Internal Search: A Guide to Internal Site Search


Let’s talk shop – your online store, to be precise. The internal search engine is more than just a search bar; it’s the backbone of your eCommerce success.

In this guide, we’ll dive into how an internal site search can significantly impact user satisfaction, give you a competitive edge, and ultimately boost your revenue. No frills, just the facts.

What is Internal Site Search?

An internal search engine is a feature on your site that allows your customers to find specific products, categories, or information easily.

It acts as a practical tool, ensuring that visitors can quickly and efficiently locate what they’re looking for during their online shopping experience. Essentially, it’s an advanced search engine within your website.

Internal search engines employ algorithms and indexing to swiftly process user queries and generate relevant results.

This process is like having a helpful assistant at a physical store who guides customers to the exact section where they can find the product that they’re looking for.

With an internal site search feature, customers can easily filter results, explore specific categories, and access detailed product information—all within the confines of the search interface.

This ensures that your customers not only find what they’re looking for, but also enjoy a streamlined and personalized shopping journey through your eCommerce site. 

Benefits for eCommerce Managers

The benefits of a well-optimized internal search engine extend far beyond streamlined navigation. As an eCommerce manager, your focus on user satisfaction, competitive advantage, revenue growth, and understanding user behavior is pivotal to the success of your online platform.

1. Improves User Satisfaction

Happy customers mean repeat business. A streamlined site search ensures visitors can quickly find the products they’re interested in, making for a positive shopping experience and increasing the likelihood of customer loyalty. 

In fact, research shows that 68% of customers experience frustration in the overall product search experience, which means that by simply optimizing your internal search engine, you can reduce this customer frustration.

2. Secures a Competitive Advantage

In the crowded online marketplace, standing out is crucial. An effective eCommerce search engine gives your eCommerce platform a leg up.

When users can effortlessly find products, your site becomes the preferred choice over competitors. 

Research shows that 12% of users will bounce to a competitor’s site after an unsatisfactory search. A well-optimized internal site search engine can capture and retain these users effectively.

3. Increases Revenue

The bottom line is that a user-friendly experience leads to increased revenue. When customers can easily locate and purchase products, conversion rates go up. 

Research shows that over 50% of eCommerce sales can be traced back to search bar usage. The internal website search engine is a revenue booster, plain and simple.

4. Provides Understanding of User and Usability Challenges

Insights into customers’ behavior are always an invaluable resource. Internal site search engines not only help users; they also provide you with data on user preferences and potential usability challenges, allowing you to fine-tune your strategy for optimal performance. 

Research shows that 30% of eCommerce visitors use internal search functions. Analyzing this data helps eCommerce managers make informed decisions to enhance the overall user experience.

Must-Have Features Tailored for eCommerce

1. Visibility

When someone lands on your website, finding what they need should be easy. That’s why the search bar should be positioned right at the top of the homepage.

It’s design should be simple and clear, with an icon and colors that match your brand. This makes it stand out, and when people notice it, they’re more likely to use it. 

Having the search bar in such a visible spot increases the chances of visitors finding what they’re looking for and making a purchase.

In our internal search example below, you can see that the eCommerce search bar is placed front and center on the page, even above the navigation menu. 

internal search

2. AI-Powered

An AI-powered internal search takes this to the next level by adapting to user behavior. For instance, if a customer frequently explores running shoes, the system learns and reorganizes search results based on previously clicked products.

The most clicked items are prioritized at the top of the search results when the customer returns, providing them with a completely personalized search experience. 

In the internal search example below, you can see that these users were presented with completely different results for the same search query based on their previous search history and preferences.

internal search engine

2. Capable of Anticipating User Queries

Gone are the days of reactive search functions. A robust internal site search now anticipates user queries, offering a proactive approach to online shopping. 

The system not only provides autocomplete search suggestions but also corrects typos in real time. This ensures a seamless search experience, where users receive relevant suggestions and options before completing their queries. 

This natural language search feature streamlines the path to purchase and increases the likelihood of converting searches into sales.

In the internal search example below, you can see that after just typing “sof” the user is presented with multiple search suggestions to help guide their shopping journey.

internal site search

3. Product Boosting

Advanced eCommerce internal search engines offer powerful searchandising tools which let you strategically prioritize search results according to your marketing objectives.

