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Website Stuff: Do you have a Search Box on your website?

(15 Posts)
nannynick Sat 09-Aug-08 12:28:32

I was updating my website this morning and realised that on mumsnet I frequently use the Search For Messages facility, yet I don't have any form of site search on my own website.
So I added it and will monitor it's usage over the next few months.

Do you have a search facility on your website? Do you find this helps identify what visitors to your site are looking for?

When you visit a website, if it has a search facility, do you use it?
If I visit, Amazon, Argos, or any on-line retailer I certainly use the search facility. As I said already, I used it on non-ecommerce sites like mumsnet. So I do wonder if visitors to my own website would use a search facility, or not. Time will tell I guess.
Have you enabled search on your site? Has it helped convert visitors into customers?

TishTashToys Sun 10-Aug-08 09:06:10

Hi Nick - I've just been on your website (which is lovely by the way). Looks like you have the search button on the bottom now. Only thing I would say is the google search bar at the top is confusing - having two I mean. We've got our search bar at the top of our page. I'd be happy to add an article about your site to my blog www.tishtashtoys.com/trekmorocco if you fancy making a wee donation to my charity walk? See www.justgiving.com/tishtashtoys

All the best, Sharon

overthemill Mon 11-Aug-08 15:25:11

i agree - one search box but maybe have it so people can choose to 'search this website OR search google'?

updating my site at present - very hard to get it right i reckon!

nannynick Mon 11-Aug-08 17:02:37

Since adding the search boxes, only one person has actually used the facility. Ok, so I don't get that many visitors to my site, but those I do get I would have thought would want to look for something, guess I may be wrong. Time will tell.

In terms of removing one of the search bars... which one? The one Top Right, or the one at the bottom of the page?

overthemill Mon 11-Aug-08 17:15:02

personally i think that having a google powered search facility of your website might be useful

bettythebuilder Mon 11-Aug-08 17:30:08

interesting that not many people are using it- I've been wondering about having a search button on my site, but really it might just be to give a more 'professional' look, as the site isn't huge, and I only have a handful of products/pages.

If a search box gives the option of 'search google', would that mean that people may be more likely to leave my site, though?

nannynick Mon 11-Aug-08 17:40:51

I was wondering the same thing. You don't want someone leaving your site, you want to keep them on it.

The Google Custom Search I've implemented, does not seem to give the option of letting someone search anything other than my site and results pages are displayed within my site, so keeping visitors on the website. Give it a Try, to see how search results are displayed.

I've only had it installed since Saturday and stats is showing only 62 unique visitors between then and now. So 1 out of 62 has used the search facility at the moment.

bettythebuilder Mon 11-Aug-08 17:58:05

Ah, yes, I see, it works well (you'll have had 1 more person using the search facility now )

I think my site is pretty easy to navigate, so not sure if a search button would be used much- but I do want to make peoples visits as easy as possible! <<ponders>>

overthemill Mon 11-Aug-08 18:06:42

nick, i like the search in google on your wesbite (couldnt think what to look for tho!).

I also really like the updates you have made to the site since I last looked about 1 year ago.

it's very clear/clean/easy to read and to navigate - i love your availability schedule - very open and approachable. well done.
did you design it yourself?

nannynick Mon 11-Aug-08 18:25:05

Thanks for giving it a go bettythebuilder. Just visited your website and see what you mean... what would people search on.
That is something I was hoping having a search facility would help answer. I know how people get to my website, I know what they then look at, but I don't know what they are actually looking for.

overthemill - initial site concept was designed by a mumsnetter, navymummy - see this recent thread: build a website? how? (Freelancers/Self Employer)
I took the layout design and coded the site mostly in CSS and HTML. I'm not great at colour concepts, so navymummy helped a lot by coming up with the colour scheme and graphical elements. I had the fun of working out what I could do in CSS, to match what navymummy had drawn - the gray box was the hardest bit. There are some imperfections still, sometimes things just won't line up. I see it as being a work in progress, it is constantly changing a little bit here, a little bit there.

mummysmagic Wed 20-Aug-08 15:34:25

Hi Nick

I've just had a look at the site and think it looks great! I would keep both boxes as the google one is clearly marked. You site one is obvious and well placed in the middle of the page.

Is it easy to add a search box to a page?? I would love to know how to do this

Looking forward to learning something new!grin

nannynick Wed 20-Aug-08 18:48:05

Yes it is easy to add. Google provides you with the code, which you cut and paste into your webpage.
However to get Google search without advertising, will cost $100 a year.
Google search integrates with Google Analytics to enable you to see what people are typing into the search boxes on your site.

stallfinder Fri 22-Aug-08 19:56:11

Hi I have 2 main search boxes on my website, one to search for stallholders and one for events plus I have other searches set up. If you do have any search boxes, make sure any search results open in a new window so people don't leave your site completely. I track what users have searched for via my stats page.
Gail.

SorenLorensen Fri 22-Aug-08 20:07:46

I think the search box is a good idea and I like the layout of the site but I'm going to nit-pick (sorry!) On the autism page it should be sociable, not socialable. On the cost page it's equivalent, not equivilent. I also (sorry, it's the pedant in me) think you need an apostrophe in Nick's - as in Nick's babysitting service (in the blue box - though maybe as it's your copyright this is difficult to change? I don't know about copyrights but is it an officially registered name?) and I don't like the squashed up-ness on the home page - your blue box overlaps your "send an email".

I hope you don't mind me being so picky - I just think it will look more professional with those minor changes smile

nannynick Sat 23-Aug-08 14:14:53

Thanks... I like it when people proof-read my site, as I'm terrible at proof reading grin

autism page - fixed.
cost page - fixed.
in the blue box - fixed (easy to do, as it is a footer, which is an include file - so one change to that file, affects all pages using that footer).

>I don't like the squashed up-ness on the home page - your blue box overlaps your "send an email".

Think I've fixed that. It is browser dependent to a large extent - different browsers will display the CSS in different ways. Have increased box size by 25 pixels. Looks ok to me in IE7 and Firefox 3.0.1

Please do spot any offer issues, I appreciate the proof-reading smile

I hope you don't mind me being so picky - I just think it will look more professional with those minor change

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