App of the Day
Ecommerce September 26, 2014

Swiftype Review - Enhanced Site Search Solution

Do you have a large website with a lot of great information? Is it hard for your site visitors to find everything they need? Then consider using Swiftype for your site searches. Swiftype is a website search application that can be added onto any website to help users find information quickly and easily.

Keep in mind that a traditional search feature makes a huge demand on hardware and personnel. Most search engines require developers, multiple servers, and ongoing maintenance. With Swiftype, none of the extras are necessary. Your website can have a quality, smart search engine without the hassle.

See All Swiftype Features in our Marketplace.


Swiftype Video Walkthrough

Topics covered in video:

  1. Implementation of the Search Engine
  2. Visual Autocomplete
  3. Ranking of Results
  4. Weighting of Results
  5. Analytics

Who is Swiftype for?

Swiftype powers more than 200,000 search engines around the Internet and they work with e-commerce stores, publishers, bloggers, and other websites. 

In fact, users on these sites complete nearly a billion search queries a month.

Here are some success stories of Swiftype customers:

E-commerce stores like Clovercanyon.com, Upsbatterycenter.com, and Bulbamerica.com use the search tool to help buyers discover the right products for their needs. Bulb America’s developers were even able to add custom “Buy Now” buttons next to each image in the search. This increases the number of snap purchases on the site.

In fact, Swiftype did a case study on UPSBattery.com. The battery ecommerce site had a 125% increase in revenue and a 140% increase in the number of orders after installing the Swiftype search bar. The results were based on a three-month period comparing 2014 to 2013 sales.

Leading publishers like TechCrunch and Twitch use Swiftype to help readers and viewers find their content. Many publishers rely upon an ad impression model, and the more searches equal more page views. This is excellent for an ad heavy publisher.

Finally, major services like Twilio,  Shopify, and Asana use this search engine for their help page. With a complex product, they receive numerous questions daily from their community. This allows users to see related questions to their search and so they are able to provide better service for their customers.


Implementation

Currently, there are four major ways to create a Swiftype search engine for your website. These four options are the web crawler, WordPress, Magento, and Application Programming Interface (API) setup.

Swiftype Review - Installation - Moblized

Web Crawler

The web crawler is the easiest way for non-WordPress and Magento users to install the application. Enter your URL into the web crawler, and watch it catalogue your entire site. The now indexed site is used for the search engine.

WordPress

This works like any other WordPress plugin. In fact, Swiftype is already in the WordPress Plugin library. Install the plugin from your dashboard, and then activate it with the API code from Swiftype. When you click the WordPress plugin button shown above, you will see your API code listed at the top of the page.

Magento

Swiftype has made some major changes recently to the  Magento extension. They are now a Magento Technology Partner, and have added a simple 1-2-3 step add-on for the Magento Extension. Learn more about installing with Magento here.

API

Setting up the API is a bit beyond the scope of this review, but Swiftype has a nice getting started document to help you along. If you have a developer, or are comfortable manipulating code, it's really not a difficult implementation at all. It also gives you more flexibility than any of the other implementations.


Key Features

The Swiftype search bar has a number of custom search features that help users traverse your site more effectively.

Visual Autocomplete

Autocomplete allows predictive search to help users with search queries. Swiftype clients can customize the autocomplete function based on your needs.

Bulb America - Swiftype Example - Moblized

Mobile

What's great about this solutions is that it functions on mobile as well. Swiftype is mobile responsive, so users can perform searches on their mobile devices in addition to their computers.


Results Ranking and Weights

The rankings and weights sections are two separate features that help coordinate your search results to give your users and you the best possible outcome.

Rankings

With Rankings, you can determine the order of results for various searches using a nice drag and drop feature. When you move an item to the top of the searches, it is pinned to the top for all relevant searches.

Swiftype Move Product Rankings - Moblized

Weighting

What about adjusting larger portions of your search results? Maybe, you noticed that items with reviews get more conversions. In that case, you would use custom weights. 

Swiftype creates a number of relevant fields that can alter the weight of your searches.

Weights

Here’s a look at how this works. The fields are adjusted on a 1–10 scale based on your preferences. 

So, if you want to rank reviews higher adjust the scale up. Maybe you want to focus less on the review author so you lower the impact of that field.


Results Synonyms

Next, the synonyms tab is an excellent tool for a site with many similar words. Instead of having two separate searches for the word dress and outfit, you can create a synonym set.

Swiftype Synonyms Review - Moblized

If your main search is for " dress", you can tell Swiftype that you want the words "outfit, garb, and skirt" to redirect to the search for "dress". This makes it far easier to control what people search for on your site and to avoid losing traffic because of an inability to adapt to user terminology.


Analytics

Search data is like a looking glass into what visitors want from your site. If you can identify trends and keywords, then you can increase your conversions by gearing content and products toward what your visitors want.

You can do specific keyword search conversions and track clicks to each result in keyword. This helps you determine the top searches on your site.

Swiftype Analytics - Swiftype Review - Moblized

Furthermore, you have a live tracking tool that shows you what words visitors are searching for across the world. This gives you the ability to see what specific demographics of users are looking for on your site, and customize your searches accordingly.

Live Analytics Geography - Swiftype Review - Moblized


Customer Service

Enterprise-level customers get a dedicated account manager to help them with any questions. Swiftype has a dependable, quick support ticket system and e-mail support. 

(They responded to any inquiry of mine within 30 minutes.)


Final Thoughts

The concept is simple: make search work the way it should!

It is amazing how effective these modifications can be on your conversions, bounce rate, page views, and retention. A service like Swiftype is essential to online commerce, whether it's to promote content, enhance sales, or just for the sheer improvement to the user experience.

Google search has set a precedent for what people expect and for how comfortable people are at looking for information. Enhanced, effective search is no longer just a luxury, it's a necessity; and Swiftype is an excellent solution to fill this need.

See All Swiftype Features in our Marketplace.


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