Website search used by 5% of visitors - studyWhile a relatively small number of visitors are using the search function on websites, conversion rates through site search are up to 50% higher than the average. This is the verdict of a Screen Pages study into 39 of its clients' websites, using Google Analytics data. The stats cover almost 3m site visits over a three month period. Other studies have put site search usage at higher levels, 30% according to this one from Fastsearch but, as the Screen Pages study covers small branded niche retailers and not comparison engines or large sites like Amazon, this may explain the lower figure of 5.4%. Some site search stats from the study:
- The search box is used by an average of 5.4% of all visitors to these websites. For four of the retailers in the sample, more than 20% of visitors used the search function.
- Use of the search box results in an average conversion ratio of 2.4%, against an average of 1.7%. That's an improvement of close to 50% when visitors use site search.
- A third of the sample showed a doubling of conversion rates where customers used the search box.
- Visitors use this function more on sites that provide guided search, i.e. a range of options for narrowing down product searches.
- The importance of a usable site search function; especially for retailers stocking large and undifferentiated product ranges.
- Site search results pages are important for conversion rates, especially the ability to filter and sort search results.
- The value of analysing user data and optimising for popular searches. The terms entered into the search box offer a useful insight into the minds of your visitors.
- The particular importance of the search box for retailers using catalogues. A number of sites in the study used catalogues to generate traffic, with means site search needs to be optimised for product codes.
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