How to Make Your Knowledge Base Searchable?

Kesi Parker
Jun 4 · 3 min read

FAQ on Technical Writing

A knowledge base (KB) is, so to say, a library that contains information. An effective KB can enhance customer experience and improve self-service. You can learn more about how to build it from this post — Knowledge Base 101: Best Tips and Guidelines. We are going to figure out how to make the content in your knowledge base more searchable.

Sometimes, we think if a knowledge base contains specific information, users will surely find it, and they always use your KB efficiently. But the situation, in reality, may be a bit different: users suppose that your knowledge base contains the information they need, they check the articles, use the search bar to find it, but all in vain. They contact support or simply give up. Does it contribute to creating a positive image of a brand? No… So, you are to do the following:

  • Make sure your search bar is visible, big enough, and convenient to use. If it is hidden, customers may think that it doesn’t exist. Remember: if your search bar works as expected, customers won’t contact support every time they are looking for something; they will be satisfied.
  • Use keywords for your KB. Not only should titles contain them but the body of the article as well. Of course, if you are an experienced author, you already know which keywords are most relevant to this or that topic. But it is always important to track changes. So, using Google Analytics is something that can help you understand what keywords and phrases your customers use when they are searching for information. Sometimes existing articles need updating.
  • Don’t forget about mobile users. The latest tendencies show that mobile traffic has drastically increased. As a technical writer, you cannot ignore this fact. Most probably, customers use their mobile devices to work with your KB. Optimize it for them.
  • Different types of users need different types of access. Your KB may contain different kinds of content for different users. They don’t need all the information, just a part of it. You can give them different types of access depending on their roles and needs. They won’t see the information they don’t need. It is great because they won’t be confused.

A knowledge base is much more than a pile of articles and topics. It is a huge logical structure. It must be managed and updated regularly. In this case, it is going to be searchable and efficient. Many customers prefer to find a solution to their problem themselves, and if they do not succeed, they contact support team. Self-service is not leaving a customer alone with a problem. It is a convenient way of solving problems for both sides — customers and companies.

How did I become a technical writer? What skills do you need? Read FAQ on Technical Writing.