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Key factors when implementing a successful search function using Search & Navigation?



I'm reaching out to the community to see if you could help me with the following:

Could you name a couple of key factors when implementing a successful search function using Search & Navigation?

For example, is tagging essential to achieve a good search function? Should a select few in an organization actively work with search optimization? Is it crucial to invest a lot of time and thought to how the search engine should be configured? And so forth. You could list common pitfalls as well.

Thank you!

Apr 25, 2024 9:13

Hi Markus,

We have a client whose business is all around knowledge subscriptions so having an effective search function is top of their list, the client does have a team dedicated to content entry and a couple of roles that work specifically on tweaking the search results using best bets, synonyms, etc. Some recommendations that I suggest are listed below, however ultimately you are correct in your assumption that a good deal of time needs investing to ensure your search engine is as relevant to the consumer as possible.

Content Optimization

  • Keyword Research: Identify relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience is likely to use when searching for information related to your content or products. Tools like Google Keyword Planner can assist with this process.

  • Strategic Keyword Placement: Integrate these keywords naturally within your content, including titles, headings, meta descriptions, image alt text, and body copy. Avoid keyword stuffing, as it can negatively impact your search rankings.

  • Content Structure and Formatting: Organize your content in a clear and logical manner using headings, subheadings, and bullet points to improve readability and make it easier for search engines to understand the context of your content.

Technical Implementation

  • Faceted Search and Filtering: Implement faceted search to allow users to refine their search results based on specific criteria, such as categories, price ranges, or other relevant attributes. This can significantly enhance the user experience by helping them find exactly what they're looking for more efficiently.

  • Search Result Relevance: Regularly monitor and analyze search queries and user behavior to ensure that the most relevant results are being displayed for each search. Optimizely provides tools to track search analytics and make adjustments as needed.

You may however want to consider using Optimizely Graph instead of S&N, certainly that is the direction that Optimizely are pushing in, you would need to perform an upgrade to CMS12 for this, but something that would be worth thinking about in the future. Benefits of Optimizely Graph are many but a few select ones are:

  • Optimizely Graph offers several advantages for search functionality, including faster search results and improved error handling. This is due to its foundation in GraphQL, a query language designed for graphs and relationships. GraphQL's strongly typed and predictable nature makes it developer-friendly.

  • Optimizely Graph also provides greater flexibility in search logic, allowing for customized ranking of results. This includes options for filtering values with wildcard support and full-text searches with language analysis. Additionally, it enables cross-application and cross-platform search capabilities.
  • From a development perspective, Optimizely Graph simplifies processes like development, release, and deployment. This is particularly beneficial for geographically distributed teams.

Hope that helps a little but feel free to ask if you have further questions.


May 03, 2024 7:57
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