Help with searching

The 'Search for information and services' page lets you search for things that are useful by using keywords.

Type one or more words to describe what you are looking for (e.g. housing, childminders)

You can also search for a location to find results which serve a particular area.  Try a placename such as 'Yate', or full postcode such as 'BS37 5AF' or partial postcode such as 'BS37'.

The results will be displayed across two 'tabs'. The default list 'Local services' shows a list of organisations, groups and services which are relevant to your chosen keyword. The second tab 'Information and advice' lists information articles relevant to your search.

You can navigate between the two lists by clicking on the tabs at the top of the results.

More Advice on Keyword Searching

Typing in a word or a few words into the search box brings you back all entries that contain at least one of the words you have entered. Search engines will try to place the most relevant results at the top of the list, but if your search terms are too broad or ambiguous, the results will not be helpful. 

To make your search results as relevant as possible, use unique and specific terms that are relevant to the subject you are searching.

Adding the plus sign (+) before a word means that each of the results must contain that word, so the example search below brings back only records results containing both of the words housing and advice, for example:

+housing +advice

Using double quotes (") around your search words brings back only results that contain those words as an exact phrase, for example:

"badminton club"

Using search filters

Once you have your search results, you may be able to improve them still further by selecting one or more of the search filters which are displayed in lists to the left of your results. These filters allow you to limit results by returning only those that are 'tagged' to that category or user group (e.g. "Children and families"). The more use you make of the filters, the more focussed your results will be.

Sorting your search results

You can change the sort order of your search results using the options that are shown in the section just above your results. Depending on the type of search that you have done, your results can appear in any of the following sort orders:

  • Sorted by relevance (i.e. the best match to your search)
  • Sorted by name (i.e. in A-Z order of title, with numbers first)
  • Sorted by distance (only if you have done a full postcode search)

If you are browsing the 'Local services' results tab, you can also chose to 'Show results on a map' which will display any building-based service records that contain a valid postcode.

By clicking 'Read more' on the listing, you can see more information about the service, and 'Get directions' by following the link in the 'Contact details' box on the right of the page.