Is site search important? Absolutely! Factors like site usability, navigation usefulness and user intent are 3 important aspects of websites that you can simplify by implementing site search in an appropriate way.
You've been to a website and the site doesn’t seem to be laid-out well, or you get to a page where you think the content you're looking for is located, only to find out that the content you need isn’t there.
In a similar experience, you may not be able to find a certain amazing piece of content due to the fact that the site navigation is a bowl of spaghetti. Nav items are out of order and don’t make sense. Frustrating.
Site Search Saves the Day
A good site search, though not the end-all, be-all solution, can help those who are confused by allowing them to use keywords to search for the content they are looking for. Where they may not see the nav item labeled “Pricing,” they could very easily search for the same keyword and find what they are looking for on your site.
You should still conduct user research and either re-organize your site or un-tangle your site navigation, but at the end of the day, search saved your derriere. That brings me to another benefit of search: while also saving your butt, the search can also be doing some passive research for you. It's all about a little thing called "visitor intent."
There is probably no better way to effectively understand client intent on your website than site search. As visitors are using your site search, you can secretly record each and every search; not only full searches, but also partial searches.
Why would you do that, you ask?
I am sure that, by now, some folks reading this post have had an a-ha moment; however, for the rest of the world, visitor intent will allows users to discover what visitors and customers are looking for on their websites. Not only will you be able to see what they're looking for, but you'll also be able to react to their search inquiries.
Taking the information that you now possess from your visitors and acting on it and changing the nav items to closely resemble what your visitors actually want, or using inference to discover a possible general topic that a certain subset of your client might find useful, is the best way to market with that intent in mind.
Does HubSpot have a Site Search?
Well, it just so happens that my good friends at HubSpot are working on a new site search, which is (at the time of this writing) in beta. This is HUGE news.
Currently, the site search doesn’t offer analytics, but with HubSpot events or even Google Analytics Custom Events, you can track what your visitors are searching for.
How Do I Get HubSpot Search on My Website?
Here is an example of how we implemented the search feature.
We are able to create a Blog Search Event in HubSpot that enables us to see full and partial searches in the events reports under analytics.
Implementing site search on your site could truly improve your website in so many ways. Be sure and track to receive the full benefits.
There if you are user of the new Beta Design Manager for HubSpot you now have the ability to sign up for the Search Module Beta. You must have the design manager beta in your portal to use it but it is a HUGE step forward to making site search a first class citizen in all of our websites.