Why should I optimize search?
Remember that search is only one piece of the self-serve puzzle. Don't rely on your site's search function; instead, first and foremost, structure your content to empower your users to complete their quests without having to enter a search. But in the event that a user does need to perform a search, you'll want to make sure your MindTouch articles have been optimized for search. But . . . how?
How to optimize search
Step 1: Optimize your page titles
When one of your customers performs a search, MindTouch analyzes the entered search query and compares it against page titles on the site. To ease this effort, ensure that your page titles are unique and human-readable.
What is human-readable?
A human-readable title reads naturally and allows a reader to immediately grasp the nature of the content. The page title Editor, for example, is too abstract. A reader has no clear understanding of the information the article contains. The page title Understand the MindTouch editor, on the other hand, is a naturally phrased title that immediately informs the reader of the page's content. Also, consider what a user who is unfamiliar with your product and any associated lingo might search for and construct titles accordingly.
What is a unique title?
A unique title is one that distinguishes itself from other content. The page title Editor, for example, is too broad and does not provide insight into the article's content. To introduce some kind of consistency, another page addressing the editor would have to be named similarly (e.g. Editor2), which does not help users narrow their search in any way. Two different pages around editor functionality would be better titled as Understand the MindTouch editor and Customize styles in the MindTouch editor; this will ensure someone who searches for "style editor" obtains the right article.
Step 2: Use page summaries
Page summaries are used to provide a quick overview of what is covered in a specific article. The summary is displayed in the MindTouch user interface—specifically in guides and search results.
When creating a page summary, consider adding verbiage that covers the main point of your article and includes words that your users would typically search for to find the article in question. Doing so ensures your users will find exactly what they're looking for when searching.
Step 3: Tag content
Tagging pages contributes to surfacing pages within search results. Tagging your pages has multiple benefits. Tagging not only influences content to appear higher in search results, but also groups content in the Tag directory tab in guides and influences recommended articles. Tag your articles with relevant keywords and synonyms that relate to the content.
How much is too much? For best results, add at least 1–3 tags per page, but no more than 5.
Step 4: Review the search report
MindTouch provides a variety of in-product reports. The search report provides great insight into how your users are searching for content. The search report let's you review the most used searched terms and the clicked search results as far back as 365 days.
Step 5: Add search recommendations
Once you review your search report and identify any articles that users are incorrectly choosing as a result of a search, create search recommendations to help better influence future search attempts.
Step 6: Analyze ticket deflection
Before you release your site to your customers, take measures to start tracking ticket deflection. Start by tracking the volume of support requests in your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Then, create a Ticket Submission form in your MindTouch site and include article recommendations.
Once you've launched your site to your customer base, compare your ticket volume metrics to determine the extent that your MindTouch documentation is helping your customers self-serve.