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The Search Is On

Small-business owners are clamoring to add search functions to their Web sites. Should you join the hunt for one, too?

This story appears in the September 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The importance of quick, accurate search results cannot be underestimated, say market observers. A search tool on your website gives visitors the chance to find what they're looking for, much as they would with a popular search engine such as AltaVista, Google or HotBot. Moreover, when designed properly, a search function will keep them on your site longer, and it may allow you to learn about your visitors' tastes.

"Searching is one of the most important things consumers do online," says Matthew Berk, an analyst at Jupiter Media Metrix in New York City. "If you have a website with a lot of content-more than 100 pages-or if you are doing commerce on the web and you have a catalog of more than 100 products, it makes sense to have a search function on your website."

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