There are a number of elements that you need to consider in regards to good website design, and the user experience should top your list. When customers arrive on your website, you need to make it easy for them to find the information they want. Having an intuitive website with seamless navigation is just one part of the equation. To improve the functionality and enhance the user-friendliness of your website, a best practice is to add a search bar.

The Battle Between Navigation and Search

Navigate and search are two of the most basic ways that visitors discover content on your website. While intuitive navigation is vital to the success of your website, including a search bar as well will help to solve any potential navigation issues.

According to research, if a website offers a search feature, 59 percent of visitors will take advantage of it. In fact, they prefer it over a hierarchical navigation menu. If anything, adding a search bar will enhance the user experience.

Some would argue that not every website needs to have a search feature. For example, if your website is not complex and only has 10 pages, adding a search component may not be necessary. On the other hand, if you operate an e-commerce website that has a wide breadth of product offerings, you can improve your conversion rate and make your website design more user-friendly by also including a search bar.

The Growing Dependence on Search

Search is becoming more popular than ever. With voice technology assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, performing searches via voice commands is becoming second nature. Even young children are familiar with how search engines work and use them on a regular basis. As consumers, we’ve become so accustomed to searching for information that it’s imperative that your website design contains a search bar feature.

If you choose to forego including a search bar feature on your website, you risk having people leave your website to use an external search engine. In this scenario, it’s very likely that your competitors would appear in the search results, which could cause you to lose the opportunity.

Benefits of Adding a Search Feature to Your Website Design
Adding a search box to your website design will offer the following benefits to your business:

Boost Conversions
Including a search feature on your website makes it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for, thus creating a positive user experience. When visitors have a positive experience on your website, they’re more likely to make a purchase.

Builds Customer Loyalty
When visitors have a positive user experience on your website, they’ll be more likely to return again. Adding a search bar to your website will allow visitors to find what they’re looking for faster, which will encourage them to return to your website in the future when a need arises.

Strengthens SEO
A positive user experience will lead to more visits to your website. As the number of visits and amount of time spent on your website increases, search engines like Google will consider your website to be relevant and high-quality, which will help to improve your ranking in search results.

Best Practices for Improving the Search Function of your Website

1. Place the Search Box in a Visible Location.
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to place the search feature at the top right-hand side of the page (just above the navigation menu) for maximum visibility. When the search box can be easily seen, it will speed up a customer’s search process, leading to a more positive user experience.

2. Use an Attention-Grabbing Colour for Your Search Box.
Again, you want to make your search feature clearly visible to website visitors, and adding an attention-grabbing colour to your search box will help to draw attention towards it.

3. Include Your Search Feature in Calls-to-Action.
Make your website visitors aware that you offer a search feature on your website by working it into calls-to-action. For example, you could use “search for bestsellers” or “search for top-rated products” in your call-to-actions to help visitors narrow down their search on your website.

4. Use JavaScript to Make Text Disappear.
Many consumers find it annoying when they click on the text inside of a search box and have to delete the entire text themselves. Taking advantage of JavaScript will cause the text to disappear when a user clicks on the box to perform a search.

5. Enable Auto-Complete Search.
Speed up the search process for your website visitors by offering auto-complete search. When a visitor types in one or two words into the search feature, a list of suggestions will appear. This will prevent your visitors from having to type a lengthy sentence and will also make them aware of other related content on your website.

All in all, including a search bar feature in your website design will offer visitors another way to discover content on your website and improve the user experience. If you want to improve your website’s performance and earn more conversions, you’ll find that a search bar will allow you to accomplish both objectives.

Contact us at EWD to learn more about the benefits of adding a search bar feature to your website and how we can help you grow your business online with high-performance website design.