Why Your Website Needs a Search Bar
A search bar is a box you can add to your website, which enables the visitors to find certain keywords or phrases when they land on your website. It can hugely simplify things for them in some cases, however, there are some examples when search box actually does not add value to your website.
When is it important to have a search bar?
If you have a content-heavy website with a large number of navigation and sub-navigation menu items, a search box will definitely come in handy. Website visitors get easily confused when visiting websites with a lot of content and options and this can drive them away. This may cause you to lose a number of potential customers, so a search bar, which would enable them to easily find what they are looking for, would make their life a lot easier.
Further on, a search bar is a must for e-commerce websites, no matter if they offer a large or a small number of products. For example, British Hair is an e-commerce website offering a limited number of products, however, I bet the search bar helps their visitors find the products much faster.
Product based, non-e-commerce websites also hugely benefit from having a search bar because it enables their visitors to find the products they are looking for by typing the product name or model number. A good example of one such website is Northern Handling, a forklift hire company. Though they do not sell online, the search bar massively improves the user experience for their visitors.
When is a search bar not crucial?
As I mentioned, there are some websites that a search bar would not add huge value to. According to a Moz Forum post, only as little as 4% of the people who arrive at the site in question use the search. This basically means that smaller to mid-sized websites with less than 30 pages do not actually need a search bar, but I still believe that there would be no harm in adding it.
The conclusion is simple – for some sorts of websites, e-commerce or product-focused websites or websites with over 50 pages, a search bar is highly recommended. On the other hand, smaller websites would not hugely benefit from a search bar, but if you are a fan of search bars – go ahead and add it because there is no harm in having one, no matter how many pages your website has.