Rick Birtles
Senior Data Analyst
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  • Conversion Rate Optimisation
  • Data Analysis

30th Jan 2019

4 min

Image Credit @RawPixel

In this #3 of Rick Birtles series of five blogs, we share more tips ‘n’ tricks how to increase conversion opportunities through internal search initiatives:

Internal Search:

Of your online audience who utilise the internal search,  these users will convert 3 times on average more than other searches. The more products your online store contains, the more complex the navigation will be for customers. And who hasn’t had the annoying experience of having to start all over from a site’s home page after unsuccessful attempts to find a specific product?

Here are a few key areas:

Autocomplete and product suggestions:

Always check your paid search queries against your site search terms

Certain products are difficult to put a name to, while others are very similar (and can therefore create confusion). When your visitor starts to type the product name or reference in your site’s search bar, your internal search engine should automatically start to suggest products from your catalogue. By tracking the performance of your automatic suggestions, you can see how relevant they are to users and then refine these suggestions

It’s also important to note that site search can be a negative performance highlighter. If you’ve got users that have come in through a paid keyword onto a specific product page, why are they having to use site search? Always check your paid search queries against your site search terms. Drop on a paid segment and get analysing.


The moral of the story? Measure the number of times each product was displayed, as well as the number of clicks on the product. This will enable you to quickly determine a click rate which highlights the most attractive products.

Searches with no results:

two good reasons to know which keywords were entered into your internal search tool

Sometimes, a visitor might search for a product that you don’t sell (or that you no longer carry). Hence there are two good reasons to know which keywords were entered into your internal search tool:

1. Guarantee that your offering matches up with demand and expectations

2. Ensure that a lack of results is not due to typos


While this second point is a question of optimising your internal search and ranking, the first point can help surface inconsistencies between your product offering and what customers are seeking. For example, if you sell mobile phones but not the matching accessories, most of your visitors will probably be frustrated. The internal search engine analysis can reveal what your customers are really looking for.



Chatbots will handle 85% of all customer service interactions by 2020

It’s estimated that Chatbots will handle 85% of all customer service interactions by 2020 (and the average Internet user will have more conversations with bots than with their own spouse!).

If a user views a certain number of pages within the same category, or if he or she remains stuck without taking any action during a certain time frame, the chatbot will be triggered and a chat assistant will guide the visitor to the following step.


Practical case:  Segment live chat visitors/users: To understand how a live chat feature is contributing to conversion on your site, create 3 population segments:

  1. visitors who did not interact with the live chat
  2. visitors who interacted for less than 5 minutes
  3. visitors who interacted for more than 5 minutes


Lister Pages:

To understand how lists are really being used, you must at least measure how the product is being displayed in the list and measure clicks on the product.

Be sure to differentiate between (a) impressions of the list containing the product (where the product is not necessarily visible above the fold), and (b) impressions where the product is indeed visible on the screen.


Set up your impression event to only trigger when your product is actually visible on the screen, above the fold. This will give you click rates that are truly accurate and actionable.



Rick Birtles is Senior Data Analyst at UX & CRO Experts PRWD Ltd – Recognised Google Digital Garage Trainer and Lectured at MMU 

In this series of 5 short blog posts on data insights and analytics, Rick Birtles from UX & Conversion Optimisation specialists, PRWD sets the scene why eCommerce has taken off so dramatically and what it means for digital marketeers.

Below are links to the other 4 articles in this series:

  1. How to be ‘sic’ at analytics

  2. How data keeps the audience engaged

  3. How data optimises internal search to increase the purchase experience

  4. How data optimises the purchase experience once the user is engaged

  5. How data helps your users become converts

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