Shortcut to this page: http://faq.ph9.com/faq_question.asp?key=1229&topic=how-does-the-search-work
How does the search work?

Contents


1) When we would recommend having a search on your website VS when we would NOT

2) Turning the search facility on/off

3) Ensuring people find your items

4) Search thesaurus

5) Order of results in the search

6) Can search results be displayed in date order?

7) Why are irrelevant items included in search results?

8) Sold items in search results

9) Categories in search results





1) When we would recommend having a search on your website VS when we would NOT


As a general rule, if your website has less than about 500 items, we would recommend against having the search facility turned on.


Here is why:-

a) You're more likely to "cross" sell items if people browse your site rather than search. Think about when you visit a physical shop. You may go in looking for a chair, not find the chair you want, but see a lovely lamp and buy that. So if people browse your stock rather than searching for something specific, they might find something else they want to buy instead of what they were initially looking for

b) It is easier to maintain a website without a search facility, than one with (as explained in the "ensuring people find your items" section)


2) Turning the search facility on/off

In the website manager, go to the "Settings" section, then "General Settings". From here, click on the "Search" tab and you'll find the option to turn the search facility on/off.


3) Ensuring people find your items

To get the search facility to work best, we suggest you follow these tips in naming your items.

These recommendations not only help with the search facility built into your website, but can also really help with Google searches too.


a) Ensure you have common words that someone might search for in the name of the item. For example, rather than just calling an item "table", be more descriptive. For example, call it "19th century antique large dining table". This will help if somebody searches your site for "dining table" or "large table" for example. Without being this descriptive in the naming of your items, the search will have little information to go by when visitors search your site

b) For our general recommendations on item naming, please see the blog article we've written on this:-



c) Make sure you write an item description too. Some website owners don't bother and skip this part, but adding an item description with any relevant additional information will help when visitors use the search. As well as the search facility built into your website, it's good for Google too!

d) You can also use the search thesaurus facility (see below)


4) Search thesaurus


Our websites have a search thesaurus facility too.

This works by searching for alternative words when a visitors performs a search.

For example...

a) If a visitor searches for "sittee", then it would be also a good idea if the website searched for "sofa", and vice versa

b) If a visitor searches for "chairs" and you want to include "stools" in the results, you can add "chair" and "stool" into the thesaurus.

The search thesaurus is completely customisable, so you can set up which words you'd like to be used.

To access the search thesaurus management function, in the website manager go to the "Settings" section, then "General Settings". From here, click on the "Search" tab and you'll find the search thesaurus.


5) Order of results in the search

Some clients ask how the website prioritizes results in the search.

This is a little complex to explain in full, but please find a simplified explanation below as to the order of the search results.

The below is from top to bottom (eg items at the top of the search, to items at the bottom of the search)


a) Items where search term matches the item reference / item code
eg, visitor searches for "1234" and an item with item code "1234" is found

b) Items where search term matches the name of the item exactly (an exact match of the item name to what was searched for)
eg, visitor searches for "Dining chair" and the item name is "Dining chair"

c) Items where search term is somewhere in the name of the item
eg, visitor searches for "Dining chair" and the item name is "19th Century Dining chair" or "Antique Dining chairs"

d) Items where all the words in the search term are somewhere in the name of the item, but not in the same order as searched for
eg, visitor searches for "19th century table" and the item name is "Table from the 19th Century"

e) Items found using the thesaurus matching against the name of the item
As explained in the thesaurus section above

f) Broader searches matching the name of the item

g) Where the search term is found in the description
eg the longer description, not the item name / item title



6) Can search results be displayed in date order?


No. The website displays search results in order of how relevant they are to what has been searched for, as explained in the "Order of results in the search" section above.


7) Why are irrelevant items included in search results?

Sometimes clients ask us why seemingly irrelevant items are included in search results.

The items will actually be relevant somehow, based on how the website searches for items as explained in the "Order of results in the search" section above.

For example:-

a) If you search for "chair" and a table comes up somewhere in the search results, then perhaps it might have some text along the lines of "This beautiful table would look great with a set of six chairs" in the description. Because the description has the word "chair" in it, this is why it appears in the search results. However, as per the "Order of results in the search" section above, it will be listed underneath any results matching "chair"

b) When you search for very short terms (eg only a few letters)....

If you search for "cat", as well as any items you sell such as a "Ceramic cat" or "Stone cat", you may find search results with the word "cat" in the item title or description somewhere. For example:-
  • scattered
  • located
  • delicate
Of course as per the "Order of results in the search" section above, these will come up under the more relevant results.



8) Sold items in search results

We don't recommend including sold items in your search results, but you can enable this (or disable it if it's already turned on), by going into the website manager, then the "Settings" menu, then "General Settings", and then clicking on the "Search" tab. Here you'll find an option to turn this on/off.



9) Categories in search results


The website can also include matching categories in search results. So if a visitor searches for "chairs" and you have a category called "chairs", then the website can display this category.

You can enable this (or disable it if it's already turned on), by going into the website manager, then the "Settings" menu, then "General Settings", and then clicking on the "Search" tab. Here you'll find an option to turn this on/off.

Shortcut to this page: http://faq.ph9.com/faq_question.asp?key=1229&topic=how-does-the-search-work


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