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There are two ways to optimise your website's search. You can focus on getting particular products to the top of the listings, or you can push particular landing pages into the results. What's best for you?


Search Reports

What do your customers search for?

It's an important question, and the answer will really help you improve the experience on your site.

Do they search for colours or materials? Sizes? They might look for 'red shoes' or they might be be looking for a specific product. Whatever they're looking for, you need to decide what best to show your customers.

The first step in this process is to review your search logs and spot the patterns; then you can think about the next steps:

  • Is it better to show standard search results or redirect the customer to a landing page?
  • Have you thought about the customers who are searching for the wrong thing?
  • Are the correct items showing up in the search results?
  • Do your customers search for the wrong thing?

Search Suggestions

There are lots of different ways to search for the same thing. One customer might search for 'fluffy towels', while another looks for 'bath towel' and a third types out 'towels'; all three are looking for an identical product.

The problem is getting the right product to show in every search. It's hard to optimise for mutliple searches, so why not narrow the playing field. 

With suggested searches, you can give clear calls to action to encourage customers in a particular direction. When they click in the search box, the suggestions fold down; one more click takes them to the results. 

Not only can you push the 'correct' searches on your visitors, but you can also push particular products, categories or brands. Easy to edit and easy to manage, this is designed to be flexible for your changing needs.


Search Optimisation

Of course, just getting customers searching for the right thing might not help;  if your products don't show up then you have a problem. 

Like most searches, Zone1's system has a complex algorithm that uses a variety of fields to generate results. From Keywords to Product Titles, we make sure that we're looking in the right places.

Still, just because we're looking doesn't mean that we'll find anything.

You need to make sure that you've gotten the right information in the right place; some are obvious, but some might take a little tweaking. You should always have a suitable product name and a brand set, but are you writing appropriate descriptions for your products? Meta Keywords can offer an additional, powerful way to link products to search terms and you should make sure to use them, too!

If you were looking for yet more incentive, a lot of this will also improve your Google rank - internal and external search engine opimisation in one go!


Merchandising the Search

Once you're getting the right results, you also need to think about merchandising. 

The basic idea is simple. If someone were to search for 'red shoes', products with 'red' and 'shoes' in their names will come above those with just 'red' or just 'shoes'; that is how search relevance works. 

But what happens when you have 100 products which are matched equally? What if they all have 'red' and 'shoes' in the product name?

That's where your should merchandise your search.

It's easy to change the priorities; simply choose what's most important. Do you want to prioritise new products, or expensive ones? Cheaper products or most popular?

Of course, the answer will probably change a lot from week to week and month to month.

You're in sale? So prioritise the products with the biggest savings!

You've just had a load of new products? Push them to the top!

Whatever you select will have an impact on which products appear at the top of the search.


Search Overrides

An alternative is to ignore the optimisation and just force certain results. 

Rather than showing results for when a site visitor searches 'lego toys', why not redirect them to a page you've selected for that search?

With this, you can guarantee that all of the relevant products are in the same place, on an attractive page that'll hold your customer's attention. 


An Internal SEO Checklist

  • Are you checking your reports for patterns, problems and opportunities?
  • Are you guiding your customers to the 'correct' searches?
  • Have you optimised your products and merchandised your search?
  • Are you using Search Overrides?