This allows you to give a significant boost to the visibility of specific products in the search results, making it easy to sell excess stock and promote new products. 

Take it a step further by creating banners tailored for specific search terms. These banners can seamlessly appear within the search results, serving as powerful promotional tools.

Use them to highlight ongoing sales, guide users to essential landing pages, specific categories, or even exclusive brand collections.

With searchandising, your internal site search engine becomes a powerful sales tool, helping you not only manage inventory efficiently but also strategically promote key elements of your online store.

internal search example

4. Optimized for Mobile Devices

Mobile commerce is booming, and your internal search must keep pace. A mobile-friendly search UI design ensures a consistent and enjoyable shopping experience, whether customers are using smartphones or tablets. 

Buttons are appropriately sized, and the search bar is easily accessible without compromising the overall aesthetic. This optimization caters to the on-the-go nature of mobile users, fostering a positive user experience and increasing the likelihood of mobile-driven conversions. 

The mobile search UX is seamlessly integrated, providing a fluid and efficient journey for users. In the internal search example below, you can see that the filters button floats at the bottom of the screen for ease of access.

internal website search engine

5. Provides Data Insights & Analytics

Gain insights into searches with no results, which are crucial for understanding user behavior and refining product offerings.

Consistent patterns of unsuccessful searches indicate an opportunity to expand your inventory. 

Additionally, this feature provides valuable information for analyzing your website’s top searches, and top clicked products.

Understanding how searches translate into purchases allows for data-driven decisions to optimize the user experience and drive sales.

internal search engine for website

6. Offers Customization Options 

Your eCommerce store has a unique identity, and your internal site search should reflect that. Customization options allow you to tailor the search interface to match the look and feel of your brand. 

This goes beyond functionality, extending to the aesthetics of the search interface. Adjust the color scheme, layout, and overall design to seamlessly integrate with your brand identity, ensuring a cohesive and branded experience for your users.

best internal website search engine

7. Provides “No Results” Customization

When users search for something not found on your site, whether it isn’t sold or it’s just out of stock, an advanced site search goes beyond a plain “no results” page.

Instead, it offers helpful alternatives like suggesting similar items, proposing different search terms, or guiding them to popular products. 

This feature aims to transform a dead end into a positive and engaging experience, encouraging users to explore your site further.

In the internal search example below, you can see that the user is presented with similar product recommendations to the query that returned the “no results” page.

internal search engine for companies

Internal Search Checklist for eCommerce Managers

Before implementing the  internal search engine, consider these key questions:

1. What brings your customers to your eCommerce site?

Understanding the motives behind your customers’ visits is fundamental. Are they seeking specific products, browsing for inspiration, or looking for information?

Tailoring your internal website search engine to align with these motivations ensures a more responsive and user-centric experience.

2. What is the primary purpose of your online store?

Define the core objective of your eCommerce venture. Whether it’s selling products, providing information, or a combination of both, your internal search should be designed to support and enhance this primary purpose, contributing to the overall success of your online presence.

3. How extensive is your product catalog?

The size and diversity of your product catalog impact the complexity of your internal site search engine. A vast catalog may require advanced features like categorization, search filters, and sorting options to help users navigate seamlessly.

Understanding the scale ensures that your search functionalities meet the demands of your inventory.

4. How frequently should product search results be updated?

Regular updates to search results are vital for keeping your product offerings current and relevant.

If your inventory experiences frequent changes or additions, a more dynamic and real-time updating system is essential to provide accurate and up-to-date results, enhancing the overall user experience.

5. How much control do you need over your internal website search engine?

Assessing your desired level of control involves understanding the customization options available. Consider whether you need the ability to tailor the search interface, adjust search ranking algorithms, or implement specific search engine features.

Striking the right balance between user-friendly functionality and managerial control ensures the internal site search aligns with your unique business needs.

Implement the Best Internal Website Search Engine Today

Your eCommerce success story isn’t complete without a robust internal search engine, and Doofinder has you covered.

With all the features mentioned in the article and more, our internal search engine for companies is designed to elevate user satisfaction, give you a competitive edge, and boost your revenue.

Experience the power of Doofinder’s comprehensive search solutions with a 30-day free trial. Our free trial is all-inclusive—no limits and completely free.

This means you can explore and utilize all the features we have to offer without any restrictions. Propel your eCommerce to new heights with Doofinder’s internal site search and innovative solutions.