Resources Optimizing business metrics

Handling No-Results Use-Case

Decrease your website bounce rate and remove user frictions

Handling No-Results Use-Case

Problem

“I know that my users often search for ‘soccer’, however we don’t have any products containing this word, so our users land on a ‘no results’ message, and bounce.”

Why does it matter?

Searches that return “zero results or “no results” pages are frustrating roadblocks in the user experience. High no results rate is causing shoppers to abandon their search or leave the site, resulting in lower conversion, smaller average order volume, decline in customer loyalty and satisfaction. And, more often than not, they drive visitors to your competitors’ sites. 

No results rate above 3-5% is not optimal and results in a sub-par user experience. Although we know we can’t bring it down to zero, we often advise the goal to aim for less than 2%. 

With strategic improvements to your search engine, you can avoid “no results” pages and ensure you always offer users a path forward. We will see how to use search analytics to identify and understand your No result rate,  how to decrease it by adding synonyms or tuning the UI. Better even, let artificial intelligence do the work for you!

Monitor: start by understanding your No Result rate in your Analytics 

Building your strategy starts by looking at the data. You should be able to measure your conversion rate, and track it over time. 

Ideally, being as well able to access the list of top queries returning a No Result. To understand which query requires your immediate attention. 

This list of “No result” queries is also a precious source of information for several reasons.You will be able to understand which products or services your customers are looking for and that you should consider offering. Or if you noticed that a lot of customers are searching for queries such as “customer support”, you may consider adding a redirect on the search bar and reviewing your site navigation to make sure to access the right section.

Algolia searchandising solution provides exhaustive No Result reporting capabilities out of the box: 

  • Receive weekly reports in your mailbox - allowing you to easily monitor week after week your No result rate, and visualize your top 10 no results queries.
  • From our analytics dashboard, visualize your No Result Rate, the trends over time, an the list of all queries returning a No Result

Tactics to Address: 4 tactics to decrease your No Result rate

It’s time to consider fixing the situation. Based on the context, multiple tactics may apply.

Check your search configuration

Make sure your as well your search is adaptable to human errors. An un-optimized site search will trip over user mistakes and thus return no matches. 

Basic textual relevance features include Typo tolerance, to avoid only returning exact letter-to-letter matches. Identification and removal of stop words to have fewer words to match in a query, thereby increasing the result set. 

Algolia embed all those capabilities, and you will be able discover advanced configurations by looking at the following links

  • Removing words when no results are found.
  • Matching individual words instead of all words in a query.
  • Create a list of words that can be removed from a query.
  • Adjusting prefix search.
  • For more information about handling no results, refer to the Empty or Insufficient Results guide.​

Conclusion

Trying to reduce the no result rate is one of the key foundations of a good searchandising strategy. With continuous improvements, your bounce rate should reduce, and your customer satisfaction increase!

Takeaway 1

Regularly monitor this KPI and take action each time it’s necessary to maintain it below 2%.

Takeaway 2

Nowadays, AI can help you to automate those decisions.

Going further

Additional resources

Inspiration Library

UI practices, suggestions, etc. Discover more real companies' tactics to reduce no result rates 

Algolia Search Analytics

Understand all the opportunities offered by the Algolia search analytics in this guided video

Optimizing business metrics

Using Business Data for Merchandising

Optimize conversions for popular Category Pages