Magento website search guide!
A complete Magento website search guide
Magento can be one of the most powerful ecommerce platforms for businesses, but it doesn’t get there just from installing it. Much like the old Spiderman movies, it needs some work before it’s ready to be anywhere near up to standards. This is the beauty of it; it’s able to go as far as you’re willing to take it. The only real limitation is your imagination, so if you’re good with creating out of the box ideas you’re more likely to succeed. The following article will act as a Magento website search guide.
Firstly I’d like to go over the three types of search methods Magento Community Edition features. These are:
- “Like” searches
- “Full-text” searches
- “Combined” searches
On Magento community edition, the standard setting for searches is the “like” search. This is where the results are similar to the keyword that was entered. For example, if someone types in “ball” then they would see everything with the word “ball” in it. The searches displayed will be things like football, basketball, baseball etc. This search method of one of the least favourites as it does not actually search by relevance, and therefore affects the accuracy of the searches.
The “full-text” search method is a better way of getting more relevant results. However the huge disadvantage is that if the user misplaces even a single letter in a word, the search results will be affected completely and no results will show. So let’s say you wanted to search for a black jacket, if you typed “blakc jacket” by mistake, it will display no results despite the obvious indication that you are looking for black jackets…And they say that machines will take over the world one day…
If you figured out that “combined” search is a combination of “full-text” and “like” search, then you are a genius. You should stop reading this article right away, retire from your job and enjoy the rest of your life as a genius (although I’m not sure it pays quite well).
When it comes to advanced search methods, Magento Enterprise definitely has the upper hand. This is because Enterprise websites are supported with the Apache Solr search engine which gives it features like search redirects, search filtering and so much more. For Magento Community edition (CE) websites, there are less features to work with, however it still lets you make changes to your site search. However, for Magento CE the search can be developed through multiple extensions to make the experience more pleasant for the user.
Now that we have the basics down, here are a few tips you can use to improve your Magento site search:
Tolerance of misspellings:
As mentioned before, it’s common that people misspell certain words. Don’t let this be the reason you’re missing out on conversions! Error tolerance drastically improves the user’s experience and keeps the user on your site. It is good practice to show the user that they have misspelled the word by providing their search term alongside the corrected search term.
Have you ever used Google and before you finish typing you see your search term suggested underneath? Well I’m sure 99% of you will have, and for those of you that haven’t it looks like this…
Implementing this on your site is massive. While it may seem small, little improvements in user experience can go a very long way!
Using synonyms will allow your customers to find the product they are looking for without having to type the exact word as it is written on the listing. For example, if someone is looking for a pair of trainers but instead they type in “sneakers”, the use of synonyms/labels will direct them to the same page as if they typed “trainers”. This can be extremely handy as not everyone will search the exact terms for your products.
To be able to use these features on Magento CE, you’ll have to find plugins which can allow you to do it. Having said this, I’ve written down a few extensions which you may benefit from:
FREE: (Rated 5/5 on Magento Connect).
FREE: (Rated 4.5/5 on Magento Connect).
$80.00: (Rated 4.8/5 on Magento Connect).
And that concludes my article, if there are any good extensions you feel I am missing, just drop a comment below! Other than that, have a great day and I hope you enjoyed this article! 🙂