WordPress Search: Best Practices
It’s not often you find articles related to WordPress search on the web for some reason. I don’t know why is this the case, but I’ll try to fill that gap here. Read below to find useful information on how and why it is important to add a good WordPress search box for your blog.
Why is a Good Search Box Important For Your Blog?
There are 3 reasons:
WordPress Standard Search – Avoid It
Using the WordPress Standard search box is the worst option. In my experience the WordPress standard search returns very few relevant results. It can decently handle 1-word queries (if you type ‘people’ for example) but for more complex queries it’s terrible.
If you still want to use the standard search box for WordPress then I recommend you get the following plugins:
Why is it important to track what people are searching for? Allow me to share one story.
Several months ago, I was researching and writing a list of people search engines which soon became the most popular article on the entire blog. I started received tons of traffic and realized I could make use of that opportunity by analyzing the behavior of some of the people who came to the site and possibly gaining new insights.
So I installed a plugin like Search Meter (unfortunately that plugin is no longer working now so can’t really recommend it) and was SHOCKED to see that 99% of the people typed NAMES into the search box (I had 0 posts that mentioned any name)! Upon further investigation I saw that most people search sites worked this way, you just type a name and get results. Mine was different, mine was a people search help website (providing advice) but that didn’t stop people from typing names in the search box.
Lesson learned: People were used to the typical format of a typical people search site and expected mine to be no different (for your niche and industry, you may discover some even more surprising insights).
For me, I tried this on some other sites as well and always received types of searches I didn’t expect (which later gave me ideas for new articles etc.)
Nowadays WordPress comes with a default widget where you can put a custom Google code and have your blog search powered by Google. There are many tutorials in case you don’t know how to do this, just type ‘add Google custom search in WordPress’ on Google and you’ll get a bunch of good articles.
Bing is a search engine from Microsoft (in case you’ve been living under a rock) and also gives you an option to add a ‘bing custom search’ that will allow visitors to search your site only. To do that, go to their advanced search page, complete the 3 steps and after that you’ll be given some HTML code.
Now, add a text widget to your blog sidebar (its description is “Arbitrary text or HTML”) and voila! I’ve tried this on my blog and here are the results:
Here you get the results as a ‘pop-up’ window. If you want it to be in a separate location, this WordPress Codex article gives you more info.
First, install Search Meter and Search Everything. See what are visitors searching for on your blog.
Second, decide between Google and Bing. I personally prefer Google custom search because they offer an easy option to track what people are searching for.
If you found this article helpful, let us know in the comments below!
About the Author :
I am Darren, a writer with 3+ years experience. I write mostly on web-design related topics
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