When you're looking for something specific on a company’s website, what's the quickest and easiest way to find it? Use the search bar, of course. Internal site search is an important part of the user experience.
Aside from making it easier for visitors to quickly find what they need, having a search bar on your website improves search engine optimization and also helps boost conversion rates. Research from eConsultancy (summarized in a recent Moz article) shows 30 percent of website visitors will perform an on-site search, and those who do are twice as likely to convert. Many companies have a search bar right in the header area of their sites and most have utilized Google’s tools to accomplish this.
However, you can no longer purchase Google Site Search (GSS), and by April 1, 2018, it will be completely shut down. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to Google Site Search that are worth considering. We’ve done some homework so you don’t have to.
The pricing ranges from $199-$399 and higher, but at the cheapest option, you do miss out on some nice features like having categories, integrations with Google Analytics, a cross-site-search and a rich autocomplete.
Swiftype is another viable option. Prices range from $79 a month to $1,999 a month for enterprise-level. It has a code-free rollout and a good-looking dashboard for users. It contains full customization of search features, as well as analytics that can be synced with Google Analytics.
One feature of Swiftype that stood out to me was the ability to adjust a specific search customization with an easy drag and drop. You can simply type in the search term, see the current list of results and drag the result you would like to see at the top. The standard version does not have cross-domain search, PDF indexing or the live analytics, but these can be added on their next tier at $199/month. You will also get priority email support.
Site Search 360
Site Search 360 has an extremely easy set-up comparable to Google’s CSE and is reasonably priced. It has an effortless dashboard where you can easily access everything you would need to update or modify your search engine.
Immediately upon logging in, you will be presented with a variety of analytics, such as queries over time with a customizable time range, most recent queries, most frequent queries and query-specific metrics.
SiteSearch360 is also one of the most affordable options, with packages ranging from $9 to $99 a month. For smaller sites, there is a free option that will index 150 of your pages and is limited to 1,000 searches per month.
Google Site Search won’t be around much longer, but the good news is there are a number of alternatives that offer a similar user experience.
If you have the knowledge, time and resources to work with the cloud and server-side solutions, there are even more options. But if you are looking for a quick and reasonably priced solution for your search needs, Cludo, Swiftype and SiteSearch360 could be a great fit.
If you are a HubSpot partner, there is more good news. HubSpot is planning to implement a native search scheduled to be fully released in the first half of 2018. That said, there are few details as to what this version entails, so it may not have all of the features you are looking for. And you may want to consider one of the above options in the meantime...
Your best course of action is to find a solution that best suits your website, and when HubSpot’s new native search tool is released, compare the features and choose the one that's best for you and your website visitors.
Don’t wait for your website to break to take action. If you need help finding and implementing the best alternative to Google Site Search, we can help. Contact us today for a consultation.