At our latest HubSpot User Group (HUG) meeting, our very own Inbound Strategist, Will Polliard, presented on “How to Crush the Rest of 2018 with HubSpot’s Latest Product Updates.” In that presentation, the first topic that he covered was HubSpot’s new Site Search.
Site search is a unique website functionality that allows visitors to easily search a given site to engage with content and to find specific information, products, or services. Did you know that, according to UX Booth, 30% of website visitors use a site search box when available?
Before HubSpot’s Site Search feature, HubSpotters used Google’s Site Search. However, on April 1, 2017, Google announced it would be discontinuing it’s paid version of site search effective April 1, 2018.
The free version would still be available, but it comes with Google branding, takes visitors away from your website, and is ad-supported (meaning a competitor’s ad could potentially appear higher than your organic results).
With the news of Google sunsetting it’s paid site search and only leaving the not-so-ideal free version, HubSpot announced at Inbound 2017 that it was working on a native site search set to release in 2018.
Why You Should Use Site Search
Having a site search feature on your website can help you scale all of that awesome content that you’ve spent countless hours creating to help drive traffic to your website and convert visitors into leads by helping them quickly find exactly what they’re looking for.
It reduces friction and frustration for your visitors who are looking for a specific piece of information, product, or service on your website.
According to WebLinc, visitors who use site search are 216% more likely to convert into paying customers than regular visitors. This is because visitors that use site search typically have a specific goal in mind and, therefore, are vastly different from visitors who are just clicking around and browsing your website.
Another advantage of site search on your website is that it allows visitors to be in the driver’s seat of their experience which can:
- Increase website usage, and
- Help you gain a competitive edge.
Increasing your website’s usage can help boost important metrics (like bounce rate, average time spent on your website, page views, etc.) that can help improve your organic search rankings.
What’s it Going to Cost?
If your website is on the HubSpot CMS, there are no integrations needed and no extra costs involved with the HubSpot Site Search feature! Since search is tied to the CMS, site search indexes all of your HubSpot-hosted content as soon as you press "publish" and uses full-text matching to make it easy for your visitors to navigate your website.
As a plus, with this feature, there’s no need to wait for any new website content to be crawled by a third-party service, like Google.
How to Set Up HubSpot Site Search
HubSpot's Site Search was built with the marketer in mind, so you can start increasing your visitor engagement quickly and easily. Adding HubSpot’s Site Search to your website is as simple as:
- Creating a search results template,
- Adding a site search input to the templates, and
- Styling your search input.
Learn how to set up a results page for your HubSpot website here.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind...
Now that you understand what site search is, why you should use it, and how to set it up inside the HubSpot CMS, here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your search box:
- Location, location, location. Pay attention to the location of your search box; it should be clearly visible and easy to find. Visitors can usually find a search box in the top navigation or the footer of your website.
- Choose your colors carefully. This may sound silly, but the color of your site search box should draw visitors attention and should not just blend in with the theme and colors of the rest of your website.
- Include help text. Adding labels and/or help text is important to guide your visitors toward what you want them to search for and how.
- Add a “search” button. This may seem obvious, but including a “search” or “submit” button next to the search box can go a long way in your visitors' user experience with site search.
- Utilize auto-complete. HubSpot’s site search feature includes an auto-complete feature by default. #WINNING 🎉 Using this feature in your site search is another way to enhance the user experience for visitors. Aside from bringing them straight to the page or article they’re looking for, it can also encourage them to visit other pages they didn’t know they were looking for.
Are you already using HubSpot’s site search feature on your website? Let us know what results you’ve seen so far!