Content discovery is an important aspect of your website. Enabling your students to find the right course quickly will not only increase the UX but also provide you with a higher number of enrollments as well. Now that you have taken the first step towards this by installing ExpertRec’s search app, let’s take a look at some configurations that you can do to get the most out of the search.

Basic Configuration

Right after installing the app, there are a few things that you need to do to get a search bar on your site. Only one of these steps is compulsory and you can choose to skip the rest.

Installing the Search

The very first thing that needs to be done is to get a search bar on your site. If you want to test out the search before installing then you can take a look at your demo from the ExpertRec dashboard.

Here’s how you can install the search.

  1. Navigate to Install->Code from ExpertRec’s dashboard and copy the JS code present there. search code
  2. Now back in your Thinkific dashboard, navigate to Settings->Code and Analytics->Site footer code and paste the code there. This JS drives the search and is essential to make it work. Next we need to add a search bar that the users can type in.
  3. On the Thinkific dashboard, navigate to Design your site->theme library->click the options icon and choose edit code. theme edit
  4. It’s generally a good idea to add the search bar in the header. But you can add it to any page you like. To add it to the header, right before the navigation menu, open the navigation file from the Snippets folder. Add <li class=”header__nav-item”><ci-search></ci-search></li> right after the <ul> tag.  Please note that only <ci-search></ci-search> is needed for the search bar. The remaining code is added for styling. search bar code

With this the search installation is complete. If you face any difficulty during the installation, feel free to reach out to our support team for assistance.

Customization

Now that the search is live on your site you can get towards customizing it a bit. Both the following steps are optional and not always necessary.

  1. You can customize the search ranking if you feel that the results are not relevant. This is not a common requirement for most use cases.
  2. You can also customize the appearance of the search. This is done to get the UI of the search to match that your website.

Advanced Configuration

Now that you have your search up and running you would want to really step up your game. The search app comes with a variety of advanced features but let’s take a look at some that are more commonly used.

Search Content Behind Login Pages

Since most of the course content is only accessible to users who have enrolled for it the search will also by default not cover any of this content. To overcome this limitation you can enroll a dummy user in all your courses and use his id-password for our crawler. This will make sure that all visitors of your website can get to know more about the courses that you provide while still needing to enroll to actually view the content.

Your course content may contain PDFs and docs. The contents of these will get indexed as well giving the end-user a comprehensive search experience. If you have added transcripts for the videos then the search would behave as if the entire video has gotten indexed. Enabling crawl behind login pages will boost your search quality far further than the basic setup and set you up for even more enrollments that ever before!

Here’s how you can set this up. Feel free to reach out to our support team for assistance.

  1. On the Thinkific dashboard, navigate to Support your students->new user. Add the new user and set their password manually (this doesn’t have to be a real person or a real email).
  2. Enroll the user in all the courses that you want the search to index and create the user
  3. Back on the ExpertRec dashboard, navigate to Crawl->Advanced->Proctected Pages. Turn on auth and select form auth.
  4. The username and password should be the same as that of the user that you just created
  5. The selectors and the login link are likely to follow the same pattern on your website as well. authenticated crawl settings
  6. Since the login page is protected by reCaptcha, the crawl might fail. In this case you will have to reach out to Thinkific support and request them to turn of captcha temporarily.

There is a lot more that you can do to get better results out of your search bar and I encourage you to try them out from the ExpertRec dashboard. Feel free to reach out to our support team at any time.

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