Optimizing Product Search

In version 2.8.4 of eCommerce, we updated the way product descriptions are made searchable throughout your site. So now, normal site search should be looking at your full catalog. Here are some quick tips on how to make sure customers are finding your wares.

How people find your products:

When concrete5 runs a search, it goes through more or less four things:

  • Page title
  • Page description
  • Page content
  • Page attributes

When it brings back a search, it shows the page title and description. If the page doesn't have a description, it will show a little bit of content.

When you edit a product, if that product is assigned to a product detail page, it will update a special attribute for that page with the product's description. To tailor what people see when they search for that product, modify that product's page's description.

What changed:

The way the add-on used to work, if you were to put a product block on a page in your site, and assign it a specific product, that page would show up when you searched for the product.

When you created a new product in the dashboard, if you assigned that product a catalog page, the page's description would be set to the product's description. However, when you updated the product, the page's description would remain the same. This is because the "short description" pages is use is useful for tailoring specifically for search, as described above, and if you were to go the trouble of crafting a good short description, losing this work on updating a product is a pain.

The issue was that prodcuts were never actually "on" pages that were automatically created. Even though the product was bound to a particular page, that product's description never became page content. Technically this is still the case, and it is a requirement to make edits done in page type defaults propagate through your site. The details of this issue are both technical and boring.

Short version: we added another page attribute that gets automatically updated, and you can change your description to whatever you want.