A well designed website with intelligent and purposeful visitor journeys can do a great job of getting visitors to the pages they are looking for. We can largely map out our visitor personas and create prescribed pathways and campaigns for these visitors to follow through targeted email campaigns, click paths, blog posts, etc. However, occasionally, a visitor might go rogue and venture off one of these visitor paths, or simply may want to find some very specific information.
To accommodate these rogue visitors, your website should offer a search experience, so any visitor can find the exact information they are looking for, without aimlessly clicking through your website.
Let’s take a look at what HubSpot used to offer for a site search experience:
And the crowd goes… not wild. There is no crowd. Everyone knows the Google Search module, and everyone can agree, it is far from ideal. To name a few reasons:
- 3rd party branding - for the best web experience, it is best to keep branding, styling, and the experience for your visitors consistent.
- Visitor leaves your website - you worked so hard to get visitors to your website, how in your right mind can you justify sending them away from your website… to find content on your website? This doesn’t really make any sense.
- Indexed at Google’s discretion - Just spend hours writing a new awesome post? Make an important update to a page’s title or meta description? I guess let’s just hope Google picks that change up sometime soon...
Visitors have come to expect a modern, quick, and easy site search experience, compared to browsing and clicking through pages to find the information they are looking for. The longer it takes for someone to find valuable information on your website, the more likely they are going to venture away from your website to find that information, or simply give up.
HubSpot CMS users previously had to use third party search tools to create the modern search experience. This also wasn’t ideal for a few reasons:
- A third party tool is an added cost on top of the HubSpot CMS
- The third party search tool does not integrate seamlessly with HubSpot - it is another piece of software to manage.
So, we decided to toss the Google Search module aside. It was not creating a strong experience for visitors when it came to searching for content on a HubSpot hosted website. We wanted to build an intelligent, seamless, and easy to setup search experience for all HubSpot hosted websites.
With that said, we are pleased to introduce site search - a native HubSpot search feature that indexes all of your CMS content. Site search is fully integrated with the HubSpot CMS offering a search experience which matches the look and feel of your website, has no third party branding, and most importantly, surfaces information to your visitors in a quick and efficient manner, getting them the content they desire.
At this point you are probably thinking, “Sounds cool, how much is it going to cost?” Site search is absolutely free for all HubSpot CMS websites.
Now, you might be thinking, “Sounds great! But how hard is this going to be to set up on my website?” Don’t worry --- site search can be setup in a few easy steps.
1. Create a new Search Results template in the new Design Manager.
2. Add the new “Site Search Input” and “Site Search Results” modules to your new search results page template.
3. Select your new search results template and search page URL.
Like that, you have search set up on your HubSpot hosted website. Because site search is built on the new Custom Module V2 framework, you have full control over the markup and functionality of these modules.
The “Site Search Input” module can be included on any of your pages, which will direct visitors to your search results page.
Site search is now available to any HubSpot customer using the new design manager.