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Case study

Learn why AIFS switched from Solr to

Government agency site search case study
"Solr wasn’t working well for us and probably would have needed extensive redevelopment - it was giving us poor results that weren’t relevant and very shallow searches."

Michael Day, Publishing Manager, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Average CTR improvement of 50%

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) needed a search experience that returned highly relevant results, could be easily customized, and provided powerful analytics. Due to the number of records (pages and documents) that are on their website, the platform needed to be able to search within research publications and return results that could be filtered into medium and topic.

Sitback, a local web development agency, was able to recommend to AIFS and was able to quickly create a proof of concept. AIFS was able to run this side-by-side with their existing search to identify the pain points and collaborate on a solution.

Boosted results

One of the challenges for an organization that has been operating for over 30 years is that multiple pieces of research can be generated for a single topic. AIFS were finding that their users were getting results that were not relevant or timely, often with the most recent content being hidden from search results.

After moving to, content can now be boosted if it aligns with predetermined criteria. For example, publications that have been published in the same year are now lifted above other results. As AIFS Publishing Manager Michael Day puts it, "if our users weren’t getting the relevance benefit of boosted content then we were really letting them down."

Customizable experiences

With over 5,000 publications, it was obvious AIFS needed a search solution that was highly flexible and could instantly react to how their users are searching. Before making the switch, AIFS were finding their users’ were being inundated with irrelevant search results from many different topics and multiple media types. This lack of organization was causing them a headache - AIFS needed a structured and cohesive search solution.

The most impressive feature of their new search is the layout of the results page; the results now update in real-time as different filters are selected. Users can enter a search query, refine it further through automatically generated topic filters, and then additionally sort this down into specific media types.

"What we like most about is that it’s able to be configured by a content producer through the console. We’re able to group by different media, which ensures we’re serving people more relevant content."

Accessible analytics

For AIFS, analytics are the clearest way to determine if their websites are running optimally. “ gives excellent insights which we’re able to utilize for our content management,” says Michael. “ We’re seeing that people are finding relevant content quicker.”

AIFS now regularly study their search analytics and make changes as necessary - more often than not, it’s as simple as changing a page’s description or editing its metadata to optimize it for search. Michael and the team can now check the most popular queries, their individual click-through rates, as well as any unexpected trends to monitor new queries.

"Our site search is now achieving the gold standard of search. In terms of relevance, it’s exceeding expectations."

Michael Day, Publishing Manager, Australian Institute of Family Studies

The verdict

The Australian Institute of Family Studies was seamlessly able to execute's cloud-based search across multiple domains. Since implementation, AIFS have enjoyed higher click-through rates, a more cohesive user experience, and a responsive, dynamic search solution that works for all of their users.

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