How to Add Search to Your WordPress Website

Search is undoubtedly one of the most useful features on any website, as it allows users to easily find whatever content or information they’re seeking. WordPress itself is a pioneer in this regard, as it comes packed with a powerful search function out of the box. However, adding search to your WordPress website isn’t quite as easy as it seems, especially if you’re not used to web development. That’s why we’ve collected 20 tried and tested tips that will help you add search to your WordPress website, no matter what stage you’re at in your development process.

Use Google Search Appliance (GSA)

The first step to adding search to your website is to download and install the Google Search Appliance (GSA). GSA is a free web-based tool that offers powerful built-in search as well as the option to integrate third-party search providers like Google, Bing and Yandex. Once you’ve installed GSA, navigate to Settings > Integrations and click on the Add integration button. From here you can select the search provider you wish to use and add the corresponding key. For instance, if you’re using Google, type “gsa integrations” in the search bar, hit Enter and a list of available products will appear. Select “Google Search Appliance” and click Add. Your new integration will be available to use on your website.

The Key Is To Set Up The Right Indexing

When we say “indexing”, it essentially means the process of adding metadata (i.e. information about the content) to digital content so that it can be easily found by users. Metadata is essentially code that allows your content to “talk” to search engines like Google so that they can better understand what it is you’re offering. One of the crucial steps in adding search to your WordPress website is to set up the right metadata for your content.

When you first set up your WordPress website, the process of adding metadata is automatically handled for you. However, if you’re adding this feature to an existing site, you’ll need to take the time to set up the right indexes. Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a list of the steps you need to take in order to properly set up your WordPress website for the best possible search results.

Create A Hierarchy Of Topics & Sub-Topics

One of the essential things to consider when adding search to your website is to create a hierarchy of topics and sub-topics. Essentially, this means that you should have a broad theme or umbrella that groups all the different topics and sub-topics together. For instance, your website could be about dogs, and within that topic you could have sub-topics like fawn rescue, husky breeding, etc. In order to ensure that your content is easily found by users, it’s vital that you group related content together, as opposed to scattering unrelated topics throughout your website.

When you have content scattered across your site, it can be difficult to find what you’re looking for. By creating a hierarchy of topics and sub-topics, you’ll greatly improve the discoverability of your website’s content. Plus, it will make it much easier for your users to navigate and more enjoyable to read. So, go ahead and start grouping content today!

Use The Right Keywords

Keywords are essentially words or phrases that users enter into search engines so that they can find content that is relevant to their needs. When you have content scattered across your site, using keywords as a way to find content is highly beneficial. In the example we gave above, the relevant keywords would be “dogs”, “fawn rescue”, “husky breeding”, “create a hierarchy of”. Using these keywords, users can find all the relevant content easily and quickly.

If you have a few pages with a few words of content on them, the best strategy is probably to create a simple list of those keywords and add them to the end of each page’s copy. Alternatively, you could add a keyword or two within the page’s content. Remember: users won’t always enter the exact keywords you have in mind when looking for information, so you should create a list of keywords that are commonly used when searching for your content.

Use Schema

Every website, whether it’s on the web or otherwise, follows a set of rules and conventions that help search engines like Google recognize the content. One of the most useful tools when it comes to structuring your content is schemas. Schemas are essentially “mini-tutorials” that teach search engines like Google how to understand your content. There are several schema markup tools like Google Structured Data Testing Tools, Schema Creator and JSON Formatter that make it easy to add schemas to your WordPress website.

For instance, if you’re using JSON Formatter, simply visit your site’s dashboard, click on the settings icon and select the “Read More” tab. Here you can input your existing content in JSON format and the schema tool will generate the code you need to add to your site. As you input content, the tool will also let you know if you’ve added something that’s already used within your website. So, you’ll have to go back and edit your content, if necessary, before publishing.

Build Backlinks

Besides creating high-quality content, the second most useful thing you can do to improve the discoverability of your website is to build backlinks. Backlinks are links, or references, to your website from other websites. When a user clicks on a backlink, they’ll be directed to your website. You can also use various tools, like Google’s Link Maker, to automatically create backlinks for you.

Backlinks are vital for improving your website’s discoverability, so you should make sure you establish backlinks with high-quality websites that are relevant to your niche. Don’t worry too much about the quantity, just focus on the quality.

Create Useful Content

Users find value in content that is both useful and entertaining. So, if you have a specific topic or niche, make sure you create content around that topic that is both useful and entertaining. For instance, you could create a YouTube video demonstrating how to bake a cake, or an article about the best parks in your area.

You should strive to create useful content that is valuable to your target audience, but don’t be afraid to have some fun with it as well. The two often go hand-in-hand, so having some fun with the content you create is very likely to result in something that is both useful and entertaining.

To prove that quality content can be both useful and entertaining, you can check out HubSpot’s blog, which is an excellent example of how useful content can be both informative and entertaining. So, when you’re brainstorming ideas for your own blog, make sure you come up with something that is both useful and entertaining. Once you’ve got that down, the rest is easy.

At this point, you should have a clear idea of what kind of content you need to create in order to add search to your WordPress website. Just remember to add value to your content and you’ll be on your way to better search results.