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How many times have you been on a website and just need to find one item, one product, or one piece of information? It happens frequently, and internet users are not known for their patience. If we don’t see it, we leave. Adding Google Custom Search to your website can help prevent visitors from exiting the site, while finding them the information they need to, ideally, complete a call to action!

Adding Site Search is terribly complex; you will probably cry. No, not really. But you can tell all your impressed friends and family members that it was a long, arduous process full of coding and web wizardry. They will awe-struck at your skills.

  1. Go to the Custom Search page and sign into your Google account. This is the hard part.
  2. Click on Create a Custom Search Engine (blue box on upper right side).
  3. You will see a box prompting you to enter your Sites to Search. Enter the URLs that you want to include. Google will generate a name for your search engine, which you change if you’d like.
  4. Select your preferred language.
  5. Hit Create.
  6. Now you have to prepare to add your custom search engine to your website. After you’ve created it, select Setup > Basics > Details > Get Code.
  7. Copy the HTML code and paste it to your webpage’s HTML source code.

This is a custom search engine, so you can modify it to mesh with design of your site. To do this, go to the Control Panel and select Look and Feel. You can select the layout, design theme, search buttons, as well as choose how results will appear and whether or not you want a thumbnail image in the results. Preview your selections. If you don’t like them, Reset and start again.

Remember, if you do modify your search engine, you have to update the HTML code. Simply go back to Get Code, get a new one, and paste that back to your HTML source code.

And that is that. You have a shiny new search engine so visitors do not have to navigate away from your site. They can sift through your excellent content and, hopefully, complete your CTA.

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