Is your CMS search driving away visitors?

Drupal, WordPress and Joomla include a search component for your site. So why do you keep hearing so much about transformative insight engines?

We don’t blame you if you didn’t choose your CMS based on its inbuilt search capability. Between the careful deliberations of your UX committee, integrations with your existing marketing tools, and requests from every other department, search didn’t make The List.

Michael Scott having no idea what to doAt the end of the project, your UX designer might have mentioned search. It’s a foundational piece of the way modern website visitors navigate (you can thank Amazon for that). All too often, search is just an afterthought.

If you’ve relied on the inbuilt CMS search platform or Google Custom Search until now, we’re willing to bet that the results are leaving you (and your web visitors) underwhelmed. Think of some really key pages on your site, then search for them using your site’s search bar. Do they appear in the top three results? Are they highlighted in any way? Do they have clear guideposts and descriptions? If not, it might be time to look at a more helpful solution for your visitors.

Modern web visitors know exactly what they want to find when they come to your site. Increasingly, visitors are in the habit of searching a site first to instantly find what they want. Nearly everyone has stumped a CMS search module with a simple search, returning no or irrelevant results for a simple query. On the other hand, wading through 17 pages of results trying to find the page you’re looking for is no fun, either.

If site visitors can’t quickly find what they’re looking for, they’re likely to abandon your site. They may never return. In the worst case, your site search results pages may be showing ads for your competitors. With work and the help of many plugins, your CMS search results may eventually surface the results, leading to an eye roll and an impatient user.

Search is here to stay. And it’s time to make the most of it.

Make it relevant

Search is often the most-used or second-most-used form of navigation on a website. Our research shows that an average of 43% of all website visitors use site search. So why is it so often overlooked?

Even with the best navigation, the search function is heavily used by visitors who know what they’re looking for -- and these are your most engaged customers and prospects. Search is often also the first point of engagement for a visitor on your site. Encouraging users to take advantage of effective search means that they are more likely to find your best content, resolve issues without contacting support, spend longer on the site, and convert at higher rates.

However, these results can only be achieved when the search engine does what it’s supposed to do: surface the right results at the right time for the right user. An intelligent search solution like Funnelback is built for this.

With a modern search solution, the smart use of AI and machine learning optimize search results, and natural language processing helps users find just the answer they want. This technology allows results to be curated, personalized, scheduled and automatically tuned to present the best options for each user.

More relevant results? More satisfied visitors. And satisfied visitors quickly turn into real results for your business.

There are more than a few reasons to consider an upgrade to an insight engine. These are some of the features that you are unlikely to find in a simple CMS search plug-in:

GIF showing transformation from Google Custom Search Interface to Funnelback

  • Faceted navigation makes the search results page simple and intuitive
  • Single search across multiple digital content libraries
  • Natural language processing and spellcheck
  • Sophisticated autocomplete and recommendations
  • The ability to reorder, customize or personalize results
  • Encouraging self-service and shortening user journeys
  • Search analytics dashboard

More than navigation

The technology under the hood of an intelligent search engine is vastly different -- and more sophisticated -- than what you’ll find out-of-the-box in your CMS system.

A sophisticated search solution goes beyond connecting users and data. It delivers real-time insights for your team. A modern search engine empowers you to improve the search experience and get to know your visitors. You can see what and when your visitors are searching, the results that are getting the most clicks, and gaps in your content.

A search query is a powerful insight telling you exactly what your audience is looking for. Leverage marketing promotions, create search powered content and take control of your search with a smart search engine.

Deliver the experience that your customers expect and see what search can do.

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