Following the deprecation of Google Search on their website in 2017, the web strategy team at Creighton University was looking for a new search solution they could implement without disrupting other resources of the department.
Outdated content and cluttered search results were also starting to become a liability for the university, and it was urgent for the team to regain control over their search results. Indeed, as the team sought to customize search results for popular queries, their previous solution’s poor ranking of search results was a significant challenge.
A solid user experience
Squiz DXP search was the perfect solution for Creighton’s unique set of challenges.
First, after indexing their entire website, Squiz built a live prototype to allow iterative feedback from Creighton’s team and guide the direction of the university’s future search.
To speed up implementation, the team was able to Squiz DXP Search Higher Education template and apply its unique branding, design, and styling requirements.
Second, the use of categories has been implemented on the result page to help users find the information they need faster.
Also called faceted navigation, those filters are used to refine a set of search results, allowing users to quickly drill down on items or sub-sections of interest within a search that may contain hundreds of thousands of results.
Users can now browse through specific results such as programs, news, faculty, and events.
Another useful feature added to best serve users is the search history right on the results page.
Stored in the browser, the user can revisit a results page for a given query or browse through the list of URLs visited.
The Results Curator tool also empowered the team to improve search results for specific queries that would otherwise be hard to find. For example, compliance information pages are notoriously hard to find and therefore required a “boost” in ranking to show high enough on the page before users give up entirely on their search.
Similarly, results curator is used to pull and highlight specific content to the very top of the results page, particularly for time-sensitive information (before an event for example) or highly sought-after pages (like campus parking).
“Squiz provided support and customization and didn’t rest until we were satisfied,” says Kari Watts, Director of Web Strategy at Creighton University. “They were always very supportive and never lost their can-do attitude.”
The web strategy team can now glean actionable insights from their search performance in a matter of seconds. Implementing Squiz DXP search vastly improved the experience of managing the search and the user experience on the site.