WordPress is a popular content management system that powers millions of websites. While it’s generally quite reliable, one thing that can sometimes let it down is the search function. When users need to find something on a WordPress site, they often turn to the search bar, only to be disappointed when the results don’t match their expectations. If you’re experiencing this problem on your WordPress site, don’t worry – there are several things you can do to improve search results.
WordPress is a great platform, but the search function can be a little bit tricky to work with. If you’re looking for ways to improve WordPress search, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll show you six methods that you can use to improve your website’s search function.
1. Use the Right Plugins
2. Optimize Your Posts and Pages
3. Use Appropriate Filters
4. Add Custom Fields
5. Use a Better Search Engine
6. Enable Google Instant
Importance of Fast Website Search
When people visit a website, the first thing they do is search for the information they need. If your website’s search function is slow and unreliable, you will lose customers. In fact, 47% of people say that they won’t wait more than three seconds for a website’s search results to appear.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure your website’s search function is fast and reliable. You can do this by optimizing your website’s search index, using the right keywords, and making sure your website is properly indexed by Google.
When it comes to eCommerce, if customers can’t find what they’re looking for on your site quickly, they’ll leave and buy from one of your competitors. That’s why it’s so important to have a fast, accurate website search.
Studies have shown that 47% of customers will leave a website if it doesn’t load within three seconds. And, according to Google, 40% of all searches are now done on mobile devices. That means that if your website doesn’t have a fast and accurate search, you’re losing out on a lot of potential sales.
Ways to Improve Search on Your WordPress Site
When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), WordPress is a platform that can be easily tweaked to improve results. There are a variety of ways to improve the search on your WordPress site, and many of them are easy to implement.
1. Install a New Theme
There are a few things you can do to improve the searchability of your WordPress site. One of the easiest is to install a new theme. A good theme will be designed for SEO and will help you to rank higher in search engine results pages.
When you’re choosing a theme, make sure that you look for one that is well-coded. Poor coding can cause your site to rank lower in search results. It’s also important to choose a theme that is responsive so that your site will display correctly on all devices.
2. Try a Plugin
Hundreds of WordPress plugins are available to help you improve your site’s search. But which ones are worth trying?
One great plugin for improving your site’s search is the Yoast SEO plugin. It’s one of the most popular plugins available, with over 1 million active installations. Yoast SEO helps you to improve your site’s search engine ranking by providing you with tips and suggestions for optimizing your content.
The right plugin can help you to improve your search results and make it easier for your visitors to find the content they are looking for. There are a number of different plugins that you can use for this purpose. Some of the most popular plugins include the Yoast SEO plugin, the All in One SEO Pack plugin, and the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. Each of these plugins has its own unique features and benefits.
Like the above list, Relevanssi is a free plugin you can install from the repository. The difference is in the sheer scope of its overhaul. It replaces your default search engine with a far superior one.
This upgrades the way the search results work. It includes matching partial queries, allowing you to search for all or some of the words, and using quotes for exact match results. And of course, it includes support for custom fields and filtering.
There’s also a premium version of the plugin that comes with several advanced features. It gives you a lot more control overweighting for categories. You can also index a few more things like user-profiles and even PDFs or other attachments. It also lets you search across multiple sites if you’re on a multisite network!
This plugin is a lot heavier than similar ones due to how much it changes and how it indexes pages. Therefore, it may need up to hundreds of megabytes of database space. If you’re using low-end hosting, then Relevanssi may not work correctly.
Besides that, it works pretty well on most sites and can really upgrade your search results.
4. Google Custom Search
If you’ve ever been on a site and its search bar redirected you to a Google page, that’s the result of Programmable Search Engine, also known as Google Custom Search. It replaces all internal searches on your site, routing it through Google’s servers instead.
On one hand, this has the benefit of taking the load off your own server. On the other hand, unless you design it to match your theme, being redirected to a Google page can be jarring for visitors. It’s also only free if you allow Adsense ads to show on the page.
If this seems like the right solution for you, you can either add it manually or use a plugin. Either way, you’ll need to head to the PSE site and enter your URL, then set up the search engine so it works the way you want.
If you want to add it manually, you’ll be given a code you can insert into your theme. Or you can use the WP Google Search plugin which will handle this step for you.
You’ve likely seen plugins mention Ajax search even if you don’t know what it is. Basically, Ajax is a web technology that allows a webpage to update with new information without needing to reload.
In other words, an Ajax search engine shows search results live without a refresh, possibly even as the user types. This is a lot more convenient for the user than having to type out a query and then be taken to a separate page or wait for a reload.
You could code an Ajax search engine yourself, but it’s a lot easier to implement it with a plugin. Several of these exist, but one popular example is Ajax Search Lite. This includes filtering, Google autocomplete and search suggestions, as well as a custom field and post type support.
There’s also a pro version that searches in plugins like BuddyPress forums and WooCommerce products. It also comes with caching to speed things up a little.
A second option is SearchWP Live Ajax Search, which connects with the premium SearchWP plugin (though it doesn’t require it) and includes a ton of customization options. At the same time, it’s also fairly lightweight and designed to stay out of your way, requiring minimal setup and maintenance.
Elasticsearch is an extremely powerful and surprisingly fast search engine widely used across the web and in apps. If you want the best of the best when it comes to search, this is a good place to start.
It’s possible to manually implement Elasticsearch, either yourself or with a developer (it is free and open-source), or using the managed and paid Elastic Cloud service. The latter will also require some manual setup to get it working on your site.
There’s also the option of using the ElasticPress plugin. It makes the implementation process much easier and is also designed to work with WordPress-specific technology like WooCommerce products, comments, and custom fields.
Note that you’ll still need to either purchase Elastic Cloud or ElasticPress hosting to get this plugin working. This definitely isn’t a cheap option, but it’s worth it if you want reliable and fast search results even on large websites.
WordPress sites rely on search to help users find the content they need. If your WordPress site’s search isn’t working well, then you’re losing traffic and potential customers. In this article, we’ve outlined six methods you can use to improve your WordPress site’s search. Have you tried any of these methods? Let us know in the comments.