Boost Sales with Algolia Search

Let’s face it, WordPress built-in search kind of blows. You can improve search and boost sales with Algolia Search. It will upgrade search to site wide search including products and offers suggestions! And it really easy to get going.

Improving WordPress Search

Visitors as we know can be an impatient bunch. So if we allow them to find what they need faster they are more likely to buy. Also, if search provides suggestions on what is available he or she might also go to a product though he was searching for blog content he saw earlier.

Unfortunately WordPress search out of the box sucks. Even a plugin like Better Search does not quite cut it. Sure it searches not just post, but other post types as well such as pages, but still it does not suggest other possible content, nor is it really fast.

Algolia Search to the rescue

Lighting fast search with search suggestions Google style  can now all be done with the power of Algolia Search. Algolia Search is used heavily in the Laravel community and at Laracasts.com and with good reason.

Algolia Search

It is simply an amazing search integration. This is what is has on offer:

  • site-wide search
  • content suggestions while typing
  • suggests other options when the customer misspells something*

*Here example of misspelling where correct search term is suggested:

Misspelling and suggestions

And while you could integrate Google Search this is way prettier as in really integrates well. Just test it on our site. On typing suggestions popup in a dropdown from where a customer can click on a link. Each suggestion is also displayed with a small thumbnail based on the featured image.

Better Conversion and Lower Bounce Rate

All these features will prove that you can boost sales with Algolia Search. It will suggest possible products to buy and it will show these directly while searching. That is pretty amazing isn’t it. Besides a sales boost it is also just a general retention boost. It will lower your bounce rate as visitors will with ease be able to find follow up content, products and services to look at.

Pricing

Let me just quote what they mentioned on the plugin description page here:

Algolia offers its Search as a Service provider on a incremental payment program, including a free Community Plan which includes 10,000 records & 100,000 indexing operations per month.
Beyond that, plans start at $35/month.

So you can stay on the free community plan post registration – needed for key – as long as you do not pass 10,000 records & 10,000 indexing operations per month. Indexing wise you should not have issues with that anytime soon on most sites and neither should you record wise.

We have had 2,452 records and 3,311 indexing operations so far with with 150+ post and close to 30 pages. Also during the trial the sky’s the limit really.

Setup

First of all you need to install their plugin. That is easy as always.

Search by Algolia – Instant & Relevant results

Next you will need to register to get your

  • application id,
  • search-only api key and
  • admin api key

and get your trial up and running. The plugin will guide you with this.

Algolia Settings

Autocomplete

Then you need to choose the content you would like to be part of the searches and allow Algolia to index it under autocomplete and activate this. This will take some time as in will need to index and store it at Algolia for lightning fast future searches and suggestions.

Algolia Auto Complete

Search Page Choice

On Search page you can choose to use WordPress Search Page or the Algolia Search page:

Search Page and Algolia

This really depends on your preference. We are testing with at the moment.

 

Algolia Dashboard

Once you are setup you can keep track of indexing, searches done and much much more in their Dashboard.

Algolia Dashboard

I like the design and UI in general. It is easy to see what is going on. Do think I won’t be needing to check things here that much, but it is nice to have when search starts getting used a lot.

Rolling your Own

If you want to run it all for free and under your control you can clone the repo and roll your own on your own server. Just to to the repository at Github and get your own copy. Then install in on the same web server or a separate on, and integrate it with your site. Doing this all by yourself will require more technical knowhow and more server power of course, but you do keep all the data under your control

WooCommerce & Google Analytics Pro Setup

Often you use Google Analytics to track buyers. But a lot of beginners set up the bare basics only. You should do a WooCommerce & Google Analytics Pro Setup instead. One that allows you thorough tracking of all your customer transactions and movals on your site. One that shows you every step they take and how your goals are converting. In this blog post I will show you some great tips to do just that.

Google Analytics Goals

You want to track properly whether or not your product is being sold. That will be your end goal. The goal to sell and get paid is what you want of course. In Google Analytics you can set up goals to track your store goals. You can find them under admin:

Google Analytics Goals

Once you are there you can set up you own goal by clicking on the red “new goal button .

Revenue Goal

The type of goal we would go for here is a revenue goal. You are interested in making money after all. For that Google Analytics has a goal template ready:

Goal Template - revenue

Next step is to choose the type of revenue goal. We pick a destination.The trick is to use the WooCommerce order received page as the final step or destination. Once that page is reached it means your customer really went all the way and bought your product.

That is this slug:

/checkout/order-received/

In Google Analytics you indicate that under goal destination and you pick “begins with”:

Goal Destination

PayPal Caveat

If you do use PayPal you also have to make sure that the client is sent back to your store automatically and that the tracking continues. This you do by going to:

  • your profile
  • selling tools
  • website preferences

PayPal Setup

There you can choose to send users back to your store once paid automatically and add a utm slug to keep the tracking going.

PayPal Auto Return

The slug used for Imagewize is

https://wooaid.com/checkout/order-received/?utm_nooverride=1

And for you you would obviously have to change the domain to represent your shop. And that followed by the utm string: ?utm_nooverride=1 

Goal Funnel

I also recommend setting up a funnel to analyse the user’s behavior. It is very useful for example to find out where in the process the customer bailed. A few steps you could use are:

  • shop
  • product page
  • cart
  • checkout

This will depend of course on what your customer’s path will be. Some of you use the one page checkout. And in that case there may just be 2 steps. Or when you do use the shop page and then the product page you will need one step before the ones I made here:

GA Funnel

The one here starts at the product page as you can see. And I made it a required step. That is not always necessary nor desired though.

Google Analytics Ecommerce

To also track all transactions taking place you should also activate ecommerce on Google Analytics. This you can also do under admin > view. There you find the ecommerce settings option. Make sure you enable default and enhanced ecommerce to get all the goodness.

GA Ecommerce Setup

NB The abandoned cart plugin will also help of course.

Enhanced E-commerce for Woocommerce Store Plugin

Now to make the Ecommerce work well with WooCommerce and without the need to be a JavaScript ninja you need to install one plugin: Enhanced E-commerce for Woocommerce store.

Enhanced Ecommerce Google Analytics Plugin for WooCommerce

It will make it all work like a charm. Trust me it is pretty amazing. The commercial version of this plugin is even better, but this free one does most of what you need. Here is the shortlist with what it brings as told by them at WordPress:

  • Supports four New Reports in Enhanced Ecommerce
  • Shopping Behaviour Report
  • Checkout Behaviour Report
  • Product Performance Report
  • Sales Performance Report
  • Supports Guest checkout functionality
  • Supports Display Advertising Feature
  • Captures Product Impressions, Add to Cart & Product Clicks events on category page
  • Captures Product Impressions, Add to Cart & Product Clicks events on product page

As you can see it is pretty amazing, isn’t it?

Well once you have done all this tracking should have become pretty amazing. Good luck!

Bonus: Great general article on Google Analytics and Conversion Tracking

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