Semalt Explains Why On-Site Search Should Be A Priority For Marketers

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction 
  2. What is On-site Search?
  3. What is the Difference Between On-site and Offsite Search?
  4. Why On-site SEO Should be a Priority?
  5. 8 Tips on How to Improve Your On-site Search
  6. Conclusion


Content is Key! This is not just a common statement but a fact. Content has evolved to become a fundamental weapon. It is the only tool you can utilize to induce a discussion with your partners and business network members. It is also the main factor that can help to nurture relationships with your customers via your website. With the aid of well-designed, cutting-edge, and optimized website content, your business can accumulate new customers and expand. However, to truly attract and keep eligible customers, you need more than a fantastic website with great content. You need an on-site search. 
But what about SEM, PPC, and SEO? Aren't they also essential? Truly, they are important and viral strategies as well. Yet, it is like wetting seedless soil if you focus all your resources on PPC, SEM, and the rest while you ignore your website's structure quality. By the time SEM drives in traffic, your website's inadequacy to trap the visitor's attention will result in a high exit rate. Without on-site search, your customers would perambulate your site looking for information. Aside from that, it would lead to many frustrated lost customers, and many of your valuable content would remain hidden for a long time. 

But all hope is not lost. This beginner-friendly guide will explain what there is to know about on-site search. You will learn the meaning of the concept, the difference between on- and off-site search, and why it is important for all webmasters and marketers. The end of this article contains the steps you can follow to improve your website and optimize it for on-site search. So if this is what you are interested in, keep scrolling. 

What is On-site Search?

On-site search is a smart feature that allows your customers to instantly and effectively browse your website's content or product directories without scrolling through all your website or irrelevant information. For instance, say you are on a website that sells baby products and you are looking for baby hair oil - a particular brand name to be precise. If the site lacks an on-site search feature, you would need to scroll through all the website's products before you get to the one you desire. That means you might explore as many as 10 to 12 pages before you can find your desired product (that's if you eventually do). 

An on-site search feature is like the search bars on search engine pages (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc). It allows you to insert exactly what you are interested in. Then the result is brought to you according to its relevance to your query. This is not only less frustrating but also quicker, more modern, and more effective. An incredible site search feature is made solely for the website. The results should be streamlined to content within the website alone and not from the world wide web. 

But that is not its only function. Below are four other objectives of the on-site feature:

What is the Difference Between On-site Search, On-Site SEO, and Off-site SEO?

On-site search is somewhat like the search engine search bar. It helps a user navigate through tons of content to find the particular one of interest. On-page search engine optimization (SEO) is fine-tuning a website's content through the website itself. Some of the factors and parts of on-page SEO are content optimization, keyword research, title and heading enhancement, meta description, and so on. Off-site or off-page SEO is when the quality of a website is being improved upon from outside the website (that is, off-the-page SEO). 

While these three concepts are necessary and crucial in their way, only on-site search can guarantee that the customers you have attracted with SEO stay with you. No matter how optimized your content is or how high you rank on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), you may not be able to sustain that growth if your users find it difficult to locate their content or product of interest. Hence, On-site SEO. 

Why On-site SEO Should be a Priority?

The full content of this guide has at one time or the other mentioned why on-site search is of high importance. In the beginning, it was said that on-site search is the only way to attract and keep eligible customers on your site. Further, it allows users to find their desired content easily. Many more benefits are hidden within the context of this guide but why should it become a priority? Why should marketers emphasize on-site search features above other strategies? Below are a few reasons.

1. It is the Leading Factor for Improved Conversion Rate:

Conversion rate refers to the rate at which visitors are converted to loyal customers. This is where results start to yield. SEO, SEM, PPC, and other strategies you may be familiar with will bring traffic to your door. Yes, they might even walk in. But if they find it hard to sight their desired product from the shelf, they'll walk out. So why is it a priority, it is almost your sure banker to convince customers to buy something or read a post? The on-site search bar brings content from wherever it is hidden to the face of your user immediately after it is requested. 

2. Enhances SXO:

SXO is the acronym for Search Experience Optimization. It is the mixture of tools selected from SEO (search engine optimization) and UX (user experience program). SXO is not just a relatively new concept that was introduced into the world of search engine website positioning. It is also a concept that has been making waves for many websites, getting them an increase in sales and conversions among better ranking. So how is SXO enhanced during on-site search optimization?
Since SXO is focused on the user experience of your customers - how they perceive your site and how easy it is to navigate through, it is almost too obvious to see how they relate. On-site search spoon-feeds your site visitors and serves them the utmost search experience while on your site. While your website may contain all the interesting content users might want to see, the search bar ensures that users are not forced to go through multiple irrelevant posts before they see what they are looking for. 

3. Provides User Intent Data:

Are you familiar with Google's new rule? Have you come across the phrase 'write for users and not for bots'? This is the plain definition of user intent content. User intent content is information that is put together for the user in a format that the user wants. But as important as user intent data is to a website, it is quite difficult to create. The only way you can create content that your user wants is to ask them right? How can you know your client's greatest interest? Here's how.  
Using a physical store to explain, imagine you own a store that sells all sorts of electronic products. Then you section your store into categories with banners that show what is in each store's row. If the majority of customers walk straight up to row 2 to make a purchase. You can already tell that the content in row 2 is what your users are most interested in. But imagine that you have a staff that is situated in row 2 and your customers tell that staff exactly what they need in the way they want it.
That's an on-site search. If you have an amazing website structure (thanks to SEO), you would be able to tell what topics your user is interested in. For instance, 'PPC'. But with an on-site search, you'll get the user-intent data (for instance, 'how can I create a PPC campaign?' or 'what do I need to know about PPC' and so on). 

8 Tips on How to Improve Your On-Site Search

Briefly, follow these steps to enhance your conversion rate on-site search. 
  1. Create a website search bar. This is the first and most important step to improving your website's on-site search experience.
  2. Use the user's language. Despite the search bar, if you keep using only computerized keywords, the content will not show up even if it is available. So instead of using 'SERPs and E-A-T' try 'Google result page' and a great website respectively.
  3. Organize your website: Even though a search bar is effective, a customer will leave your site if your website's overview looks like a mess.
  4. Make your search result page attractive: While your user will benefit from your result page, make it visually satisfying. It needs to be organized and if you can, add the content's images.
  5. Optimize for mobile usage.
  6. Include suggestions for users: This would also help them decide what to look for when they are stranded.
  7. Avoid the 'no results' result: Instead of showing 'no result', provide alternatives to the search query.
  8. Track and enhance: Take note of every data you receive through the on-site search system and make improvements. Your users will thank you for it.


This guide summarizes that on-site search is a concept that is gradually gaining more relevance by the day. It has many benefits, and it should be taken very seriously by marketers and webmasters. But you are not alone - you don't have to walk away from this article feeling like you are going back to the beginning. You can partner with professional SEO service providers like Semalt and immediately begin your journey.