Why is Website Search So Hard To Do Well?

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I’m starting to see a lot more companies working on improving their website search. It’s always made sense to me, but for some reason, most companies haven’t focused on it. But when you think about, someone who is already on your site who is willing to search within your site might be a lot better prospect than someone else. So, if you have a site search engine that your customers are disappointed in, why might that be happening?

The first problems is that people often search after they have failed to find something through navigation. So, they are already a little frustrated before they even start.

But it’s more than that. If you think about it, they are often searching for information that is harder to find–that’s why they fail when they are navigating in the first place.

But the biggest issue is expectations. Google sets the searcher’s expectations sky-high because searchers think they are good at search and Google has the comparatively easy job of finding good results among hundreds or thousands of sites all trying to create the right answer. On your website, only one team–maybe just one person–is responsible for that page on your site. It’s unlikely that you have several really good answers for each search result the way you do on the Internet.

Maybe the expectations we have get in the way, too. We website owners expect that when we install a search engine, it should just work. But there is a lot more to search than just the search engine. You need to tune your ranking algorithm, measure your search results, align your content with popular searches, and dozen more steps.

If your company is unhappy with your website search results, Alex Holt and I offer Biznology Jumpstart Workshops for companies just like yours to turbo-charge your site search.

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