Today, site search is considered broken. Website owners large and small are compelled to include search bars on their site. Users generally ignore them, and no one makes too much of a fuss. Expectations of what a search experience should be like are high, thanks to Google. But the reality on websites is something very different. Even “Google-powered” site search tools don’t live up to the Google gold standard for intuitive excellence. Website visitors need a different search experience, one that helps them connect better to organizations and helps direct them exactly to the content they need – an article, a piece of information, a phone number, the latest on a certain topic, and more. Website owners have given up on search and are missing an opportunity to invest resources on improving site navigation, to help users find what they need.
However, some bright spots do seem to emerge in the site search world. The simple reality is that when online shoppers can’t find what they’re looking for, they can’t buy it. This blunt fact has fueled intense and sophisticated search innovation in the online industry. Out of basic business necessity, much effort, research and resources have been devoted to making ecommerce site search an online shop’s principle conversion tool. Advanced search technologies such as natural language processing (NLP) and semantics have led to significant increase in ecommerce volume. It’s proven to be a win-win experience for both customers and vendors.
In a paraphrase to the statement above, when engaged readers can’t get more of what they are interested in, they just go to visit a different website. The same technology that is being used to power up ecommerce, can be used to improve user experience on all sites. As already been proven in the field of online shopping, great sophistication and technology can be harnessed to offer users the simplest, most straight-forward and intuitive experience.