Improve Relevance of your Search Results

This topic applies to

Applies to

SuiteCommerce Web Stores

Following are some of the best practices for improving the relevance of your search results:

  • Search results are mainly driven by the data in your item catalog. Good data in your item catalog generates good search results.

    Therefore, ensure that the item descriptions do not repetitively use terms associated with other unrelated items in your catalog.

  • For items displayed in the web store, ensure that the items records are complete. At least specify values for all the fields of the item record that are being used as search fields, facet fields, and sort fields.

  • Your settings on the Search Fields tab influence the default sort order (relevance) of the search results. Therefore, identify item record fields that contain keywords that customers might use to find products, and then select those fields on the Search Fields subtab. For more information, see Sample Search Fields Setup.

  • The top row on the Search Fields list shows the item field and the type of match that result in highest relevance ranking. Therefore, define a search field at the top of the list whose value is most likely to be searched by shopper. For example, define Online Name (Field ID: storedisplayname) or Name (Field ID: itemid) at the top of the list.

  • If you select the same search field multiple times and use it with different types of match, define exact match at the top of the list for that search field.

  • Use the Starts With type of match for the Online Name search field only if your site uses Type Ahead Search.

  • Since fuzzy matches can return irrelevant items (shirt versus skirt, or cat versus hat) in the search results, use the Fuzzy type of match only if you have a valid use case. If your intention is to return accurate ordering of search results (for example, return all items that match Shirt at the top of list), then do not include fuzzy match fields at the top of the list of Search Fields. Since the list of search fields is ranked in order, top to bottom, fuzzy matches near the top of the list can return irrelevant items at the top of the search results list. 

  • Avoid adding excessive search fields as it can have performance implications and result in less relevant search results.

  • Only certain fields on item records are supported for faceted navigation based on the field type. For more information, see  Field Set Reference.

  • Avoid adding excessive Facets or Facet Values. For more information, see SEO Page Generator Best Practices.

  • You must limit the length of facet field values to 200 characters. If the facet field value exceeds the maximum character length, the search index fails to rebuild.

  • If Google Analytics is enabled in your account, you can see analysis of the search terms used by your shoppers in due course. In your Google Analytics account, you can navigate to Behaviour > Site Search > Search Terms to view all the search terms. By analyzing these search terms used by your shoppers, you may identify areas in you Search Settings that you can tweak to provide even more relative search results to the shoppers visiting your website.