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An executive’s guide to choosing the right site search.

Site Search blog

Why is site search important?

Did you know that website visitors using site search are 216% more likely to convert than other users? Your website’s internal site search fosters conversions by helping users find the information they need in a hurry. 

But site search doesn’t have to be “hands off”; you can gain even more benefits by going a step further. For example, you can build lists of visitors who search certain terms in Google Analytics. Now you have an engaged segment for remarketing ads that are more likely to convert. 

Or, simply gather information on search queries and use the data to optimize content. Popular search terms can provide direction for SEO, content priority, and user-friendly navigation labeling.

What key features can site search provide?

At a minimum, your site search should include features that a user would expect, like fast results, filtering options, breadcrumbs, synonyms, and typing ahead.

On the admin side, your site search should include reporting on key terms and usage, a Google Analytics integration to help you compare queries to behavior, and the general ability to integrate with your tools.

Some top tier search tools go above and beyond, including features like AI auto ranking, proximity matching, and personalization.

Which software should I choose?

At Atlantic BT, our teams have experience implementing Swiftype, Algolia, and ElasticSearch. All of these options offer standard features, fast results, and plenty of integration options.

We would recommend using Algolia or Elastic Enterprise Search in almost all situations. Take a look at a few scenarios where you would use each.

Algolia

In most situations, Algolia is the best option. That’s because it includes well-defined API documentation, framework integrations, and a developer-friendly platform that make for simple implementation. It is also the platform that offers the best pricing for low volume performance while offering the most advanced features for high volume websites.

Some of Algolia’s unique optional features include A/B testing, merchandising, AI auto adjusting of result sets, and search result personalization. Because it directly integrates with Magento 2 and Shopify, Algolia is usually the best solution for eCommerce stores.

On the other hand, if traffic is high volume (like exceeding 1 million searches per month), there are a large amount of pages indexed, or there’s no need for special features; Algolia is probably not the best option.

Elastic Enterprise Search

Overall, Elastic Enterprise Search is the best option for sites that have very high volume search traffic (or a very high number of indexed items), but do not have a need for some of the more advanced features that Algolia offers. Because it’s self-hosted, it’s a popular choice for applications with strict security requirements because data does not have to be sent to a SaaS solution.

While Enterprise Search has no limit on queries and documents, server size will have to increase to keep performance optimal. At high traffic volume (1 million hits and above), Elastic Enterprise Search will still go up in cost. However, it increases at a significantly slower pace than Algolia.

Elastic Enterprise Search also offers a maintenance-free crawler, Elastic Site Search. It keeps content current while intuitive customization features and robust analytics provide full control over search relevance. 

If you’d like to enhance your search quickly utilizing a web crawler, Elastic Site Search a great option for you.

Need a partner to help implement site search?

Atlantic BT has experience implementing site search in all sorts of industries. We can make a recommendation based on your business requirements, set up site search with your website, and integrate site search with other software. Reach out for a free consultation to get started.

capabilities covered
Application Architecture Application Development Experience Design

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