Searching is an important part of any business database function, either through internal databases, internal document stores, or through the content of a website. This is needed for both internal company staff and for external customers. “Search as a service” is a type of site search that uses a software as a service (SaaS) model.
Benefits of Search as a Service
In a time when almost half of a website visitor goes immediately to the search box, a great on-site search experience translates to better engagement and more conversions. Studies have shown that users prefer to search over navigation as the method of content discovery.
So not only does a site search quickly connect users to their needs, but it also helps the business grow by boosting conversion rates and improving customer retention. But the best search as a service solution delivers much more than just a search bar. They enable discovery, connecting visitors to things they didn’t even know they needed yet.
Here are some advantages of search as a service:
- Cost: Both maintenance and development costs are avoided when you opt for a search as a service. Think of it the same way you would opt for a cloud service provider rather than host your own server. It makes more sense to go for the SaaS model.
- Performance: Not only will you be able to install a search service instantly, but it will also have the best features out there. On top of this, it will always be up to date without you having to bother to do anything. Hosted solutions will not slow down your website in any way and will have reliable uptimes.
- Scalability: You need not worry about this either. Your business is growing? The search can handle it. Hiccups that may arise with growth have been met with and have already been tackled. You need not worry about it when it comes to search as a service.
- Search analytics: Internal site search analytics is one of the most overlooked factors in SEO today. The internal site search analytics gives exactly what your users are looking for. It gives their exact query, their intent, whether they found what they looking for, and more insights on their engagement. For someone optimizing their website, this is nothing short of a treasure chest.
Do you need to search as a service?
Any site with content or products that can be searched can benefit from search as a service.
Search as a service is helpful in many different industries. In media or journalism, large amounts of new content are produced on a daily or weekly basis, so it can be hard for visitors to connect to the most relevant information. In retail and e-commerce, ever-changing and/or expanding product catalogs can be hard for users to navigate. In many cases, organizations rely on multiple search engines for different content types, which increases expenses, strains internal developer teams, and results in poor user experiences.
Search as a service helps mitigate these issues. With one tool, companies can help users find wide-ranging content from archived articles to new videos to fresh investigative reports. The results are continually refreshed due to frequent site indexing, and media sites can run analytics to see what content is the most important and what content gaps need filling.
Create a Custom Search Engine
Making a search engine is easier than ever before. With search as a service provider taking up the pain of building most of the search engines, the end-users’ role is limited to adding an HTML code snippet on their website to take the search live.
Here we will visit the steps required to add the ExpertRec Custom search engine to your website. This is one of the easiest setup processes of all the available options out there and is highly recommended.
Steps to add the ExpertRec Custom search engine to your website.
- Navigate to https://cse.expertrec.com/newuser?platform=cse and signup with your Google ID.
- Enter your website’s URL when prompted. You can select a server location near you and add the URL of your sitemap if you wish to. These will be auto-detected otherwise.
- You can play around with the settings and customize the UI as the crawl runs. Once it is complete, you can check out a fully functional demo before taking the search to your website.
- You can take the search to your website with little to no effort. All you need to do is to paste the code snippet available on the dashboard on your website.
ExpertRec comes with more customization options that you can explore. You can read this article to find a more detailed guide on the installation and configuration.