performing a search on your website. It can give you an idea of how effective your search function is at leading users to the desired information or products.
What does it indicate? A low click-through rate could indicate that your search results are not effectively leading users to the desired pages or that the search results are not clearly organized.
To optimize: Improve the layout and design of your search results page.
5. Average order value (AOV)
What is it? This metric shows the AOV of users. It can give you an idea of how effective your search function is at helping users find and purchase higher-value items.
What does it indicate? A higher average order value for users who use your search function could indicate that your search function is effective at helping users find and purchase higher-value items.
To optimize: Consider promoting higher margin items to the top of the results page or upselling and cross-selling based on user data.
6. Popular search terms
What is it? This metric measures the most frequently used search terms on your website.
What does it indicate? It can give you an idea of the types of products or information that users are most interested in and can help you optimize your website’s content and product offerings to better meet their needs.
These metrics can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your site search and help you make data-driven decisions on how to improve the user experience.
By regularly monitoring and analyzing these site search metrics, you can make informed decisions on how to improve the user experience and increase conversions on your website.
Don't underestimate the power of a good site search – it can make all the difference in keeping customers on your site and coming back for more. With Zevi – an AI-powered search engine - you can ensure your site search is always hyper-fast. Zevi’s advanced ML- driven search and discovery functionalities display the most relevant search results to ensure a frictionless shopping experience for your users. Contact us for a free demo today