WordPress’s default search isn’t particularly good and it’s not easily configurable. Many WordPress webmasters, whether bloggers or business site runners, do nothing to improve the search experience on their blogs, which I think is a mistake. WordPress search is the most natural and efficient method for discovering new content within a blog. Even with a well-designed layout and thoughtful navigation, it’s easy for users to miss the information they’re looking for.
The default paradigm for WordPress site layout — the blog — does very little for information discovery. Content is presented serially on the main index page, or with various forms of categorization and tagging, but even the most well constructed category and tagging system will fail to communicate the content of a site well. Smart bloggers give users the opportunity to discover content through search.
The problem is even more acute for business sites, where missed information can result in lost leads.
Of course, users can always head back to Google and run searches there, but almost no one uses site specific searches (“site:mysite.com I want to find this”) and once users are back in the SERPs, the opportunity to shape their experience is lost.
The SERPs are a free-for-all: a user is just as likely to click on a competitor’s results. Ideally, we’d like to offer a great search experience on-site that is configurable so that the pages and post we want users exposed to find their way into the results. WordPress’s default search doesn’t cut the mustard.
Figure out WordPress Search Problems With Search WP Plugin:
Of course, there are plugins that can significantly enhance the search experience. One of my favorites is SearchWP plugin. However, it is a premium wordpress search plugin. But, it’s very effective for my blog, plus its also include a huge number of enhancements and even has its own extensions.
Decide what is searched:
One of the main problems with WordPress search is that it shows everything that matches, often in an order that’s not conducive to a good user experience. For the most part, we want to show users relevant posts and pages, not taxonomy pages or media. But a photo blogger might prefer to have their images and other media highlighted in the results pages.
SearchWP allows webmasters to configure exactly what appears in the search results, including custom fields.
Configure Keyword Weighting:
SearchWP allows users to choose which elements are given the most weight in search results. For example, you can configure titles to be more highly weighted than body text — an article with “shoes” in the title will rank higher for keyword queries than an article where “shoes” only appears in the body text .
What users search for and what they find (or don’t find) through wordpress search can give site owners a powerful indicator of the sort of content they should be providing. If, on your shoe blog, you notice lots of people searching for “brown chelsea boot”, but not finding anything, it’s a strong indicator that you should focus some time on that topic. SearchWP provides a range of useful search statistics.
If you’re not happy with the default features, SearchWP also offers a number of extensions to add functionality, including FacetedWP for faceted search, Boolean searching, fuzzy matching, and integration with various other plugins, such as WPML and bbPress.
Want to get instant access to SearchWP wordpress search plugin to fix problems? Click ‘download now’ to get instant access to this plugin:
Site owners should take search seriously, and SearchWP is the best solution to the WordPress search problem that I’ve encountered.
About Matthew Davis — Matthew works as an inbound marketer and blogger for Future Hosting, a leading provider of VPS hosting. Follow Future Hosting on Twitter at @fhsales, like them on Facebook and check out their tech/hosting blog, http://blog.nexcess.net/.