Adding a Site Search Engine to your Website.

build a websiteYou may well have seen websites with a “Search” box, which often appears as a small rectangular box in the upper left or right corner of a web page. Many internet visitors use internal search engines to look for specific content or products because they find it easier than browsing through all the pages. If a website‘s navigation  isn’t that clear, an internal site search engine can certainly make thing easier for it’s visitors. There are plenty of FREE site search engines available online these days so when you build a website, it’s not a bad idea to add a site search box to your home page to offer your visitors the option.

Free internal site search engines are very handy and the fact that they’re free is a real bonus but they do come with a few disadvantages. Firstly, they are commonly captioned with “search this site” or “search the web.” These options invite visitors to the site to search either the website they are on, or the whole Internet. A site search engine may also be labelled with the name of the company who provided it such as “powered by Google” This also works to let visitors know which search engine is running the search and also makes it clear that the search will probably show the same results that you’d find at that particular search engine’s main site. Free site search engines often display the search engine’s logo and sometimes even adverts alongside its search results. This may lead visitors away from the website they are on and direct them to main site of the search engine powering the site search. 

Google offer a free Custom Search option , which is great for small to medium sized websites and a paid for Site Search option, which is generally aimed at much larger business and enterprise websites between 1000 - 100,000 pages. 

Let’s look at simplest version of the Custom Search option.

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You will need to log into your Google Account. All website builders should have a Google Account and you should already have set one up when you verified your website through Reason8’s Verify Wizard. If you haven’t already done this, we strongly recommend you do. Click here to view the tutorial

Once you’ve logged into your Google Account, Go to “My Account” and then click on “Custom Search”. The custom search page will open up explaining all about the service and in the top left click on the “Create a Custom Search Engine” button.

On this page enter a Name for your Site Search such as “your-company-name Search”. Enter a brief description of your company. Don’t forget to use your top key phrase here!! Enter the full website address for your website. If you have more than one website related to your business, enter all the relevant website addresses.

Make sure Standard Edition Free is ticked. Tick to say you’ve read and agree to their terms of service and click “Next”

Choose a Style for your search box and click “Next”. 

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On the next page, you’ll see some code but before you do anything, click the “Look and Feel” link at the top of the page as shown above. You first need to select a couple of options to select the simplest search facility, which works best with your website.

Under "Choose a hosting option", select: Google-hosted page, then select your chosen style again and Click “Get Code”. On the next page you get the code for your customised Site Search Facility. Copy this code, which you now need to paste onto your web page.

build a websiteLog into your website control panel and in Step 3, click edit next to your Home page. Once in the editor for your home page, click the Show HTML button on the far right of the bottom row of your icon bar. You’ll be faced with your web page in html form. Don’t panic, all you need to do is scroll right down to the bottom  then click to place your cursor at the end of the last line of code. Now tab down by pressing the return  key on  your keyboard to put your cursor on a line of its own. Now paste in your code and Click Save. 

You should now see your new Google Search Bar at the bottom of your page. Well done. Try it out.
The searches are presented on a Google Search Page but the default setting is to present search results from your website only and so all the searches will be for your website pages. All your customers have to do is click the search result which best matches their search and they’ll be taken back to the relevant page of your website.

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