Search expectations

72% of ecommerce sites fail to meet search expectations and returning irrelevant search results is where many of them go wrong.

Unless a user is specifically looking for a page such as your returns policy or one of your categories, then they’re looking for a product.


Most searches are for a product

Product searches constitute the most searches and whether they’re typing in a product keyword or a symptom (cracked wall, smelly shoes, dry skin, and the like), products should be shown first in the search results. Anything else that was found in other relevant content such as your blog post and guides can follow later. 

The rationale behind this is simple. Visitors use the search bar to find products and it’s imperative that you live up to their expectations. Few people, if any, bother looking beyond the first page of search results so you must have your most relevant results right up there where they can be seen.

If you were to return irrelevant results a potential customer would assume you don’t have what they’re looking for and take their business somewhere else.


Sorting by relevance

An easy way to return relevant results is by sorting your results by… relevance. You can start by allowing content search. This is where you allow the query to scan content pages like product descriptions and guides instead of just scanning the titles.

You should also support the more common keywords related to your listed products. A good example is the acronym ‘RAM’. it can be used on the title of a standalone RAM module or as part of the product description of a computer.