The new website search feature introduced in EverWeb 3.5 is amazingly simple to set up. All you need is the Search Field widget! Once you have configured the widget using its Widget Settings you’re all set to go! As you would expect, EverWeb does the rest for you!
Expanding on Simplicity
If you’re a long time EverWeb user, you’ll know that there’s usually more customization available when you scratch beneath the surface of some of the product’s features. EverWeb 3.5’s new Website Search feature falls nicely in to this category!
You can leave EverWeb to make use of the data and information that you have already entered in to the pages of your site and its corresponding settings fields. EverWeb will use this as the basis of your website search.
All fine and good, but you may find that the data in your project file may not be optimal for visors to your site to find what you want them to find. Additionally, this may also be a good time to think more about improving your SEO for a better Search Engine Result Page ranking. The way to achieve either or both of these goals is by adding the right search terms and keywords to the pages in your site.
Search and SEO
Your website search and SEO strategy have lots of room for overlaps it’s advantageous to get to know SEO as well as getting to know how website search works. if you haven’t done so already, check out the SEO for EverWeb Video Course which explains how to find SEO keywords for your site through Keyword Research and how to apply them in EverWeb. If you follow the course and then start working on your website search work, you’ll find that you’ve done a lot of the work already.
How EverWeb Applies Website Search
EverWeb uses full text search for website search which is why you don’t need to customize or refine search if you don’t want to. This applies to text in TextBoxes on your page, text that you add in the Styled Text Editor in widgets such as the FlexBox and Text Section widgets, and the text that you enter in to your blog posts.
Of course, you should include your search words in the text of the pages that you want visitors to find when they enter that specific search word or phrase in to the search bar of the Search Field widget.
You my find that the key search words that you add to your text are the same keywords that you use for SEO. If this is the case, try to use these keywords in the first paragraph of your page if it’s appropriate to do so.
The following fields in the Settings tab of the Inspector Window are also used for SEO and in website search.
- Web Page Title
- Web Page Description
Where possible, include your search (or SEO) keywords within these fields. This is probably easiest to do for the Web Page Description field. If you’ve followed the SEO for EverWeb Video Course you will know that this is a key field as its descriptive text is used in the results set you see in Internet searches.
The Web Page Title is also important to fill in properly as it’s used as the title for pages that are found in web search results. If there’s no page title, the results set will show ‘No Title’ instead which isn’t very professional or useful to your visitors.
Search in Blogs
EverWeb’s full text search applies to your whole site, blogs included! The same search principles we’ve outlined above also apply equally to blogs. In the new version of EverWeb, you’ll also find that the ‘Import’ button has changed to become a settings cog. This new button includes ‘Import’ and a new option – ‘Edit’. To use this button, first select a post from the list. When you click on the ‘Edit’ menu option, a dialog box will open where you can now enter a Short Summary and keywords. The Short Summary lets you enter an excerpt, so you can summarise the blog post in this field and use SEO and search words too. The Keywords section of the dialog box lets you enter in specific words you want to use for Search and SEO. We’ll come back to this with more detail in a later blog post.
Keywords and SEO Power Up Addon
If you are using EverWeb SEO Power Up Addon to enhance your SEO, the Keywords that you specifically add in to the Keywords section of the Search Engine Optimization section of the Page Settings tab will also be used in search, so helping refine your site’s website search ability.
What You Don’t Want People To Find…
So far, we’ve talked about what you might want to include in your website’s search feature, but it’s also important to talk about what you might want to exclude from your website search! When you build your project file, you probably have included pages that have a specific function. For example, when you create a dropdown navigation, you need a directory page at the top of the menu structure (i.e. the navigation menu ‘heading’) which then has child pages within it (i.e. the menu items). If the directory page is being used just as a placeholder, you won’t want to see it in any search results, so you should exclude the page from search by unchecking the ‘Include in Site Search’ checkbox in the Site Search section of the Page Settings tab. Here are some other examples of pages you may wish to exclude from search…
- Placeholder pages, e.g. navigation menu heading pages
- 404 Page Not Found page
- PayPal Thank you pages
- PayPal Cancelled pages
- Search Results Page (when using the Search Results widget)
- Any temporary, or scratch-pad, type pages
- Any page that whilst published, you don’t want visitors to find (e.g. page in progress pages)
EverWeb’s new website search is a great feature in that it’s as simple or as complicated as you want to make it, the choice is yours!