Do you want to improve your WordPress search with SearchWP?
By improving WordPress search, you can help your users find what they’re looking for and get more sales and pageviews.
In this article, we’ll show you how to improve your WordPress search with SearchWP easily.
What is SearchWP?
This plugin puts you in complete control over your website’s search feature.
With SearchWP, you can make sure your site is prioritizing the right content in its search results by creating your own relevance scale and adjusting the search algorithm.
You also get access to detailed search metrics so you can see what your visitors are searching for and the types of content they’re finding.
This gives you actionable insights to improve your existing content and plan new content.
Beyond improving your default WordPress search, it has more features like redirection after a search is performed, excluding specific content from search, keyword stemming, support for multiple search engines, and more.
With that said, let’s show you how to set up SearchWP to improve your WordPress search.
How to Install and Set Up SearchWP
Upon activation, you need to visit the Settings » SearchWP page and then click on the ‘License’ menu option.
Then, enter your license key in the ‘License’ box and click the ‘Activate’ button.
You can find the license key by logging into your SearchWP account.
Once you’ve done that, you need to click on the ‘Engines’ tab.
This brings you to a screen where you can set your search engine settings. Think of it like creating your own Google search algorithm for your WordPress blog or website.
With SearchWP, you need to create a site-wide search engine before you can customize your website’s search feature.
You can adjust the search engine settings for the different content types by scrolling to the ‘Posts’, ‘Pages’, or ‘Media’ sections.
Every section has an ‘Attribute Relevance’ slider that changes how your site’s search engine values and ranks that content. For example, if you want the post title to carry more weight than the post content, then you can drag to adjust the sliders accordingly.
After you’re done customizing your default search engine settings, make sure to click the ‘Save Engines’ button to create your first search engine.
If you see a message asking you to rebuild the index, then click on the ‘Rebuild Index’ button.
After it’s created the initial index, SearchWP will replace the default WordPress search with your new and improved search.
If your WordPress theme already has a search box, then you don’t need to make any further changes. If your site doesn’t already have a search box, then it’s easy to add one.
Simply head over to Appearance » Widgets and find the section where you want to add your search bar, such as the Right Sidebar section.
Inside this section, click the ‘+’ icon to open the widget block menu.
After that, type ’Search’ into the widget search box.
When it appears, click on the ‘Search’ block.
This will add a search form to your sidebar or similar section.
You can customize the title of your search form and add optional placeholder text.
Make sure you click the ‘Update’ button to save your changes.
Now when visitors type into your search form, they’ll be using the new and improved SearchWP search.
There are all kinds of ways you can customize the search experience on your site with SearchWP, so let’s take a look at a few of them below.
How to Make PDF Files Searchable in WordPress
By default WordPress doesn’t search any PDF files that you upload to your website. If you upload lots of PDFs to your site, then visitors may be missing out on lots of great content.
SearchWP can allow your users to search the text in the PDF files and displays the files in its search results.
To make your PDFs searchable, go to SearchWP » Settings to bring you to the engines page.
In the ‘Media’ section, you’ll find a slider called ‘Document Content’. You need to make sure this slider is enabled.
For some users, the slider won’t be enabled yet.
To activate the slider, click on the ‘Add/Remove Attributes’ button.
This brings up a popup where you can control what attributes SearchWP looks at when searching your site’s media.
To make your PDF files searchable, simply check the ‘Document Content’ box and then click on the ‘Done’ button.
Now, you can adjust the slider settings to give weight to your PDF content. After that, go ahead and click on the ’Save Engines’ button.
Now, your visitors will be able to search through your PDF content and find relevant results.
When your visitors click the PDF result it will take them to a page where they can view the entire PDF document.
Add a Search By Category Feature to WordPress
If you have multiple categories of content on your WordPress website, then you might want to let users search within a single category at a time. For example, if you have an online store then customers may want to search within a particular product category.
You can do this by adding a category dropdown to your search forms.
For more details, see our guide on how to search by category in WordPress.
Add a Live Ajax Search Function to WordPress
Another feature you’ve probably seen is live Ajax search, also called instant search. This adds a drop down autocomplete feature that’s common in search engines like Google.
Instant search helps your visitors to find what they’re looking for more quickly, which can keep them on your website longer.
SearchWP makes it easy to add this feature to your website.
For more details, see our guide on how to add live Ajax search to your WordPress site.
Add a Smart Product Search to Your Online Store
If you run an online store, then you want to make sure your visitors can find the products they’re looking for.
SearchWP makes it easy to improve your product search and get more sales.
You can fully customize your WooCommerce search engine and give weight to the product attributes that matter most.
For more details, see our guide on how to make a smart WooCommerce product search.
Create a Custom Post Type Search Form in WordPress
With SearchWP, you can create all kinds of advanced search forms, like a custom post type search form.
To do this, you’ll create a separate search engine that only searches a single post type. For example, here is a search form that will only search through coupon posts.
For more details, see our guide on how to create advanced search forms for custom post types in WordPress.
We hope this article helped you learn how to improve WordPress search with SearchWP. You may also want to see our picks of the best live chat software for small businesses and our guide on how to get a free business email address.