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How to Make a Smart WooCommerce Product Search

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Do want to improve the product search in your WooCommerce store?

WooCommerce has a built-in search feature, but it’s not very good at finding products. By replacing it with a smarter and faster search, you can get more sales and improve the customer experience.

In this article, we will show you how to make a smart WooCommerce product search for your online store.

Adding a smarter WooCommerce product search to your online store

Why Add a Smart WooCommerce Product Search to Your Store?

WooCommerce has a built-in product search, but it is very limited.

By default, it does not look for matches in product attributes, reviews, custom fields, or the product description. This can stop shoppers from finding products they want to buy on your online store, so you get fewer sales.

Product search showing no products found

It’s also very slow, so impatient shoppers may leave your site.

Luckily, there are some excellent WooCommerce plugins that allow you to show more helpful search results, fetch them faster, and get more sales.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily add a smart WooCommerce product search feature to your online store.

How to Make a Smart WooCommerce Product Search

The easiest way to create a smart WooCommerce product search is by using SearchWP.

SearchWP is the best WordPress search plugin and allows you to search content that WordPress ignores by default. For example, you can make blog comments searchable, or add PDF indexing and searching to your website.

You can also create your own relevance scale and adjust the algorithm without writing any code. In this way, you can show the right search results, to the right people, at the right time.

It also comes with a WooCommerce integration so you can improve the WooCommerce product search, and include product attributes, tags, and more in the search results.

How to Set up SearchWP

First thing you need to do is install and activate the SearchWP plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to SearchWP » Settings and click on the ‘General’ tab.

Activating the SearchWP plugin's license

You can find this information by logging into your SearchWP account or by checking your purchase confirmation email.

Once you’re done, make sure to click the ‘Verify Key’ button.

Next, you need to install and activate the WooCommerce Integration extension. In your WordPress dashboard, go to SearchWP » Extensions.

Here, find the WooCommerce Integration extension and click on its ‘Install’ button.

Installing the WooCommerce integration for SearchWP

Creating a Custom WooCommerce Search Algorithm

Once you have the extension, you’re ready to create a custom search engine for your WordPress blog. This gives you complete over the content that SearchWP looks at, and how it shows the results to shoppers.

To get started, go to SearchWP » Algorithm. Then, click on the ‘Sources & Settings’ button.

Creating an improved WooCommerce product search

This will open a popup where you can tell SearchWP what content to include in its searches. For example, you might exclude pages from the WordPress search results, or include custom post types.

To improve the WooCommerce search, check the box next to ‘Products.’

Searching WooCommerce products using SearchWP

WooCommerce product reviews are stored as comments. If you want to make reviews searchable, then you’ll need to check the ‘Comments’ box too.

After that, click on the ‘Done’ button to close the popup. Now, if you scroll down you’ll see a new ‘Products’ section.

By default, SearchWP will look at the product title, content (description), slug, and excerpt (short description) for matches. Depending on how your online marketplace is set up, you may want to search other content such as custom product attributes and tags.

To do this, click on the ‘Add/Remove Attributes’ button.

How to make WooCommerce product attributes searchable

This will open a popup where you can check different boxes or select custom fields and taxonomies. If you enabled ‘Comments’ in the previous step, then you can also check the box next to ‘Reviews.’

In the following image we’ve added ‘color’ and ‘size’ as searchable custom fields, and added product tags and categories in the taxonomies field.

Managing WooCommerce product attributes

When you’ve selected all the product attributes you want to use, click on ‘Done.’

With that done, you’ll see that each attribute has its own ‘Applicable Attribute Relevance’ slider. This controls how SearchWP ranks the products when building its search results page in WordPress.

If an attribute has a high relevancy, then it’ll have a bigger impact on the search results. For example, if you want a product’s title to carry more weight than the product slug, then you’ll need to adjust the slider accordingly.

Making an improved WooCommerce product search for an online store

When you’re happy with how the smart product search is set up, scroll to the top of the screen and click the ‘Save’ button.

SearchWP will now rebuild the index.

Saving your smart product search algorithm

Depending on the speed of your Internet connection and your WordPress hosting provider, this may take a few minutes.

As soon as you see ‘Index Status 100%,’ you’ll know that SearchWP has added all your product data to its search index.

Rebuilding the WooCommerce product search

If your WooCommerce theme already has a search box, then you don’t need to make any changes. SearchWP will start delivering more relevant product search results straight away.

However, if your theme doesn’t have a search box, then you’ll need to add a search bar to the WordPress menu.

After that, head over to your store and try out the search feature. You should notice that it’s returning more accurate and helpful search results.

By default, SearchWP will include all matching products in its search results. However, you may wish to specify which products it should display. For example, you might only show products that are on sale or come with free shipping, as this can get you more conversions.

To learn more, please see our guide on how to customize WooCommerce product search results page.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily make a smart WooCommerce product search for your online store. You may also want to see our pick of the best business phone services and how to create an email newsletter.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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