Site Search Improvement

Site Search.

I test and improve Site Search. I prove it. I demonstrate it.

I Design and advise on the UI. The layout and behaviours of the search box and results page. I make sure it works for your content and brand.

I use a simple custom benchmarking process. It is the key to search success.

The content users need is now on average 5 places higher on the results page.

“Site search improvement is a balance between weighting, metadata, copywriting and taxonomy, benchmarking and iteration. Gerard understands all of this and has proven this beyond any doubt.”

Bradford Hauser, Verint


My benchmarking tools let you test changes quickly and ensure success no matter what elements of your site search are being changed. Like us it’s fast and lean. Learn to use it in minutes and complete a benchmarking cycle in under half an hour.

By running this benchmarking tool you can show improvements definitively.

Demonstrate success.

Show and track changes with a simple score. Show changes to the results as we tweak the algorithm and what it looks at. Focus into specific search terms to prove benefits to your stakeholders. Demonstrate the benefits with custom bubble animations.

Remove the mystery and see improvements clearly.

Our approach.

I look at search from a human point of view. I might use complex tools to set up and maintain a search tool, but it’s use needs to work simply for humans.

Imagine your site search as a customer service desk. It should behave like one with a member of staff who is a real expert.

Your search page, what it returns, and how it works, have to do all the work of a talented and knowledgeable staff member. With a website, or an intranet it is only what’s on the page that can help users.

So make it good, or they will leave. Give your end users what they need at the top.

Good site search is vital to your success.

Be informative – I’ll build you a bespoke report so decision making is easy. What’s wrong with your existing search? Or what do you need for your new search? Our report will give you clarity and help define your strategy.

Be efficient – With an understanding of your service and requirements I can quickly advise on the best path for findability and site search success.

Be lean – It’s not about doing everything, it’s about building what your users need.

Be effective – With custom analytics I can prove the benefits to your users and stakeholders.

Be supportive – Custom documentation will build on our initial success and make maintaining your site search clear and simple.

I love a chat.

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You’ve read this far! Want to come into the weeds with me?

Key analytics for Site Search improvement.

Searches and clicks are the clearest expression of what your audience or customers want. Site Search Analytics offer unique insights into the ways users are interacting with your content. They are a core part of search benchmarking.

Top search termsA powerful insight into exactly what your customers are looking for.
Common search termsDrill down further into what your users are looking for and inform your decision making.
Long tail search termsEnsure very specific ‘natural language’ search terms return what your users need.
Zero resultsZero results terms let you see what you’re missing. If there’s value, you can use this to create new content. If not then a custom zero results page can keep your users engaged, and guide them to what they need.
Bounce ratesValidate the effectiveness of the content your users choose by tracking how long they spend on the page. This helps find which content will benefit most for improvement and validates the strength of the search tool beyond any doubt.

Analytics for building good search.

Not all of these will be relevant for you. Some you’ll need a little, some you’ll need a lot – dont worry – the benchmarking can inform this. It’s all content and user specific.

WeightsWhat parts of your content search looks at
Spelling correctionDid you mean spellcheck? Ipgone + iphone
Bigram matchingT shirt = Tshirt
Stemmingadd = adding
Synonymsremote control = remote = doofer = zapper
Phrase matching“fast food” does not equal “food fast”
Stop wordsTerms we tell search to ignore
let’s break this down even further…


Control how different weighting impacts your search results.

Should search be looking at the titles, the descriptions, the meta-data, the main content itself? It’s usually a combination of all of these things.

By setting weighting correctly we can make sure your search results are sensibly ordered. That the most relevant content come at the top. This is where our benchmarking tool is most powerful.

Spelling Correction.

A vital tool most users expect. Often displayed as a ‘did you mean’ option at the top of your results page we can help automatically include the correct content even when your spelling poor, or, more often, if you’re in a hurry and haven’t; worried about perfect grammar.

Synonyms, stemming, Bigram and phrase matching.

Specific tools with a similar outcome. These create links between different search terms to make sure relevant results aren’t missed no matter how your users type.

Stop Words.

These can be used to ensure there aren’t too many results. Though not always necessary, stop words lists are simple tools which tell search what content to ignore. We build bespoke stop words lists that work with your content and search approach. It all helps make your search results page clean and correct.

I love a chat.

Talk to me