I'm not seeing results when searching by country or state

Have you tried searching your locator for a country or state (e.g. "Canada" or "Texas") but didn't see the results you expected? This page explains the typical cause and how to fix it.

Note: The information on this page mostly applies to our "fixed search" mode, which uses a fixed search radius. Our newer "live search" mode automatically calculates a radius based on the size of the area that's typed in, so searching for "California" will automatically use a broader radius than searching for "Los Angeles". This is designed to help with the issue described on this page.

Why this happens

The locator's search system is based on proximity to a search point rather than geographical boundaries. For more explanation, you can see our help page on the Search Radius option.

When you enter a search term in your locator, the locator starts searching at the geographical center of the area you entered, and then works outwards until it reaches the first of two limits:

  • The search radius, which specifies how far from the starting point the search will look
  • The maximum results setting, which controls how many stores can be shown in response to a search

Any stores that are closer to the starting point than the search radius will be shown. If there are more stores within the search radius than the maximum results setting will permit, the stores closes to the starting point are shown.

This works great when searching for cities and postcodes, but it may give few or no results when searching for a state or country. This is because for larger areas the geographical center may be far away from population centers. For example, a search for "Canada" uses a starting point in the middle of Saskatchewan:

In the example above, only a couple of stores are within the search radius.

Options to fix

Increase your search radius

The best option is often to increase your Search Radius on the Search Settings page of the dashboard. A larger Search Radius will cover more of the country in the search area and is more likely to return results.

This fix is especially encouraged if you have worldwide distribution but only have a few stores/distributors per country.

Encourage visitors to search by city or postcode

If you have many stores, you may also want to encourage your visitors to search for a city or postcode to ensure the closest relevant results are shown. You could consider adjusting the search placeholder text or adding a separate note to your store locator page.

As an aside, our analytics tell us that the majority of visitors already do search by city or postcode.

Show all stores at once

Finally, if you have a smaller store list, you may also want to consider displaying all of your stores as soon as the locator loads. This will instantly give an overview of where you have stores, and visitors can zoom the map into their region to identify the closest stores.

Of course, visitors can still type a search query to find stores in a specific area.

To change this setting, open the Search Settings page and change Initial contents to Show all stores.