7 Ways to Improve Conversion Rates with AI-Powered Search

Written by: Guest contributor from our partner at Coveo.

Better conversions start with better search.

It’s as simple as that… but just because it’s simple doesn’t make it easy. Most marketers understand that personalized and contextually relevant search experiences are the way of the future, many of them know that Artificial Intelligence can optimize their customer experience, but the majority are not quite sure how to use it.

AI-based marketing technology tools give companies the ability to achieve skyhigh conversion rates without having a resident rocket scientist on staff, but a shocking 84% of companies don't use it to actively optimize or measure their on-site search. Artificial Intelligence remains a mystery because there’s so much it’s capable of and consequently can leave marketers and businesses in general feeling too overwhelmed to begin.

We want to take the guesswork out of AI-powered search. To make sure that you won’t be left in your competitors’ digital dust, we’ve prepared 7 ways that you can drive business results through improved conversion rates:

  1. Offer a prominent and easy-to-use search box. There’s a good chance that the people who are using your site to find information are your highest converting visitors. If your search box is hard to find and is not intuitive to use, you are missing out on conversion opportunities. A quick fix: drive conversions by making sure that your search box is at least 25 characters wide and prominently displayed across all pages and all devices your audience is likely to use.
  2. Unify your channels. Multi-channel is out, omnichannel is in. It’s not enough to offer search on every single one of your channels – now, each channel must be integrated to deliver the same consistent experience your customers expect. Personalized and relevant customer experiences are ones that offer a seamless connection to information, no matter how many times your customer may transition from one channel to another one.
  3. Leverage your data to deliver personalization at scale. From your mobile app to your customer community, your customers tell you something about them every time they search on your digital properties and engage with your brand. Use what you know about them, from their location to their engagement history, to customize their results according to their context and behavior. Think beyond their initial search to see if there are other ways to personalize their experience by also leveraging additional information you think would be of use to them. This is a good opportunity for you to promote an upcoming webinar, recent blog post or current sale, further increasing conversions in a contextual and organic way.
  4. Give your audience control. Your visitors don’t have time to waste. Who does, really? Make your search experience as efficient as possible by giving your visitors the ability to filter their search results by date, source, price and more. This puts your visitors in the driver seat and in control of their experience.
  5. Proactively recommend what they’ll need next. With your usage analytics and machine learning capabilities, AI-powered search can recognize what helped others like your visitors to successfully self-serve, as well as what information keeps them engaged after their initial query, making relevant recommendations directly within the flow of their search experience. The more value you can provide, the less likely your visitors are to seek information elsewhere.
  6. Acknowledge returning visitors. Think about how many times you’ve visited a website before making a purchase and think about all the times you were treated like a first time visitor. Returning visitors buy more and convert at a higher rate than first-time visitors, so it’s in your company’s best interest to go the extra mile and let them know you’re happy they’re back. Use the data you have on their online behavior to personalize the experience from the moment they return to moment they’re ready to leave… this time with a full cart and credit card in hand.
  7. Identify the true value of your content. Your visitors go to you with a need, and it’s your job to make sure that their needs are met. AI-powered search makes that possible. Whether you’re answering their questions, selling them a product, or offering them a service, machine learning capabilities determine what it is they’re looking for and satisfies their expectations. With it, you can identify your top performing content that has helped other visitors similar to them, allowing you to personalize the experience, and you can spot ‘no results’ queries, which dictate where you have content or product gaps and may potentially be losing customers to external sites, or worse, competitors. Use these queries to inform your content strategy and product strategy to keep your customers actively engaged on your site and ultimately converting.

Nearly a third of visitors turn to on-site search to find the information they need and that number continues to climb. If that’s not enough to get you excited, consider this: companies that are optimizing their search experience are converting visitors up to 6X more than companies that are not. An effective site search experience mustn’t be overlooked as it can help nurture return visitors that have the intent to purchase and contribute significantly to your organization’s revenue.

If you’re ready to start improving your conversion rates with AI-powered search, be sure to check out Coveo’s Optimization at Scale webinar. Did we miss anything? Join the conversation by reaching out to us on Twitter @Coveo.

Written by a guest contributor from our partners at Coveo.


Samantha Demers is Coveo’s Senior Content Editor, based in Montreal, Quebec. She is a passionate marketing and communications professional who has built her career in the tech industry by helping companies bring their brands to life and remain relevant in their field. Her motto; “engage like a consumer, not like a marketer” helps Coveo connect with its audience throughout their Intelligent Insights journey.