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How On-Site Search Can Enrich Website Usability

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website search

At some point, every SEO professional will reach a crossroads when it comes to organizing and categorizing web content. The more content that goes up on your website, the more difficult it becomes to figure out where everything fits into your content equation. it is not feasible for every new article, product, or buying guide to have its own sub-menu. As a result, your website becomes increasingly difficult for users to navigate and to find out where content fits into pre-defined categories. 

On-site search functionality is like having a helpful assistant that can guide users through your website to find relevant content. Having a search bar allows users to quickly and easily sort through your content to find what they’re looking for. However, it isn’t always that easy. Sydney SEO Agency Safari Digital provides the following advice to search for marketing professionals who are looking to improve their website UX with a search bar.

Search Tools and Search Plugins

Depending on your content management system, there is a wide variety of site search features that will be available to you right out of the box. The majority of content management systems and e-commerce platforms will come with inbuilt search functionality that can be further enhanced with other plugins. 

Most content management systems and e-commerce platforms come with the basic search functionality as standard with the platform. depending on your specific requirements of the standard functionality may be enough for your users, however, if you have a larger website or expect users to be interacting with the search functions on a regular basis that it may be worthwhile looking into to why is that you can supplement the performance of the search bar.

Optimizing the search box for usability

Like anything, there is no point in having a search function on your website if it does not only enhance the user experience. There is no one size fits all rule when it comes to search vs, however, there are a few best practices that you should be following:

Make it Visible: The placement of your search box has a significant bearing on how frequently it is used. Your website layout and UX functionality will play an important role in determining where users expect to find the search box on your website and the most intuitive location that you can put it.

Predictive search functionality: Just like using Google’s search function, having a predictive search engages users from the very moment that they start typing. By having predictive search functionality in your search bar, users are far more likely to find the content that they are looking for, or, at the very least, they are likely to spend more time on your site as they interact with other content that they find through predictive search.

Make Your CTA Count: The functionality and purpose of your search bar should be immediately clear to users. Usually, by combining text and a magnifying glass symbol, users can join the dots. Keep your search bar function CTA in line with the UX design of your website for the best results. 

On-Site Search Best Practices 

In many cases, user experience is limited by the functionality of the search bar of your website. Websites that have a search bar with little or no functionality can discourage users from interacting with other areas of their website. A good rule of thumb to follow is; if the search bar does not enhance the user experience, then you are better off with that one. Having a search bar because your competitor has one is not a good reason, it needs to be functional and enrich the user experience.

As such, extensive testing is required in order to make sure that the search bar is returning accurate and relevant results. With that in mind, here are a few of the best practices that you should keep in mind when testing for search bar functionality:

  • The search bar needs to be accessible from all pages
  • The search bar needs to be intuitive enough to prompt users through the search process
  • Search result pages must provide a relevant filter for different queries
  • The search function must accommodate typos, common misspellings, synonyms and other variants of the relevant search town
  • The search result pages use semantic search analysis that ensures the most relevant search results are displayed to the user

Search bars are an effective way to enrich the user experience and encourage users to spend more time on your site. For large websites and e-commerce websites, having a search bar is non-negotiable. 

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UI / UX

5 Reasons You Should Redesign Your Website in 2020

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when to redesign website

Your website is the face of your business as many readers or potential leads interact with your website before actually meeting you. So your first impression of your business is generated when a person visits your website.

So if your current website is not impressive or it is not redesigned in recent years then now it is time to update your design as a two-year-old website may be too old.

Other than aging, the below reasons are good enough to change your old website design.

Average Session Duration is too Low

When your visitors are not staying on your website for a long time, then bad web design can be a reason.

You need to make your web design catchy and user-friendly to make visitors stay for a longer time. The shorter session duration may increase your bounce rate which ultimately will hurt your search engine optimization efforts.

So, if your website users are not staying on the website for a while it is an indication that it is time to update your web design.

You Have Re-branded your Business

Re-branding and updating your corporate identity is a good practice but at the same time, you need to update your web design.

