There are many aspects that a website must include on its pages. All of these are equally important, but one that often gets overlooked by people is the search bar. This simple rectangle can have a HUGE effect on your site, which is why you must add one if you haven’t already!
What Is A Search Bar?
For any newbies, a search bar is a small box that you can add to your site (whether in your sidebar, header, footer, etc.) that allows people to search your entire site for what they are looking for. I’m sure you will have noticed and probably used them on many other sites, which hopefully demonstrates their usefulness.
Search bars are unique in the fact that they don’t serve any SEO benefit to your site. Things like; social media links, contact pages, category links, etc. that you include on all your pages tend to give some SEO benefit, as they help direct search engines around your site helping them to crawl and index your content. Search engines can’t use these search boxes, they don’t input anything so they can’t search your site for specific content in this way. That is why search boxes are solely for your visitors to use, making them extremely important.
Why Are Search Bars SO Important?
Whereas search engines crawl your entire site indexing all of your pages, people only have access to the links that are in front of them on any given page. Depending on the size of your site, you may have hundreds or more posts/pages for people to read.
You may have; category links, tag links, best posts, related posts, etc. listed on each of your pages, but that only goes so deep. For people to really find what they are looking for they need to be able to search through your entire content quickly and easily to find what they are looking for. This is why the search bar is SO important.
Whichever page a visitor lands on, they can search for what they want. This allows people access to some of your more well hidden content that would take much longer to find by clicking through countless pages.
The easier it is for people to navigate around your whole site, the more likely it is that they will. If not, they can easily click away to another site, lowering your clickthrough rate. Not only that but the more pages you can direct people to, the more you are likely to earn from advertising and affiliate links (they can only click on them if they can see them).
How To Add A Search Bar To Your Site
So now that we know “why” the search bar is so important, how do you add one to your site? Well there are a couple of different ways of doing this.
- Add it as a widget,
- Add it manually with code.
Search Bar Widget
If you run a WordPress blog, you can add a search bar in the form of a widget to different areas of your site. Simply navigate to ‘WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets’ and you will find the default ‘Search’ bar that you can drag and drop to your sidebar or footer area.
Not happy with the default search bar widget? Well there are plenty of WordPress plugins that you can download to give to additional features to improve your search function.
Add A Custom Search Bar
Head on over to Google and you can add a custom search bar to your site. Here you will be able to design the look of your search bar to match your site.
Google offers two methods that you can use.
- Basic (FREE) – Custom search bar that displays AdSense ads that can earn you money.
- Advanced ($100 a year) – More control over how your search bar looks and performs. Also, you don’t have to display ads if you don’t want.
Whichever method you choose to use, just make sure that you include a search bar somewhere on your site (preferably where people can see it easily). That way, you are making it easy for people to find all your content.
Do you use a search bar on your site? If so, which method did you go with? Do you choose not to include one on your site and if so why? We want to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.