Searching for search bars

One of our favourite things to do is read the Think Tank and Civil Society Program’s (TTCSP) annual Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. The report provides an in-depth insight into how think tanks are performing and ranks them accordingly.

One insight from their most recent report underlines an important trend think tanks must respond to: policy makers spend approximately 30 minutes a day reading. According to the TTCSP, think tanks need to capture the attention of policymakers as quickly as possible in order to direct them to the relevant information.

This isn’t just about improving website traffic. Getting policymakers engaged with a think tank’s content will enhance the impact that content has. Where best to make that impact? The landing page is going to be the first and often last opportunity to grab a visitor’s attention.

This means there are two clear challenges to be addressed. Firstly, think tanks must make their purpose clear to visitors. Secondly, given the mountain of content many think tank sites are hosting, having a search bar is an ideal way to help visitors help themselves.

During our own research, we found that think tanks lower down the TTCSP rankings are less likely to have a search bar and less likely to have a search bar on the homepage. Even for those who do have a search functionality on their site, many do not feature the bar prominently enough on the landing page to encourage visitors to use it.

Think tanks could benefit from deploying search bars. Interestingly, most people who use a search bar click on it immediately after accessing the site. Furthermore, having a prominent search bar – one that visitors will actually use – will allow think tanks to capture query data and thus build a stronger content strategy.

So, if you’re searching for a search bar, or want to improve the way your visitors search for information, feel free to get in touch with the team at We are Flint.