Re-branding may involve changes like colors and layouts in the logo or even the fonts in the corporate identity elements. If you want to re-design the logo you can use designhill logo maker to build your website or brand identity.

If you don’t want to DIY, you could also check out this 99designs vs designhill comparison and choose one of the featured sites to get your design.

In order to make your marketing tools uniform, you need to re-design your website in compliance with the changes you have made in the branding elements.

Website is Loading too Slow

The loading time of the website is very crucial in determining the behavior of the visitor with your website.

If your website is loading too slow, the user might not weight for loading and move to the next website.

Sometimes the bad website design or layout may result in slow loading of the website which may be fixed with re-designing the website.

You should always use hi res pictures on your website. Optimize the images, CSS and other scripts to ensure the minimum loading speed for the website and hence more conversions.

Your website is not Mobile Friendly

If your website is not mobile-friendly, it is not only hurting the user experience but also it is hurting your SEO efforts. Google has started penalizing the websites which are not mobile-friendly.

All you need is to check your website with the mobile-friendly test, and if your website is not mobile-friendly, then it is time to update your web design.

It will give your users a seamless experience and a boost to your search engine rankings.

Your website is not easy to Navigate

If it is difficult to locate the important pages on your website, then it might be time to change the layout and the overall design of your business website.

If the user can not find what he came for on your website, then he might leave the website.

You need to carefully craft the layout and sitemap of your website and re-design the website with the new layout & sitemap.

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UI / UX

4 Website Development Best Practices to Ensure Smooth User experience

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web development best practices

There are nearly 2 billion websites on the internet and you have a very small margin of error when it comes to user experience. It hardly takes 7 seconds to make a first impression of your website.

If your website fails to take advantage in this short span of time then your visitors will leave without bothering clicking on something on your website.

User experience becomes a more crucial factor when it comes to e-commerce websites where other factors are also playing a vital role in making the purchase decision.

To ensure long-term success in business your website needs to follow the best practices. Smooth user experience will bring back your readers and customers again and again.

Here are the best web development practices used by the advanced software development companies which will ensure a smooth and happy user experience to drive more traffic and generate more sales on your website.

1 – Make All Page Responsive

In 2018, 52.2% percent of all the internet traffic was generated through mobile phones. It signifies the importance of mobile traffic for your website.

If your website is not responsive and mobile friendly then you need to take quick action and re-design the website for mobile users.

A responsive website smoothly runs on the devices of all screen sizes and it will give a seamless experience to mobile and tablet users.

2 – Ensure Fast Loading Speed

Time is money and if your website is taking too much time loading then you are losing money.

If your website takes more than 2 seconds to load, then you are losing 50% of your traffic and increasing your bounce rate by up to 70%.

Make sure your website loads under 2 seconds. You need to optimize the code on your website, compress the images, minify JavaScript and CSS.

It is very difficult to maintain a low size of images when you want high quality. If you can’t do it yourself consider hiring professional photo editing services.

If you have huge traffic worldwide then using CDN is highly recommended.

3 – Make your Website Secure

Google has made SSL a ranking factor for the websites. The website with SSL certificate will now rank higher on search engines.

Apart from the rankings, the secured websites build trust among the users and encourage them to take an action like filling a form or making a purchase.

If you are doing an e-commerce business then you should consider implementing the extended validation certificate which displays additional information about your organization.

This information will build and immediate trust among the visitors and which will lead to an increase in sales.

Apart from the SSL certificates, you need to make your website secure from viruses and display the secured site information on the website as well to let the users know about site security.

4 – Track Visitor Behavior and Improve

The world of internet is very fast and trends keep changing. You need to track the behavior of your website users and take actions accordingly.

If the bounce rate of your website is too high, then you need to add or improve design elements. Improve the navigation of the website and add a call to actions where possible.

Constantly monitor the average session time and take action accordingly. Also, check the website security health via Google Search Console and make improvements when needed.

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