Halloween is just around the corner and soon little ghosts and goblins of all sizes will be scurrying through their neighborhoods trying to invoke terror by knocking on doors and exclaiming “trick or treat”. For many people, this is a fun time of year as they get to see youngsters (and adults) get dressed up in their favorite costumes.

While Halloween is known to be a “scary” time, for those of us who are in the on-site search tool business, we can think of some other frightful things, namely not having some critically important features embedded into your search functionality. Content or information driven sites today need to be able to provide very personalized and relevant search results for their visitors. In order to accomplish this goal, your on-site search tool needs to have several key features. Without these capabilities, your site users are going to have a spooky (and unsatisfactory) experience.

Federated Search

Content based websites contain a tremendous amount of information today. This data comes from many different sources, often living on different platforms. When a site visitor does an inquiry from your search box, you want to provide them with results that encompasses everything that your site has to offer on a given topic. Because your users are seeking a complete search experience, Hawksearch offers a federated search strategy. Federated search empowers your visitors to search all areas of your website, not just partial or randomly selected portions of it. Many content sites are multi-dimensional, in that they contain information involving news, ecommerce, calendars, classes/events and educational resources. Hawksearch gives your site visitors the benefit of searching in the aggregate, by returning results from your whole website, not just parts of it.

Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence

Information based websites can greatly benefit by machine learning, which is an area of artificial intelligence. On-site search and insight engines, such as Hawksearch, capture and can analyze huge amounts of data, which was not able to be processed previously. Hawksearch takes your users’ search data to make predictions about visitor trends and behaviors. Machine learning greatly improves a search platform’s ability to return personalized and relevant search results. By predicting what a user is going to want to see, the search results become more meaningful.

Relevancy Tuning

It cannot be overemphasized that visitors who come to an information/content based website are looking for search results that are specifically relevant to them. Hawksearch gives website administrators the ability to fine tune relevancy results, far beyond standard settings.

There are several ways to refine relevancy for site visitors

  • Tuning Control – Hawksearch allows you to dial in additional relevance to search results by permitting certain keywords, data fields or other meaningful identifiers to shape the search results that are returned to users.
  • Synonyms – People sometimes use different words or phrases to describe things. Hawksearch enables visitors to stay on track for relevant search results, even when they use alternative language. By being able to load in synonyms from the Hawksearch dashboard, administrators can help site users still receive relevant search results.
  •  Dynamic Reporting – Captured visitor metrics from Hawksearch can play a big role in helping to refine search results. The reporting tools in Hawksearch record and gather information about such things as top keywords used, searches with poor results and pagination activity. Studying site search metrics data is often underused, but it can be a very powerful way to refine your search settings to enhance search personalization and relevance.

Every information/content driven website wants to provide the relevant information that a visitor is seeking, for after all, that is the mission of such a website. By incorporating these and all of the features found in Hawksearch, you can provide your site users with satisfying search results.

With Hawksearch as your on-site search platform and insight engine, you never have to be afraid of your visitors not getting the search results they need. This will leave you with plenty of fright for the upcoming ghosts and goblins on your porch!

Happy Hawktober and Happy Halloween!