Website navigation is a critical part of your online presence. When visitors land on your site, they want to quickly locate specific information.
A custom search function is one of the best solutions to help your visitors. By simply typing in a few keywords, they can find relevant content on your site. Search logs also can offer your small business actionable data to produce similar content to boost your site traffic.
With the help of plugins, you can add a search function to your website. Experiment with the seven WordPress search plugins below.
1. Ajax Search Lite
You can fine-tune your visitors’ experience with Ajax Search Lite. This live search plugin for WordPress websites offers a user-friendly Ajax powered search engine.
Live search allows your visitors to search results without redirecting to a results page. David Karlins, a contributor at Dummies, explains the necessity of search functions:
“The role of a navigation system is not simply to anticipate and respond to what a user might be looking for: It is to ‘lead’ visitors through your site. In that context, a search box provides an alternative way for people to find things on your site.”
Ajax Search Lite filters results based on category and post types. There’s even a Google autocomplete feature to provide your visitors with keyword suggestions. After a simple installation, you can build a more efficient search engine for your website.
2. Swiftype Site Search
Research shows that 38% of people will leave a website if it fails to produce attractive content or layout. Navigational design matters when it comes to maintaining visitors’ attention. So, you need a reliable, customizable search function to match the demands of your small business.
Swiftype Site Search fits that criteria with its built-in advanced search algorithm for complicated queries. Enter your website’s address and the plugin will index your site and create your search engine in real-time. Plus, it doesn’t require any coding from your team, but developers can use the API for additional control.
The best part is this tool can serve multiple purposes for your business. Swiftype Site Search can help your visitors find relevant site content, get the right answer in a knowledge base, and select specific products in an eCommerce store.
Let’s say you sell sports apparel on your website. Sports clothing can be divided into multiple categories, like basketball shoes or baseball gloves. So, thousands of purchasing options exist for potential buyers. It would take a long time for a visitor to manually find what they want.
Website navigation is an essential element of a good website user experience. It can either help your visitors find what they’re looking for quickly, or make it harder for them.
That’s why you need a search function like Relevanssi. This WordPress search plugin provides search results sorted in the order of relevance and helps your visitors find results matching either just one search term or a required set of words. It also highlights search terms in the documents when a visitor clicks through the search results.
A study uncovered that 85% of issues related to UX can be detected by performing a usability test on a group of five users. Test your website’s search function to ensure it benefits your visitors. That’s easy if you use a plugin.
SearchWP is a turnkey solution for your small business’s website. You can configure individual search engines—each with their own specific settings. The tool can index any piece of content with a post ID, including everything in your media library.
Are you curious about what visitors search for? SearchWP offers a dashboard with statistics and insights for all your search logs. The tool also integrates with major eCommerce product search plugins.
Next up is Ivory Search, a plugin to improve content visibility on your website. With this tool, your visitors can search for images, audio files, videos, and documents. These files can be searched based on their title, caption, and description.
When creating your search function, be mindful of how the experience will impact the visitor.
Ivory Search displays search results in ascending or descending order. Also, you can move sticky posts to the start of the search results page to improve the visitor experience.
Too few brands offer personalized recommendations on their websites. A search function gives your visitors a tailored experience to find pertinent content. You can then use that search data to help your visitors with personalized filters and product suggestions.
FacetWP has a smart filtering feature for your visitors to find what they’re looking for faster. The plugin also seamlessly integrates with your design with UI elements, like checkboxes, maps, and sliders.
The UI filtering controls adjust to visitor input and prevent “No results found” screens. Also, you can add the search function on any page using shortcodes. Other built-in features include pagination, sorting, and user selections.
7. Advanced Woo Search
We’ll round out this list with Advanced Woo Search, a powerful live search plugin for WooCommerce. This tool makes it easier for visitors to search for your products on your site. That way, they can locate what they need to make a purchase.
“Usability is a product of user-centered design. When the design process is centered on the needs and expectations of the user, you can address many of the user’s pain points,” writes Arne Hendricks, a developer and contributor at Userbrain.
However, usability isn’t a one-time action; it’s a continuous process that you must improve after each cycle. Advanced Woo Search offers a user-friendly settings page and stop words support to exclude certain words from searches.
Build Custom Search Navigation with WordPress Search Plugins
Website visitors want to easily navigate through your site. With a custom search function, your visitors can find the exact content they need. So, install one of these search plugins today to enhance your visitor experience.
Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.