Today’s consumers rely on search engines to help them find anything and everything, including the search engine within your brand website. To assist our clients’ websites in serving relevant content to visitors, DEG leverages the Coveo enterprise search platform to transform website search experiences for deeper engagement with content and higher conversions.

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Coveo’s search experience is already powerful straight out of the box, but there are additional rules marketers can apply to further enhance the search experience on their websites.

How Coveo works

Once you implement Coveo, it collects and stores analytics around searches. As a marketer, you have the power to analyze this data, including events, queries, and clicks. These analytics reports can identify content gaps, search themes, audience, and how your users are interacting with the website search overall.

Marketers can fine-tune the search experience based on the evaluation of analytics and the target audience. You can configure search rules and conditions to modify a search query or ranking of search results on a client’s website.

Let’s discuss the three main groups of rules you can use to improve your website search experience.

Rules modifying the search query

Thesaurus Rule

To replace words in search queries with synonyms, you need the Thesaurus Rule, especially if your website has some recently updated or uncommon language. If analytics show common searches for words or phrases that aren’t heavily used in your website content, you can use the Thesaurus Rule to replace these words or phrases like “tennis shoe” with “sneaker,” which is heavily used throughout the website.

Here are a few ways to use the Coveo Thesaurus Rule:

  • Expand any: If the query contains at least one of the defined keywords, an additional keyword can be added. For example, if “sneaker” is searched, this rule can expand and add “tennis shoe” or vice versa, so the query is sneaker or tennis shoe, and all results are returned.
  • Expand: This is similar to “expand any” but doesn’t work both ways. So, if you search for “sneaker,” this rule adds “tennis shoe” so the query is sneaker OR tennis shoe. And if you search for “tennis shoe” the query will remain as is, and “sneaker” will not be added.
  • Replace: If a search contains a defined keyword, the word is replaced with a synonym that is more frequently used by your company and will surface better results. Using the same example, replacing “sneaker” with “tennis shoe” in the query altogether.

Stop Word Rule

If you see the need to ignore unimportant words in search queries, use the Stop Word Rule. Words like “legal” or “date published” could appear in press releases on your website but are irrelevant to the documents themselves. Using the Stop Word Rule, you can ignore these words to avoid Coveo indexing every single page for searches containing words that don’t provide any value to your customers.

Rules modifying results ranking

Featured Results Rule

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Using the Featured Results Rule, you can trigger a specific result to appear at the top of search results when the query meets a condition. For instance, you can feature a blog post or event if a user searches “blog” or “event.” This rule can be set up based on exact match or if the search query contains a certain term, such as “blog.”

If you’re trying to promote a certain piece of content or event, this rule will push that content to the top of the results page for maximum traffic exposure.

Ranking Expression Rules

To influence search-results ranking scores, use the Ranking Expression Rules. They boost or lower the score of search results based on a condition. For example, you may want to boost each result that is a FAQ page on your website if the search query contains “help.” If a user searches for “help with [blank],” FAQ pages will be ranked higher in the results before all other content types.

You can also use these rules to rank certain content higher if some content types are more important to your organization, such as safety brochures or training manuals.

Ranking Weight Rules

When Coveo is indexing the order of search results, marketers can modify ranking factors using the Ranking Weight Rules. One common ranking factor is “last term modification,” which increases the ranking score for content with a more recent modification date. This means the most recent version of the content receives a boost in results ranking.

Rules modifying the search page

Triggers

If you would like to display a message on the search interface or automatically redirect a user to a certain page, you can leverage Triggers. An added benefit of using Triggers is helping users find information faster, which provides a better experience.

Two commonly used Triggers you should consider using are:

  • Notify Triggers: Trigger a message to display on the search page with relevant content. For example, if a user is including “help” in their search query, you can trigger a message on the search results page with the customer service phone number included. This skips the step of a user clicking on a search result to locate the number, providing a better experience.
  • Redirect Triggers: Automatically redirect a user to a specific URL on your website, triggered by a met condition when the search is performed. Consider a website with a customer portal. You can set up a Redirect Trigger to automatically direct the user to the portal login page based on the text in a search. Or you can redirect a user to the customer service page if the user searches for “customer service.”

Creating a comprehensive website search strategy

While there are several opportunities to enhance the search experience on your website, you should first put together a plan ensuring all your rules work together. An overall plan and strategy are essential to ensure your website users have the best search experience possible.

Coveo analytics can help guide the plan and evaluate the success of an executed rule set. No plan or strategy should be final, as rules can be modified and adjusted as your website content shifts and grows.

Finding the right agency partner

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Implementing and optimizing tools like the Coveo search experience for your website requires a partner knowledgeable in the intricacies of the platform and the best user-friendly practices. With more than 20 years of experience developing customer-centric solutions, DEG provides brands with technology and creative expertise to reach customers through 1:1 marketing at scale to grow their businesses.

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