I want to encourage more people to do sitewide searches because our analytics show that people who use our search feature spend 5-10X longer on the site. Additionally, being a Q&A forum, it's just a great practice to search before you post, so the same question doesn't end up being asked a million times.

That being said, what are some type of ideas to encourage searches or make the search box more prominent? Currently, when someone enters the site from a search engine, we auto-populate the search box with the query string they searched for. Additionally, we highlight words throughout the page based on their search query. What else can we do to improve this anymore? Unfortunately just a fraction of one percent of our users currently search, despite doing all of that!

The only problem I have found when trying to search on the Daniweb forums is that the search engine embedded into the forums seems to not match relevant content. For example, on several occasions I have found a question pop up which I had answered a few years ago and using the Daniweb search tool returned no results when searching for my username since I replied and no search results when searching for key words from the comments in thread. In the end I on each occasion I had to use google to do a site search on daniweb to find the thread. So I really think that search algorithm needs revising.

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