At Inbenta, we seek opportunities to increase conversion rates for our customers. We review e-commerce analytics on a regular basis to ensure our clients are reaching their goals. What always seems to catch our attention is the higher conversion rates created when users use the search engine on the website. In one case with a huge e-commerce retailer, the conversion rate of users was 43% higher than those who didn’t when they used the internal website search to find products.
Large companies like Carrefour in Europe, or Lojas Renner in Brazil are treating their customer service like a real world storefront. They are using internal search software like Inbenta’s to create better customer interaction and faster turnaround times on questions asked. This is leading to improved customer loyalty in addition to higher conversion rates. It’s also leaving them satisfied in how they were treated and creates a higher expectation in customer service that most companies cannot match.
Here are seven important topics that any internal search engine should take into account to improve conversion ratio and website traffic.
1. Search boxes
Put your search box on every single page of your website and make it more visible on the home page. Having a highly accessible search box can be key to getting users to stay on your site.
2. Content clarity
Make your search engine much more efficient with clearly written product descriptions and content in the search results. Titles should contain descriptive and accurate information on what you are selling to help users identify which products are relevant to their search.
Use images with search results. A picture is worth a thousand words. By showing images on the result page, your visitors will find what they’re looking for quicker as a result of an improved website user experience. Images should show colors, configurations and any option that the user can choose from.
Have an “add to cart” option straight from the search engine results page. The objective is to have as few clicks as possible from search to buy: the probability that a user clicks “Buy” right from the search results page is higher when they know exactly what they are looking for.
4. Reviews & ratings
Show reviews and ratings directly on the results page. Shoppers often take the feedback and opinions of other buyers into heavy consideration. Ranks and reviews should be visible right on the search page, as well as a counter of how many reviews a particular product has received.
5. Search technology
Use natural language processing or semantic search technologies: old-fashioned, keyword-based search engines will only display content that contains the words the user typed, not what the user was actually looking for. Inbenta has achieved click-through ratios that are up to 10 times higher than their keyword-based search counterpart, resulting in significantly higher online sales.
6. User-generated SEO
Online marketing managers know that search engine optimization is critical for bringing qualified website traffic to their online businesses. However, optimizing thousands of keywords is time-consuming and nearly impossible. That’s why user-generated SEO is becoming a crucial piece of the overall SEO strategy. Thanks to natural language capabilities, high-converting keywords are found every day.
Use previous users’ search queries to improve your SEO ranking. Technologies like Inbenta can create new, search engine optimized landing pages for long-tail SEO
terms infrequently used by your users.
7. Special Features
Other functionalities like autocomplete, probability-based spell correction, faceted search, and popularity-based suggestions also have a great impact on search conversion rates. The feasibility of some of these functionalities will depend on your particular industry and the sort of products or services you are selling online.
As more and more online marketing directors see internal website search as an intrinsic part of their online strategy, we see natural language search moving from an exclusively-research activity to a main component of the overall user experience.