When websites are all about presenting information to viewers, it goes without saying that a powerful search functionality should be a prominent feature on every website; one which allows users to easily search and access the information they need. Episerver Find helps webmasters to do just this – provide a powerful search engine on their websites that has advanced search option and can present relevant search results from various sources in a short time. The ultimate objective is to enhance the customer experience by making it easy for them to consume information from your website.
What is EPiServer Find?
EPiServer Find is a search engine technology that has been around for some time now. Created specifically for Episerver sites, it works great on .NET sites as well, making it a popular choice for many websites. Find is an enterprise-grade SaaS search solution that improves free text search as well as the filtering and displaying of search results. As a cloud-based solution, it offers high scalability and ranks high on user-friendliness.
Find uses the search behavior of users, based on factors like search keywords and contents browsed, to optimize search results for future visits. Indexing can be done on any website object and not just web pages, making the search process very quick. It fine-tunes the search process so that you can make it easy for visitors to find relevant content with minimal manual effort.
Find comes in two versions – the Standard version which works within the framework of a website, and the Connections version which you can use to index external websites that have content relevant to your website for greater accuracy in search results.
Searching with EPiServer Find
Find has many well-laid features that make it valuable to a website. Here are a few:
- Optimized search results
Uses historic search data to optimize search results and display the most relevant content to visitors. In new websites where historic data is not available, the search relies on predefined filters and classification of webpages to display relevant information. As the website matures and search related data accumulates, the same is used to improve the relevance of search results and to provide search suggestions based on proven queries. The search data can also be used in tandem with available user information to present personalized search results to users. It is also possible to tag pages with synonyms of a keyword so that relevant pages are displayed even when a user searches with non-matching text.
2. Best Bets
As the name suggests, best bets displays the most likely results for common searches. This feature allows you to customize search results or tag it to display at the top of the search results in order to promote certain pages or content. This feature can be very useful when you are trying to format a landing page or promote certain pages as part of a marketing campaign. Best bets shows the current status of each page that it lists in the search results. This makes it easy to detect pages that are not yet published or have expired. The status display is real time and any change made by administrators is immediately reflected.
3. Smart List block
The Smart List block allows webmasters to display a smart list of content or products from the entire site for a given search criteria. This customization of search blocks can be used to promote targeted content, for example, specific products in an e-commerce site. The smart list is dynamically generated based on current pages accessed, and encourages the user to browse further items in your website.
4. Adaptive Navigation
This relies on visitor segmentation to show a targeted and personalized content to visitors. Find can present search results that are refined based on individual preference, past browsing history, past purchasing history, and the like. The same data is also used to present additional links that may be of interest to the user. Multi-dimensional navigation allows the website to present pages from different locations, so that a visitor may access a specific page from any possible path. All of these results in higher user-engagement that can lead to higher conversions.
5. Monitoring and administration
Find displays search statistics, which administrators can monitor to collect information on search trends and use it to tweak their website content accordingly. The Statistics View displays the most popular search keywords, number of successful searches, searches that did not return relevant information (no pages were clicked), and so on. This data is valuable to administrators as it helps them to improve the content on their website and achieve higher user engagement. For example, the most searched keywords tells you what content is popular with your visitors, whereas, failed search results indicate the need to add missing content or improve related content.
At a time when online retail stores are reporting an astounding 74.6% rate of cart abandonment, adding an intuitive and powerful search functionality backed by EPiServer Find is all that you need to keep visitors hooked on to your website.
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