How to Use Search Engine Filters Well
In our previous blog series #3 we went over mobile site optimization from Prefix Box “The Big Guide of Easy Ecommerce Search Optimization Tips.” This week we will be reviewing the chapter on How to Use Filters Well. Three years ago on Smashing Magazine there was an article which said, “When done right, filters enable users to narrow down a website’s selection of thousands of products to only those few items that match their particular needs and interests. Yet, despite it being a central aspect of the user’s e-commerce product browsing, most websites offer a lackluster filtering experience. In fact, our 2015 benchmark reveals that only 16% of major e-commerce websites offer a reasonably good filtering experience.” We are going to review just a few tips on how to use these website search filters.
- Show Filters Relevant to the Search
Providing search result filters is a great way to help users easily find what they’re looking for, but be sure to show filters that are relevant for each search. Showing unrelated filters for a search is actually worse than not providing any refinements.
- Place Your Filters Appropriately
Place your refinement options in a location that’s easily visible, so people can find and use them. Prefixbox has found that filters on the left – side perform the best.
- Make them Intuitive
What does this mean? Name your website search filters so shoppers can easily understand them and make sense for the products you sell such as; drop down menus, check boxes, range selection bars. Use what you are most familiar with and go from there.
- Show the Number of Results Next to Each Filter
Showing the number of results in each filter selection will provide insight into how many products visitors can find for a specific refinement.
- Don’t Show too Many Filtering Options
This can be overwhelming for site visitors, depending on your product find what works best.
- Don’t Suggest Filters with no Results
It’s a good idea to offer refinements that change based on search queries, so you provide relevant options.
- Make Some Filters Visual
Its often easier for people to use visual refinements. If you have products that come in different colours, show an image of the colour instead of writing it in text.
- Include an “On Sale” Filter
Everyone loves a sale – some people only buy items on sale.
- Have a Ratings and Reviews Filter
Reviews play a big role in the decision making process, so people appreciate a refinement that lets them sort results based on ratings.
- Provide an Option to Set a Price Range
Cost is an important factor for most people, so it makes sense to offer a price refinement on top of the product filter section. This is used regardless of product type. Price should be shown as a list of ranges, since people don’t often have an exact price in mind.
- Allow Users to Easily Change Filters
If a user selects a refinement and later wants to change it, make sure its easy for them to re-select and immediately see the results change.
- Save Previously Used Filters
This is a great way to offer a personalized experience to users who visit your webshop. Store customer information in a cookie, so when they return to your site their previously selected filters will appear.
Find what works best for you or other businesses in your niche and get going using those website search filters!
Thank you to Prefixbox, all bullet point information is found on there Big Guide of Easy Ecommerce SEO Tips.