Harness the power of advanced searching

Part of the joy of our work is seeing the visible difference new technology can make. Recently, we helped energize.uk.net harness the power of a new advanced searching tool called Algolia. We were pretty excited by the results.

Going beyond the default

This site originally had a basic search function - the type you find on most WordPress or template-based websites. It could guide users to the resources they were after… eventually. But it was slow, the results were imprecise and the moment of clicking ‘search’ was as likely to frustrate a user as reward them.

The thing is, expectations about how effective search results should be are always evolving. Google strikes faster than lightning. Amazon seems to know what you want before you ask. And Facebook makes connecting to relevant people, events and products easier than saying the word ‘hello.’

Instant navigation

We used Algolia to create a lightning-quick search function for Energize, displaying results as you type. Then we installed multiple filtering options so that users can find exactly what they are after.

Energize’s search now looks like this: https://www.energize.uk.net/meeting-plans

Try it yourself and see how fast it works.

For sites with a considerable amount of content, this type of solution is perfect. It is surprising how many large websites are rendered nearly unnavigable by out-dated search functions. Click-to-browse approaches are fine for smaller sites, but when a website needs to function like a large library or catalogue, advanced searching is essential.  

This kind of software can also provide an instant drop down of narrowed down suggestions as the user types into a search bar embedded in the header of every page, so that they can instantly and easily jump to what they need from any page on the site.

An upgrade - externally and internally

Even if your website is compact, you may benefit from advanced searching on an internal basis. If your team spend a lot of their time crawling through an intranet, a contact database or internal documents, advanced searching could make their work frustration-free. 

For charities and mission based websites, this type of technology can be a game changer. Often these organisations cover a vast number of areas in their work, resulting in sizeable websites that can be tough to navigate. An advanced search solution sets the difficulty level to easy for anyone browsing it looking for specific information.

Similarly, organisations that provide resources - like Energize - typically rely on their search facility to function properly. Upgrading the search engine makes the website better suited to its purpose and will likely attract more users.

Untapped potential

Technology is developing at an unstoppable pace and there are always new opportunities arising. Too many organisations settle for the mediocre, when there is more and more powerful tech available that could help them achieve their goals.

Advances in technology don’t necessarily mean things are getting more complex. They’re actually becoming simpler to use. If you have a wild idea, or even a vague one, there is probably a way to make it happen. You might be able to achieve more than you dreamed possible.

Interested in advanced searching, or looking for another way to upgrade? Get in touch and we can explore the possibilities together.

2 years ago | Education

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