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Improve SEO and User Experience by Adopting These On-site Search Best Practices

An on-site search best practices are more than a search box; it's an integral part of how visitors engage with your website.

Search Best Practices

On-site search best practices are more than a search box; it’s an integral part of how visitors engage with your website.

An on-site search function is necessary regardless of how user-friendly your website is or how smooth the user experience (UX) is. Your site visitors want a quick way to locate what they want.

On-site searching is an integral part of how visitors interact with your website. Google has set the bar pretty high; nowadays, customers expect search to be flawless. Visitors may leave your website if your on-site searching doesn’t return relevant results. To ensure that your on-site searching brings in customers, what are some things you can do?

Here are some on-site search best practices, how the data can inform your SEO efforts, and a solution for the SEO risks involved.

Best practices for on-site search are listed below.

Plopping a search widget on your site isn’t quite enough. A search feature that doesn’t meet customers’ expectations becomes a hindrance rather than a help.

An on-site search on your website may hinder users from purchasing from you. Here are seven guidelines for improving the user experience with on-site search.


Here's the List of Those Best Practices for On-Site SEO


1. It’s essential to place the search box in the right spot.

No one should have to scroll to the bottom of your website to find your search bar. It should be easy to locate. On a desktop, your search bar should be positioned near the top-right corner.

It is essential to ensure that a mobile device has its line at the top of the screen. Users may become confused if the search box is too close to other boxes, such as a newsletter subscription sign-up form.

2. Your Search box design.

The design elements should be clear about what the search box does. A search box, a button, and a magnifying glass are present.

Users enter queries in the search box. If the field is too short, people have difficulty editing their queries because they cannot see all of their text. To accommodate the majority of user queries, the input field should be 27 characters wide.

Including a search button in your design lets, users know there is an additional step required to perform a search. The magnifying glass is critical because it is a widely recognized symbol for “search.”

Large icons are necessary to signal consumers clearly, even on mobile devices.

3. You can add placeholder texts.

It is a good practice to include placeholder text in the search box so that users can get an idea of what they can search for.

4. Auto-complete.

When a user searches on a site, the search box will automatically suggest items or categories the user may be interested in, saving the user time and effort by predicting the search query.

This feature isn’t about making the search process faster; it is about helping users compose better queries. Giving users too many suggestions is not advisable; five to ten results is the best practice.

5. You can create custom ranking options.

After users interact with the search box and submit a query, they are taken to the results page.

You desire to manage (or prioritize) which pages appear at the top of your on-site search results. Controlling pages manually allows you to advertise seasonal goods or bargains.

6. No results page.

It is crucial to avoid creating a “no results” page. Visitors may feel like they have reached a dead end if they see “no results.” They may leave if they don’t think your site has what they want.

The best approach is to offer visitors a path forward. You can entice visitors’ interest by including a few relevant products or categories under the “zero results” message.

7. Results should be simple.

On-site searches seek to locate the desired item as fast as possible. Because of this, on-site searches must be simple. Customers may use filters to narrow down their searches to locate what they want.

Someone searching for “wedding plus size dresses” is probably looking for a specific size, color, and price, among other things.

You may also like: 5 Ways to Boost Your Digital Data Marketing Strategy’s Impact.


To improve communication with our audiences, we, as marketers, collect both first-party and third-party data, trying out different tools and techniques. On-site searches allow you to understand what a user seeks when visiting your website immediately.

When visitors use the on-site search box, they enter precisely what they are searching for. According to Forrester Research, online visitors using the search box are two to three times more likely to convert than those who don’t.

  • Site UX.
  • Keyword Research.
  • Gaps in content.
  • SERP Feature:
  • Sitelink Search Box.

Site UX

If you see a particular page producing a lot of traffic from searches, there is probably something missing from a navigational standpoint. Check that page and see if you can make the popular search query more prominent on the page.

A typical example of on-site search is when users search for a term like “login” on your homepage, and most on-site searches are initiated from the homepage. In this situation, you might want to test ways to make the “login” button more visible.

Keyword Research

To know what terms users search for on your site, you have to look at the search box. The search queries users enter into the search box will likely be the ones they typed into Google search.

On-site search can be used to advantage in keyword research. These keywords deliver triple the heat. People searching for these queries are more likely to purchase products.


When people search for specific information but cannot find it, it indicates that you should create new content. This data reveals where your audience came to find the information they sought.


Sitelink Search Box

Google Search may display a scoped search box on your website’s homepage if it ranks highly on search results. However, sitelink search boxes are not guaranteed to appear in search results.

The Risks of Indexing Site Search Pages

At this point, I hope you are persuaded of the merits of an on-site search! Before you put this onto your website, you must be aware of the risks.

Allowing internal site search URLs to be indexed can negatively impact your site’s performance. Google’s webmaster guidelines clearly outline the company’s position on this issue:

“Use the robots.txt file on your web server to manage your crawling budget by preventing crawling of infinite spaces such as search result pages.”

To keep things moving, Google allocates a certain amount of time to crawl each site (known as the “crawl budget”). The amount of time (crawl budget) your website gets is determined by size and health.

It’s not optimal to crawl lots of internal site search URLs—Mark your internal search results pages as no-index to ensure optimal performance.

Search boxes should easily locate and use on desktop and mobile devices.Find an on-site search widget that allows you to customize results. Don’t be lazy on the ‘no results’ page; use it for advertising-related topics of interest.

Remember to preserve your crawl budget by no-indexing your search result pages. Use this massive volume of information to your benefit.

  • Quality data tip: Ensure that all search terms are tracked in lower case by adding a GA filter. This way, reporting data will not split whether a user types’ TERM X’ or ‘term x.’

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