Dec 03, 2022

Site Search: Best practices for driving conversions

Jeff Larche

Jeff Larche

Site Search: Best practices for driving conversions

We often talk to clients who have optimized online experiences for a dozen or more important segments but miss one that’s responsible for a majority of their online sales or leads: people who use internal search!

Independent surveys have shown that people who search are 5 times more likely to convert than site visitors who don’t. We’re not surprised. People who type in their intent are in a frame of mind to take some sort of action. Even those whose intent is to do research can often be persuaded to volunteer their email address in exchange for that information.

Internal search is so important that even minor changes to the search box design can improve conversions. In a famous, award-winning A/B test conducted by, a cosmetic change to the search box improved revenue-per-visitor by 6%. That’s roughly 1 additional dollar of revenue for every 20 that the ecommerce site generated!

If you have a search engine that your marketing team has been neglecting, read on. Much has changed since they last touched it. And if your site is missing an internal search engine entirely, we can help there as well!

Your “SERP” is a customized landing page

We like to frame search engine results pages (SERPs) in terms digital marketers can really get their heads around. We call them a different breed of customized landing pages. Marketing pros know that when they point clicks from paid search or display ads to landing pages tuned specifically for that campaign or creative, conversions go way up.

Search Engine Results Page
Search Engine Results Page

Now you should think of your internal SERPs as similarly turbocharged conversion engines. If you can improve the custom results pushed to the SERPs — especially those “above the fold” — conversion rates will rise.

Site search tracking and analytics

Capturing the right data and behavior of your user with the search page is important. We like to define all relevant KPIs so we can configure the right metrics in analytics tools like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics. Once that’s complete, we’ll have access to the tracked data we need to begin monitoring and optimizing your internal site search.

Using artificial intelligence in search

We can take the tracked data from the analytics to learn and measure the performance of your internal site search. We’ve actually created a product that does this fine-tuning for you. It’s called, and it’s an overlay to your existing internal search.

SearchBoost improves relevant engagement metrics by up to 15% — and that’s just in the first few months it’s installed. That's because it uses machine learning to improve search results by measuring how and when people who search become engaged with linked content and ultimately convert. As the phrase “machine learning” implies, SearchBoost learns and improves over time. AI/ML models

Learn how utilizes Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to provide a layer of intelligent search that boosts clicks and conversions.

Improved product tagging and synonyms

Our clients have used improvements to their product information management (PIM) system to improve internal search by feeding it more accurate and comprehensive information. The less someone needs to know to find their product, the better. 

The same goes for the language typed in. A famous example of how a dictionary of synonyms can help marketers is from a company that sold supplies commonly bought by the janitorial staffs of properties and municipalities. They reviewed their searches and found that customers were searching for their products with many different spellings. By adding a “Did you mean X?” feature, search clicks – and sales – went way up.

The bottom line

Pay attention to the marketing segment that’s “hiding in plain sight.” By following a few best practices to optimize the experience of those who search, you can make surprising gains to your onsite outcomes.

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