Lately our web design clients are asking for search boxes. And our clients are smart. Lightning fast web search services on Google, Facebook and YouTube are a part of every-day life. A search-friendly web design with it’s own search box helps your business’ website please demanding visitors who are comfortable using the search function to find things on Google.
Visit Craigslist.com and take note of the multi-column layout on the homepage. Like old-fashioned classified ads, you’re supposed to scan down a dense list of information and select something. Like the gaping maw of a wampa, it’s a paralyzing and overwhelming sight. Except there’s no Han Solo coming to save you.
To be fair, I think Craigslist is going for that authentic 1996 low-budget look. It has an otherwise highly functional, bare bones design and boasts it’s own powerful search to help you find the $5 coffee table of your dreams. They’re doing the right thing by giving customers the option to search, even if they insist on keeping the abominable menu.
A better example of the search-focused web design trend is Indy.gov. There’s several mountains of information behind that homepage. The beautiful search bar up top helps visitors drill down to their specific topic of interest.
Think about the amount of information you need to provide online. If you serve consumers, a super simple menu and two or three clear choices on the homepage is enough. A search bar isn’t necessary if all you need to offer is a few bites of information, but it won’t hurt. However, information hungry visitors like association members and B2B merchants are served better with a well-organized menu option and a prominent search box.
As an Indianapolis web design company, we think WordPress is a great platform to build search-friendly websites. Categories and tags with WordPress enable easy internal searches on your website and can boost your ranking on popular search engines too. Web design is about making your information easier to find. So put a search box on it!