Can people easily find the website content that they’re after? I’m not talking about in Google or Bing but when they’re on your site. Most visitors to sites these days are looking for information, whether that’s advice, researching and comparing products or keeping up to date with the news. They’re going to get frustrated if they can’t find what they’re looking for and will probably just find an alternative site that gives them what they want, a lot quicker.
Did you know the average person wants to scan a page for what they want in under 3 seconds? That is not long. They also want minimal clicks to get to their end goal.
With most of us well adapted to using keyword searches to find, well anything, it’s an obvious option within a site to look for a search box and use that instead of trawling through navigation bars. So how searchable is your content?
I’ve been on many a site that doesn’t return well matched search results to my keywords – most recently I was trying to search through products to add to a wedding list and it was a horrendous experience because it just didn’t work. I very nearly went to another provider but they were saved by their unique product portfolio. You might not be so lucky.
Most website CMS systems will use keywords in your headings and page titles to pull back search results, so make sure they are relevant and not just using the same page title in the metadata throughout the whole site (very bad for SEO anyway).
In the first place, just do a couple of searches in your search bar and see what comes back – you may get a nasty surprise. If you’re not sure what is a popular search term for your site, look in your Google Analytics and it will show them (if your search isn’t set up it’s easy to do through their help section). This information will also show up what content people are struggling to find so you may want to improve navigation – especially if they’re pages that contribute to conversions and sales.
This is all really easy to implement stuff and has a high impact on how nice an experience your visitors are having so make it happen!