What is Faceted Search? (Guided Navigation)

Facted Search is used primarily in eCommerce Web Design as an optimized personal search engine helping users shop online, defining how product pages appear within the eCommerce platform. The layout, direction, and flow of the Facted Search experience rely heavily on eCommerce Web Design expertise to ensure customers find their desired content. Ultimately, the goal of any eCommerce Navigational strategy is to reduce barriers to check-out. This is why some online shopping web experiences are better than others.

What Filters are used in Faceted Search?

The filters considered in the design process are one of the most important factors for organizing eCommerce pages and are great points to ask when hiring an outside agency or consultant.

Steps and Filters to include using Faceted Search on eCommerce

  • Identifying high-level search intent, and organic keyword terms, and addressing each with the appropriate user experience (informational, transactional, commercial & navigational)
  • Product Inventory information, Estimates on Shipping, Delivery
  • Include Color, Size, Material & Type of Product
  • Include Price, Brand, Discount & Sale Opportunities
  • Create fewer options for forms to improve engagement rates

Filters are different from Faceted Search in that they help narrow options whereas search should provide specific results. It’s becoming common on eCommerce sites to include some type of faceted search with a filter option on the left side of the page. The technical nuances behind Faceted Search only reveal themselves as users try to refine results. It’s incredibly important for a search experience to match the expectations of the user. Providing anything for the sake of something is not an ideal user experience.

How do we optimize the Faceted Search Experiences?

Some tricks to eliminate the “search paralysis” that users might face is by minimizing the scope of results before more details are provided. This helps ensure that the most relevant search results will appear during Faceted Search.

Another trick is encouraging scope selection or a category-focused search while still providing users the option to return to a wider scope selection. This eliminates the need to include all categories of content, many of which may have a lower probability of relevancy. If categories and content are not properly tagged or site architecture is ambiguous the performance of Faceted Search can become more of a hazard to include in the navigation. This is why approaching Faceted Search requires some technical considerations first in order to avoid creating technical debt.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for users to reach disappointment after multiple refinements to search results. It is almost expected that quality of relevancy depreciates when Faceted Search is applied on a site-wide level.

Following a well-designed SEO checklist will create accountability and transparency between teams collaborating on eCommerce projects. These can be especially useful when working with eCommerce SEO.

How Can I Improve Compatability for Faceted Search?

  • Write unique Title Tags based on Keyword Research
  • Create a Secondary Keyword Hierarchy for H1/2/3/4 tags
  • Add schema.org or other Technical Markups
  • Add internal links, external links to resources where needed
  • QA for Design, UX, Image Content
  • QA for Quality, Duplicates, Missing Content
  • Analyze & Improve Expertise & Helpfulness of Highly Searched Content

Have we considered eCommerce Accessibility & AODA Compliance?

Building an eCommerce website that is designed without user accessibility compliance can be an expensive mistake. This includes AODA policies if you live in Ontario. Outside of Ontario, the website should always consider auditory, vision, mobility, cognitive and neurological impairments to meet accessibility guidelines within your eCommerce web design scope.

Looking for something a bit more comprehensive? Contact our team for affordable help.