How to Optimize Your eCommerce Site Search Box in Three Easy Steps

How often do you find yourself lost in a website, unable to find what you’re looking for?

Unfortunately, this happens all too often, and when it comes to online shoppers, it can mean lost sales and revenue.

Many websites place a tiny magnifying glass icon that is barely noticeable in an invisible corner of the webpage, and expect users to magically see and use the site search function. That’s wishful thinking. If you don’t showcase your search box, users won’t use it.

Try this: ask a friend or acquaintance who isn’t familiar with your online store to find something specific on your site, and don’t help them at all. Watch how they navigate through your pages and try to find what they seek. Do they use the search box?

If you’re ready to improve and optimize your search box, start with these three simple techniques:

  1.  Make an “Always Open” search box

Avoid a magnifying glass icon that opens into a site search box when clicked, and instead, place a full-length search box that never disappears or becomes minimized. Shoppers are much more likely to use a search box that is visible, easy to access, and doesn’t waste their time.

  1.  Place your search box at the top of the page, preferably in the center

Search box placement is critical for encouraging usage. The ideal placement for the search box is the top-center of your webpage, as it has been shown to increase conversions.

For example, USA Military Medals has a noticeable, easy to use, and prominent search box at the top center of their page.


 

If the top-center doesn’t work for your store, then the next best placement for the search box is the top-right of the page. Placing it here has been shown to increase conversions up to 40% ,according to our data, such as in the case of Fashion Nova.

However, if you can’t place the search box in the top-center or the top-right of your page, the third best placement is – you guessed it! – the top-left. This placement can increase your conversion rates.

  1.  Design your search box to be big, wide, and noticeable

Small search boxes tend to get lost in the content of the webpage, and don’t accommodate long search queries. Optimize your search box by making it big, wide, and easily noticeable to your site visitors. Also, it has been found that the ideal search box length is 27 characters, which accommodates 90% of typical search queries. You can read more on that here.

In general, remember that it is better to have too big and noticeable of a search box than too small and invisible. Ensure that your shoppers easily find their way to whichever products they seek, and remove all the obstacles standing between shoppers and their potential purchases.

Katzenland.de, a pet supplies store, demonstrate a big, noticeable search box.

The right search box can improve sales conversions dramatically, so why leave money on the table by neglecting to optimize your search box?

Try these three easy techniques today, and start benefitting from a smooth and easy shopping experience!