Some of you might believe that site search is important to raise your conversion rates and what to make search work. Others might be more resigned to the fact that site search is hard and that you don’t really know what to do to make it better. You probably have thought of lots of reasons that you’d like it to be better: everything from higher revenue to lower support costs to better customer experience. But have you thought about the impact on your reputation?
Your brand’s reputation is one of the most valuable assets you have. We all know that brands have become experiences, so what is your brand’s search experience like? Search is actually a very tricky brand promise. If you think about what your search box means, it basically boasts, “Type anything in here and we will answer your question.”
How are you delivering on that promise? Because poor performance in your site search damages your brand’s reputation. The people who stick around to search probably already hold your brand in higher regard than the rest — the rest just abandoned your site without searching. So when you disappoint them, you are disappointing your core audience. These are the people already rooting for your brand — the last people you want to disappoint, because they are the ones who actually buy from you.
If no other arguments have worked to get you to improve your site search, maybe this is the one that will do it. Your most loyal fans are the ones who search on your site the most. You owe it to them to deliver the information they need. Your brand’s reputation is depending on it.