User experience (UX) is everything. Provide an enjoyable UX and your leads will hang around for longer with many ultimately converting. Provide a poor UX and you’re going to end up with a high bounce rate and poor conversion rate.
One particular way you can improve your site’s UX is to offer an on-site search box that’s fully optimized to meet your visitors’ needs. Implement of a few basic techniques and your visitors can find exactly what they’re looking for with very little hassle.
Some Interesting On-Site Search Stats
A post from Moz mentioned some really eye-opening statistics regarding on-site search. Here are some highlights:
- On average, 30 percent of visitors will perform an on-site search.
- People who perform a site-search are twice as likely to convert.
- People who perform an on-site search are more likely to return to the site with an intent to purchase.
But here’s the kicker. “Nearly 84 percent of companies don’t actively optimize or measure their on-site search.” So in theory, optimizing your on-site search will give your law firm an advantage over 84 percent of your competitors. Here are some basic strategies for doing just that.
It Starts with Location
On most websites, you’ll notice that the search box is on the right hand side of the screen above the fold. And this isn’t by accident. You’ll want your search box to be immediately visible and not require any effort to find. Make sure that it’s fairly close to the top of the screen so that visitors don’t have to scroll down to find it. You may even want to place it in a few different locations and perform some A/B testing to determine which gets the best results.
Make it a Static Fixture
One mistake that some lawyers make is only offering the search box on the home page. This presents a big problem because a considerable portion of your traffic won’t initially land on your home page. Be sure that y0ur search box is a static fixture so that it’s viewable regardless of where visitors land.
Autocomplete (or word completion) is a feature that simplifies and speeds up the search process. You’re probably most familiar with it when searching on Google. It’s great because it enables users to quickly and painlessly find exactly what they’re looking for in the search box without having to meticulously type it out, and is a must in today’s microwave culture.
Setting up autocomplete is fairly straightforward, especially if you’re a WordPress user. Just install a plugin like this.
Place Text in the Search Box
You can encourage user searches by placing some generic text in the search box. For example, it might say “Enter search term” or “Search for.” Conversion XL also suggests populating the search box with your most popular search terms, which isn’t a bad idea.
On-site search optimization is a vastly underutilized strategy. Being one of the few law firms to take advantage of it can give you an edge and ensure that your visitors can painlessly find the content they want. The result? More time spent on your site, a lower bounce rate and increased conversions.