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BizReport : Search Marketing : December 09, 2008

Study: Onsite search improves sales conversions

Recent research from e-commerce services firm Screen Pages found that the inclusion of onsite search can lift conversions by almost 50%.

by Helen Leggatt

The effectiveness of onsite search was monitored over a three month period across the websites of 39 companies whose traffic ranged from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands per month.

Screen Pages found that while onsite search was used by an average of just 5.4% of visitors, sites with guided search experienced much higher usage (17.5%).

Additionally, visitors who used the onsite search facility converted at a ratio of 2.4% versus an average of 1.7%, an improvement of almost 50%. A third of the websites surveyed experienced a doubling of conversions when users used onsite search.

So, is an onsite search feature necessary? For retailers with large product ranges maybe. But for the most part, Internet users will use navigation links, so retailers need to concentrate on providing a website that is easy to browse with a well structured product catalog.

A benefit of onsite search is that retailers can gain valuable insights into what users are searching for, and the terms they're using. It can also be a source of information with regards to what is and isn't working, top keyword groupings, popular keywords that don't return results and help identify locations where onsite search is being accessed from.

Tags: keywords, navigation links, onsite search, product range, sales conversion, Screen Pages

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