When setting up your knowledge base, it’s important to keep in mind that a good knowledge base library doesn’t begin and end with your articles. In fact, based on how you categorize and title your articles, your users may continue reading or hit the “back” button.
The purpose of a knowledge base is to allow site visitors to help themselves instead of contacting support. If your links are poorly laid out in your library, they will fail to attract a click-through rate despite gaining a lot of impressions.
In this article we are going to share a few tips that on making your knowledge base more appealing to your end-user at first glance.
Make content easy to browse
Your site visitors are all different. Some prefer to search, others like to browse. However, we’ll all agree that most prefer to find what they’re looking for with a minimum amount of hassle.
That is why it’s imperative that your content is easy to search for, navigate and scan through at first glance. Here are some key tips to consider:
- Link your articles together in your Helprace as well as to your company website
- Create categories in the right order starting with most engaging material at the top
- Constantly update articles with new information and remove duplicates
Sometimes it’s helpful to start with a brainstorming session. Get a pen and paper and jot down ideas for most pressing articles. A good place to start is to look at the pain points of your customers. What types of tickets keep coming in? What types of questions are users asking in your community? This can help you get started.
As a next step, draw out lines to other sub-categories. Again, this depends on your company, user base and product offering. The rule of thumb however is to keep content categories simple and specific. Don’t worry about starting off with a small number of categories. You can always add additional categories and rearrange them. To learn more take a look at Adding categories to your knowledge base
Keep the important stuff at the top
Links that are easy to scan and understand will keep users in reading mode. That’s why it’s a good idea to put these articles at the top of your knowledge base. Think of easy-to read titles that jump out at the user. Include action words in your titles and consider phrasing them as questions.
There is no right or wrong way to title your articles, but here are some suggestions:
- How do I set up my profile?
- What is the return policy?
- How can I submit a complaint?
Try to keep track of comments and positive / negative votes on your articles. Articles with the most activity are getting a lot of hits and should be included at the top of your knowledge base.
Look at what your customers are asking
Your best content can only be determined when you know what type of questions your customers are asking.
An obvious place to start would be your ticket library. What are your customers asking most? Have you or your team members provided great solutions in the past? Don’t let these emails go to waste. Then, head over to your Helprace community. Look at questions asked, ideas suggested, problems raised and praise given by your users.
Helprace has a feature which allows end-users to rate knowledge base articles as “useful” and “not useful”. Based on this data, you can see which articles have the potential to help site visitors and which are just gathering dust, so to speak.
Format your articles properly
It’s estimated than the attention span of online users is averages around 10 seconds. There’s only 24 hours in the day but there’s cat videos to catch up on, movie releases to check out and then there’s work. So keep in mind that capturing your user’s attention is your primary goal and it all starts with how you structure your knowledge base.
- Order your links by difficulty. It’s a good idea to start off with short, generic phrases and get more specific down the list. This works not only for structuring articles but structuring your knowledge base links, too.
- Remember who you’re writing to and what their reading habits may be. For example, if you’re writing many technical articles with the same keywords, you may want to set up a specific tag structure and a corresponding search guide to help your users find what they're looking for.
- Create engaging content. When you’re finished setting up your content, give it a test-run. Ask others if they would read the whole piece or stop mid-way. Can you improve your content any?
For more information about formatting your knowledge base articles, take a look at Formatting knowledge base articles
Connect your articles with links and tags
Helprace allows you to keep content interconnected with tags. Since search strings and the Related Articles sidebar in your Helprace work off tags, it’s imperative to keep your tags organized and up-to-date. Properly tagged articles will also show up in your community and feedback widget as search suggestions.
Remember, you can always choose to keep certain articles Unpublished to hide them from public view. You can also create a private, staff-only knowledge base for internal use.
Revisit your knowledge base periodically
The work doesn’t end when you hit Upload!
It may seem obvious, but many articles I’ve come across do a lot of assuming that the end-user understands everything. Articles mentioning certain integrations don’t link supporting documentation. Other articles give instructions to “set up your profile” without proper, step by step instructions with screenshots. Create a process to re-visit your articles after a certain time and update them with relevant information.
As a parting note…
It might be tempting to take an article from your internal database and plop it right into your community for everyone to see, but don’t fall for this trap. Before you hit Upload, check the language, tone and length of your article. Finally, ask yourself the all-important question: Will your customer want to submit a request after reading this?