Exceeding expectations with Elastic Site Search
The network’s website lacked modern search capabilities, making it hard to attract advertisers and readers. This led to difficulties in funding and producing new and innovative content at the Asian Food Network. In addition, the website was difficult to maintain, slow, and presented internal and external technical challenges.
Elastic Site Search was the only technology that could resolve all of these issues, and it aligned with the network’s expedited time-to-market strategy. The network was also excited about Elastic’s unique ability to easily integrate with legacy solutions. And unlike many of its competitors, Elastic maintains local support staff in Singapore, and they were there ready to help with the migration.
The network also embraced Elastic Site Search because of its high level of customizability — and because it is not dependent on the global Google search index, HTML tags now allow Asian Food Network to tell the Elastic Site Search crawler how to index the site. This is a critical feature that gives executives, advertisers, and content creators confidence that new content won’t end up hidden away from readers.
Beyond the initial crawl of the website by Elastic Site Search, the product’s page-ranking feature provides relevant search results for pages the network wants to highlight.
The entire transition to Elastic Site Search took just three months, and the results exceeded all expectations, says Anna Pak, General Manager for Discovery Southeast Asia.
What’s more, Elastic Site Search, with built-in analytics, provides Asian Food Network’s staff and executives deep insights into what users are searching for, and enables search changes based on those analytics — specifically, the ability to reorder search results into any desired sequence, for any query desired.
Enhanced consumer experience
When running a website for such a populous and diverse region, it’s important that Elastic Site Search’s advanced search algorithm takes synonym correction, phrase matching, spelling correction, stemming, and bigram matching into consideration. The Elastic Site Search dashboard is where all of these, and other features, can be fine tuned.
The language-specific search relevancy delivered by Elastic Site Search is particularly important for the user experience in an area with varying cultures and languages, meaning that the Asian Food Network site can easily be localized and fine-tuned for a host of languages beyond English, including Malaysian and Indonesian.
Because food is visual, the team uses Elastic Site Search to display pictures of food in search results. The 70% increase in the number of searches per month indicates customer satisfaction has been on the rise, Yadav says. Internal stakeholders are also impressed with the new visual search features.
The ROI metrics are strong:
- 4X increase in monthly active users
- 4X more website content searches
- 100% increase in advertising revenue
- 144% increase in time on site for search users
There’s no way to put a number on a metric when it comes to measuring morale. But Yadav says the tech team’s morale, and productivity, has increased following the adoption of Elastic Site Search.
“They are spending less time fixing search issues and more time building features,” Yadav says. “That’s definitely a win. The team is very happy and there’s less stress.”
Elastic is a key ingredient in the network’s roadmap
Yadav’s team is adding more synonyms into the Elastic Site Search dashboard to deal with varying languages and cultures of its readership. For example, when the Indonesian term “ayam” is typed into the search field, content associated with “chicken” will render for those that speak Indonesian.
The Elastic Site Search dashboard, Yadav noted, is so easy to use that a large swath of the network’s non-technical staff can help tweak search results or do other search alterations. This includes adding in subtle recommendations for search results that don’t precisely match what a visitor searched for but may nevertheless be relevant, as well as tweaking the site to match the needs of readers, advertisers, and content creators at scale.