A knowledge base system is a valuable solution that can bring many benefits to an organization. No matter if you are looking to improve your business internally, or provide information externally (to your customers), or both, a knowledge base can effectively handle all such tasks.
But it’s not only about implementing a knowledge base. It needs to be optimized properly in order to be as effective as possible. Similarly to optimizing your website in many different ways, your knowledge needs to be optimized as well.
Let us understand it with an example:
While using a product, if I encounter an issue, I run to Google. Say, if I need to embed a knowledge base plugin to my wordpress theme, instead of going anywhere else, I would simply Google “How to embed a knowledge base plugin to wordpress.”
You will be flooded with thousands of results but just like others, you will be interested in the first few ones. Why? Because Google has chosen the best one for you, keeping in mind your requirement and keywords.
Got my point?
Don’t you want Google pick your knowledge base for the users who are searching for related information? Of course, you do.
This means that you will have to SEO optimize your knowledge base properly to make it rank higher. This in turn means adding important elements that will make your knowledge base a well-rounded customer support and team support system.
First of all, you must understand that content, structure and links are the stalwarts of a deadly SEO.
We will move forward to understand the three pillars and how they help in optimization of knowledge base.
Don’t Miss Out On Basic SEO Optimization
Like your blog or website, you will want your knowledge base to appear high in SERPs because this is how people will find it and use it. First of all, add lists and bullet points. The most important reason for doing this is Google’s knowledge graph, which uses similar articles like the ones you can find in a knowledge base.
What is Google’s knowledge graph? Simple, the knowledge graph is a knowledge base used by the maverick itself. Google is making the world’s largest knowledge database with your help. It wants you to help people as well as Google itself.
If you can figure out what topics to publish, who your target audience is, what it wants from you and how can you connect with your users with right knowledge, then Google is all yours!
If your knowledge base article is added to the knowledge graph, it means that you will find yourself with exposure and maybe even a first page result. To get there, you should do keyword research on all of your article titles and make sure that you include those keywords throughout the text as well.
Did you know that about 80% of user traffic comes via keywords or search queries? Google’s algorithm is under constant improvement so that the searches are highly aligned with the keywords.
Google bolds the keywords in the meta description. In that scenario, can you afford to miss keywords?
Then comes interlinking. Interlinking helps Google get an idea of your website’s structure. Googlebot crawls the website and follows links, both external and internal, to understand relationships of content.
Make sure to add interlinks to all of the articles within your knowledge base. Not only that they can be helpful to your visitors and lead them to more valuable information, but interlinking help crawlers check everything in your knowledge base and they won’t miss indexing any of the articles you have.
The core of your knowledge base is the content that you put in it. It is the primary source of information that helps users get the answers they need to solve problems. However, it is essential not to get carried away when creating content. Be straight and to the point.
Brian Clark says you need to spoon feed the search spiders when you optimize your content. Ensure that you are making it easy for them to find search terms on your page. Google finds the answers to visitor’s queries from the most trustworthy site and will serve them to the visitors. So, don’t just spoon feed the spiders, do it for your searchers too.
Fact Check: Google Spiders cannot understand content without keywords in its headline and meta description. Again, this leads us to the significance of having keywords and best content woven by them in the most appropriate manner.
Your content must be easy to read, concise, accurate and relevant to your readers. If you cannot explain a complex issue in one knowledge base entry, simply write another entry and interlink it, to give readers the option to learn more if they want to, without forcing them. Make sure that your content is written properly and don’t forget to do an adequate SEO follow up.
If you take a second to think about it, you will quickly realize how Google itself is a knowledge base as well. What is at the core of this knowledge base? Its search engine. Similarly, your knowledge base software needs to have a built in search engine that visitors will be able to use to find an article or piece of information they are looking for.
Your knowledge base might seem small now, but you will quickly populate it with new information and, soon enough, it will become impossible for someone to find what they are looking for by simply scrolling. Not only will the right SEO keywords for your article titles help people find your answer in search engines, but they will also be able to search for them within the knowledge base.
Sometimes, visitors will not know exactly what they are looking for and they will type in questions that they need answered. This is why you need to further make articles searchable by adding tags and phrases which are relatable and intuitive for users.
If your search engine has these 8 features, then you have made it:
#1. Your search engine can find related pages, sites and blogs.
#2. Your search engine must know how to define.
#3. You can adjust your reading level.
#4. Your search engine is good at maths, it can calculate anything for you.
#5. You can convert currencies, units and measurements.
#6. It knows how to translate.
#7. It can tell you time, weather and location.
#8. You get your web history saved for your reference.
I know some of these are really advanced, like the translation feature, but you better have it if you want to be the winner. Because if you are not doing it, others are.
Your knowledge base software shouldn’t only be a place where people can get information, but they should also be able to give their input and offer feedback. This is especially true if your main goal is to offer customer support though this portal. After some time your Q&A section will become an online FAQ section where people can quickly learn more about your knowledge base, your organization, and your products or services.
Not only will an online FAQ section help you figure out what you’ve missed, but they can also help you spot the need for new articles and give you directions in terms of your future content map.
According to a report by CISCO (2016), by 2019, 85% of the US internet traffic would come via videos.
Although content is the core of your knowledge base software, it doesn’t mean that it should be monotonous. There are different types of content and it’s not only about carefully written texts. The articles you create can be further improved with the right visual elements.
With properly designed visuals such as illustrations, pictures, or infographics, you can explain things in a better way. People can understand images and process the information they are offering more quickly.
For example, if you are offering step by step instructions on how to use a certain product, following every action with an image that shows how it’s done can help readers understand the instructions more clearly. On top of that, every image you add to your articles can be further optimized with tags and descriptions.
The Bottom Line
Optimizing your knowledge base with these 5 steps will ensure that you create a good information hub that builds on itself and grows over time. These tips are the foundation of building a big community around your database and staying relevant for a long time.