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Designing a Seamless and User-Friendly Search Interface for Your Website

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

Only 15% of companies have optimized on-site search experience for their website. By implementing a comprehensive on-site search feature, you set yourself apart from 85% of your competitors

Attention is the number one currency of eCommerce business.

And when you’ve secured that attention through clever marketing and messaging, the last thing you want is for the user to visit your website and leave frustrated because they couldn’t find what they wanted.

According to a survey by Nielsen Norman Group, users spend an average of 0.25 seconds scanning a website before deciding whether to stay or leave.

As a website owner, you want to provide your users with a seamless and user-friendly search interface that will keep them engaged and returning for more. A well-designed search interface can help users quickly find what they're looking for, increasing the chances that they will stay on your website.

In this article, we will share expert tips on how to design a search interface that is easy to use and highly effective in helping users navigate your website. So, whether you're just starting your eCommerce or looking to improve your existing search interface, read on to discover how to create an excellent search experience that will captivate your users and keep them coming back for more.

Why You Need On-site Search For Your Website

On-site search is a feature that allows users to search for specific information or content on your website. It is typically located on the homepage or other prominent site locations and will enable users to enter keywords or phrases to find relevant pages, products, or other content.

One of the obvious ways to improve your customer experience is by helping buyers meet their needs in the fastest, most harmonious way possible.

Having quality content throughout your website is critical. But it can also make it difficult for users to find specific information about a product or service.

The result?

Frustration and decreased user experience.

However, you can guide your visitors to the desired information by implementing an intelligent on-site search feature. You improve their navigation experience, thereby increasing the likelihood of their staying on your site and not leaving to visit a competitor.

But that's not all!

On-site search can also help increase your revenue. Visitors who use on-site search have double the conversion rates of those who don’t. They’re also more likely to revisit the site to buy again.

In addition to improving user experience and increasing revenue, an on-site search can provide valuable insight into customer behavior.

You can better understand your customer base and what products and services they need by tracking on-site search activity. This data can help you improve your product strategy and give your customers what they want.

Lastly, having a well-functioning on-site search feature can give you a competitive advantage. According to Econsultancy, only 15% of companies put forth the resources needed to create and optimize the on-site search experience for their website. By implementing a comprehensive on-site search feature, you can set yourself apart from 85% of your competitors.

How to Design a Seamless and User-Friendly Search Interface for Your Website

Now that you know the merits of having a well-thought-out on-site search for your eCommerce, how do you design one?

Having a site search is one thing. But having an intelligent on-site search that guides your visitors from being idly interested in your offering to being die-hard fans of your business is an entirely different ball game.

Let’s walk through how to design a seamless and user-friendly search interface that converts.

#1: KISS Your Search Bar

The first step to ensuring your on-site search tool moves from being a random feature on your website to a vital, revenue-generating real estate is to keep it simple and searchable.

Research shows that 43% of website visitors visit the search bar when they land on a new website.


  • Make it easy for searchers to find the search bar, so they don’t have to hunt for it.

  • Use clear and concise messaging to tell users what to do. Avoid technical jargon and use familiar terms that speak directly to your visitors.

  • Limit search options and filters to avoid overwhelming users. A simple search bar with a few options is usually sufficient.

  • Use predictive search to provide users with suggestions as they type so they can save time and meet their needs quickly.

  • Have auto-correct and reduce the likelihood of users encountering zero results, even if they misspell or mistype their search query.

But then again, you can have all of that, but if you didn't think through how to present search results, you’d be shooting yourself in the foot.

#2: Display Results Effectively

Displaying search results in clear and logical order helps users make sense of the information you present them.

Industry analysis shows that users spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at a search results page before deciding whether to stay or leave the website. There’s more: 60% of consumers abandon purchases due to poor website user experience.

  • Make search results easy to scan by keeping the layout of the search results page clean and straightforward and adding plenty of whitespaces.

  • Call out the search terms in the results to make it easier for users to see how their search term relates to the results.

  • Display helpful information about each result, such as the title, description, and thumbnail image, to help users quickly determine if a result meets their needs.

  • Provide results filtering and sorting options with keys like date, relevance, or popularity for users to refine their search.

  • Use pagination to help users navigate through search results efficiently.

Ultimately you should also ensure the search results page is responsive on all devices, including mobile phones and tablets.

#3: Analyze User Behavior and Optimize

Like all aspects of marketing and customer acquisition decisioning, analyzing the performance of your search bar is crucial for enhanced ROI.

That means you must establish a metric that helps you ensure you can track progress. Do you want to increase the number of visitors using your search bar?

Use analytics tools to track how visitors are using your search bar. Having a clear KPI helps you measure the success of your on-site search. And you can track the metrics by evaluating search terms, click-through rates, and time spent on the search results page.

A/B-test different placements, sizes, and styles and measure their impact on user behavior.

The importance of designing a seamless and user-friendly search interface cannot be overstated. An optimized search interface can make a difference in creating a positive user experience and driving business success. It helps you increase conversions from search queries, reduce irrelevant search results, and gain a competitive edge.

Don't let a subpar search interface hold back your website's potential. Use HeyDay to bring a positive spin to the search experience of your new customers while maintaining and satisfying old ones. Learn more here.


About the Author

Tom-Chris Emewulu is HeyDay’s Digital Evangelist. With 8+ years of digital marketing and business development experience, he crafts high-intent, high-converting, data-driven SEO articles that put brands on page 1 of Google search. Forbes, DW, Business Insider, Businessss2Community, and many other publications have featured his works. You can find him on Social Media via @tomchrisemewulu.


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