7 Ways to Get More Conversions Out of Google Site Search

It's About How You Use It

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The future of search engine optimization is uncertain right now. Google is experimenting with personalization, and the need for quality, engaging, and usable content is becoming more important than ever.

One part of a site’s usability is the ease with which a user can find desired content. A common way to make this easier, is site search, which Google itself happily provides.

Google Site Search List

Google Site Search is nothing new, but it is how you use it that really makes the difference. Google itself has provided some design advice for use of Google Site Search to capitalize on its potential. Google Software Engineer Nicholas Weininger offers the following tips:

1. Make your search box easy to find
2. Make sure search is always available
3. Customize the appearance of search to fit your site
4. Experiment
5. Be open to feedback
6. Learn what users are looking for
7. Let visitors know who’s got your back

The first one is pretty self-explanatory. With regards to the second one, making sure search is always available, make sure you have a search box on every page of your site. Don’t make them have to hunt around to find it again, because they might just choose to leave the site and pursue what they’re looking for by other means.

Mark Nicholson of Adobe talks about the benefits of Google’s Site Search

Number 3, customizing the appearance, means that your search box doesn’t have to look just like Google. It should flow well with the rest of your site design, but tying in number 7, a "powered by Google" logo next to the search bar might not be a bad idea, because people know and trust Google as being a helpful search engine.

Numbers 4,5, and 6 really all go hand in hand. Sometimes it pays to experiment and find out what works best. Ask for feedback on your site search. Dissatisfied users will usually be happy to let you know what they don’t like, and these are the opinions you should really value, because they can help you see where you need to make improvements. I delved into this concept a little more in this SmallBusinessNewz article.

"To help get users where they’re going, it’s always good to provide a ‘Didn’t find what you were looking for?’ link at the bottom of your search results to allow your site visitors to contact you," says Weininger. "Additionally, Google Analytics can help you track what users are searching for at a macro-level, and what they are and aren’t finding in the process." You can use that information in your efforts to optimize your content for your own internal search engine.

In the long run, usability can ultimately contribute to conversions. You are likely to have a lower bounce rate if your site is more user-friendly. And when users can easily find what they are looking for, they are more likely to convert. For more on effective ways to use Site Search, check out this article.

7 Ways to Get More Conversions Out of Google Site Search
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  • http://sugicloud.com Internet Marketing Indonesia

    Nica article, I’ve tried to put that into my social site but the result ain’t come yet. Maybe I should have more patient…

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

    Good info, will try a couple things you suggested.

  • J. City

    My site ( http://www.jewelry-city-and-more.com) has it’s own search box and it’s quite effective. However, it might consider adding Google’s. Every little bit helps, right?

  • http://www.laughteratwork.com Ejvind

    I thought it was enough to have Google index the site for search, but you have shown me that it is also a good idea to have the indexing and search on my own website. Thanks.

  • http://www.blackhatseoworld.com BlackHatForum

    I personally think your first three points are probably the best but the others may help and may be worth trying out..

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  • Guest

    I have a meeting with a very old client / happy camper with about 130 pages for e-comm (and about 30 brands)justifying the $100 annual fee for a google-search-box and then trying to integrate it seamlessly into his existing site which is a site that has header information already.

    Tough to to re-work cleanly and easily. If it were a new site would be simple.

    The fee seems reasonable, and if it leads to more conversions and better usability for a web audience it should be a worthwhile project.

    I am going to push it as an experiment. Of course in this economy less clicking to purchase is always smart. Often as web developers we create the menus for big sites with sub menus, and so forth. Often I hear from average users (some with bad eyes) that the sub menu system often is a pain when they mis-cursor a sub-menu and need to re-rollover main menu.

    Using a google site search option, a good site map, and good menu should help ALL users find a faster way to buy from an e-comm site. I am going to be pushing it!

    After testing for 6 months I will know whether it is any better than a “free find” search box with customization and no ads. As long as the no ads policy from google site search is 100% this idea will instill consumer confidence in an old-fart’s opinion.

    Thank you,

    : )

    • http://www.roomfurniturechina.com wholesale bedroom furniture

      That crazy increase in traffic must have helped their organic listings, One thing i have wondered about is the fact that twitter converts URL’s into Tiny URL’s? Why does it do this and not just make the links ‘no follow’

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

    Its one of those things we might never know…

  • http://www.justchauffeur.co.uk Harry

    We have added all the features, except negative keywords please let me know how should be helpful by adding negative keywords in the campaign.

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