Site search is the unsung hero for many websites, particularly those with a lot of back content that they want to make accessible to visitors.
Obviously, the first step to successfully implementing search functionality onto your website is to have a thoughtfully designed and well-placed search bar that will be noticeable for visitors that are interested in looking for additional content on your site.
It should go without saying that the ideal search bar design is one that incorporates the look and feel of a website's primary design and is placed in such a way that it is both visible for all users, while also being unobtrusive. Plus, it should be clearly labeled so that users know what it is they're looking at.
But, that being said, there is more to consider when it comes to developing a site search bar than just position, design and labeling. Webmasters must also decide if they want to include other helpful, but sometimes cumbersome and unnecessary, features like auto-suggest, auto-complete or other advanced search options. The use of such features is likely going to be dependent on the website in question, how often users are searching for content and how specific those searches usually are.
To get an idea of what it takes to integrate a stellar site search bar into your website, we've compiled a list of five great search bars from across the 'Net. However, when it comes to top-notch site search, the bars aren't the only part that's important. In Part 2 of the Site Search Showcase 2013, we'll look at search results pages, and how they can play an important role in your site search successes.
Digital marketing executive with proven experience in all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), performance-based advertising, consumer-generated/social media, email marketing, lead generation, Web design, usability, and analytics. - 20-year Internet marketing veteran, currently serving as the Digital Marketing Campaign Manager at Antenna Group (formerly Chicago Digital). - Former Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, and a regular speaker on Web technology digital marketing strategy - Author of several books on digital marketing Including Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success; Affiliate 360: The Fundamentals of Performance Marketing; Domains 360: The Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names, and SEO 360: The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.