Read WordPress search results page plugin for more information.
When you search on a regular search engine like Google, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll come up with no results (unless you search for something utterly nonsensical, but even then…). However, this can happen more regularly than one would like when using a WordPress website’s internal search function.
Many of your website visitors will want to find more information about you, your business, or your products. If they hit a blank page after typing a query into your search bar, however, chances are they will leave your site. This is especially true if they are used to Google or a similar search engine.
Having a customized search results page can keep your readers engaged with your site and its content, even when their searches come up dry. Plus, you’ll be providing your readers with everything they expect from a standard search engine. By mimicking popular search engines, you can also lower bounce rates on your site.
The versatility of WordPress enables you to easily customize your search results. You can use code to alter the search.php file, for example, or you can use a plugin. We recommend the latter approach, as plugins are easier for most WordPress users to install and maintain.
Alter the search.php file
There are several options you can use to customize your internal search results pages. While you could always dive into the search.php code (though this is best left to experienced users comfortable with PHP and CSS coding), this is not recommended unless you are that sure of what you are doing.
If you are good at altering code (then you probably don’t need much guidance in this section anyway), then go into the WordPress code and directly make changes to the search.php file to alter the appearance of the search results page.
Use a plugin
For those of you who aren’t that comfortable with code, or are just not in the mood to put in that kind of effort check out this plugin.
WP fastest site search adds a search engine to your WordPress site and while this has its share of benefits, it also adds a highly customizable search results page. The WordPress search results page can be customized using this plugins dashboard, without any coding effort.
While many WordPress users think to add the search widget to the sidebar of their sites, a lot forget about what the output of such searches will be. And that’s a major oversight.
You want to make sure every single page of your site is working hard for you – even the search results pages. While most readers may be interested in your home page or core offerings, they probably come to your site looking for something specific. Although your site is likely not a search engine, it’s best to provide the help and functionality visitors are accustom to. You never know how a single page can affect individual users. Present the right visitor with the right information at the right time and you stand to not only keep that visitor on your site for longer but also turn them into a loyal customer.