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    Michelle Brusyo
    Optimizing Knowledge Content for Findability
    Topic posted December 4, 2015 by Michelle BrusyoApprentice 
    840 Views, 2 Comments
    Title:
    Optimizing Knowledge Content for Findability
    Content:

    5 SEO strategies to ensure customers find the right answers, whether they start from your site or a search engine.

    How much do you know about Search Engine Optimization, or SEO? As a knowledge manager, it’s likely not something you spend a lot of time worrying about, but you’ve probably heard a lot about it from the people in your organization for whom it’s a mission-critical tactic to get right. Good SEO can make or break a company. No matter how great your company is, if no one can find you when they’re searching for whatever products or services you’re offering, you’re not in the game.

    Your marketing department is all over SEO, making sure the main website content is well optimized to support their lead generation efforts. Marketing typically shares SEO responsibility with IT, who make sure the back-end architecture of your sites support good SEO practices. In fact, IT probably had a lot of input into the launch of your support site to make sure their SEO strategies would apply there as well. And it’s a good thing, since SEO is about more than just generating leads – it’s about getting the right people to your content when they’re searching for information. That’s just as important for service as it is for sales.  

    But did you know that all the technical SEO work IT focuses on is just a small part of a solid SEO strategy? The most important part of SEO is how the on-page content is written and displayed. That’s where you come in. Want to be an SEO hero? Follow these five tips for optimizing your knowledge content.

    1. Identify a keyword before you write
      One of the major tenets of SEO is the concept of keywords, better described as “search terms.” Keywords can be a single word, a phrase or question.  When you have identified a topic for a knowledge article, think through the exact question a customer might ask, for which this article is the answer. Think about how a customer might describe a problem that this article helps solve. Pinpoint that one single word or phrase and then build your content strategy around it. Next, identify a short list of LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords, which are synonyms to your main keyword and can be used to signal relevancy to the search engines. One easy way to come up with a list of LSI keywords is to do a Google search for your main keyword and check the “Searches related to” list at the bottom of the results page.
       
    2. Carefully craft an optimized title for your knowledge article
      Your title is one of the most important pieces of the content optimization puzzle. Oracle Service Cloud automatically applies an H1 tag to your article title, which indicates to the search engines that this word or phrase is important and accurately describes the topic of the content found on this page. Keep your title to about 7-9 words if possible, include the keyword you identified in step 1, and make sure that the most important words are placed in the first 55-65 characters of the title. This ensures that the most important words, which should include your keyword, are displayed on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
       
    3. Use your keyword frequently in your content
      Don’t write your content for the benefit of the search engines – write it for your customers, but with SEO as a secondary focus.  Work your keyword in to your content organically, where it makes sense. Also use those LSI keywords if they can be worked into your content – this can actually make it easier to create well-written content that doesn’t sound like it’s written for search engines by noticeably repeating the same keyword.  In terms of the length of your content, it’s often recommended that optimized content use more than 500 words. This isn’t strictly necessary. For shorter answers, there’s no reason to add filler content just for SEO if you’re able to get to the point with less words. However, if there are certain keywords which you consider highly competitive, in that you would obtain an important competitive advantage if a customer clicks on your link in the search results versus a competitor’s link specific to the same search term, you will want to invest more time into crafting a longer answer and sticking to that 500+ word count recommendation. In this case, make sure you are using your keyword within the first 100 words.
       
    4. Optimize your multimedia
      Using video and an image within your answers is another great way to enhance your content to make it more engaging and useful for customers. It also gives you an opportunity to leverage additional optimization techniques. When adding images, make sure your image file name contains your keyword. Add alt text for images that includes your keyword as well – this helps with accessibility and SEO.
       
    5. Make your content so good, it’s shareable
      This last one is only partly in your control. Aside from good architecture and on-page SEO, the third critical element to good search ranking is inbound linking. Search engines recognize content as being relevant and authoritative when multiple resources link to that content. So write great content that’s useful, easy to understand, and relevant. You can encourage inbound links by highlighting great knowledge content on your company’s blog, posting it on social channels, and making it easy for customers to share your content on their own social networks by including social sharing buttons on your self-service pages.  
       

    There are many things that can be done within the Oracle Service Cloud to improve SEO using technology, including the use of the Related Answers Widget and utilizing canonical naming. But the most important parts of an SEO strategy aren’t the technology and architecture tactics – it’s the art and science of optimized content. So keep these content optimization tips in mind when crafting your knowledge articles and know that you are playing an important role in not only providing the answers your customers need, but ensuring they can find those answers when they need them.

    Answer

     

    • Ed Gioffre

      All great suggestions. I know I use them in any content I write (and will now be using the 55-65 character rule as well).

      Isn't outbound linking also important? For example, linking to an authorative article instead of a blog post that mentions the article (unless that blog is authorative in its own right).

    • Michelle Brusyo

      Thanks Ed! Great point about linking being important - it's one of the three main "buckets" of SEO considerations (architecture, content and links... though I'd maybe add social signals as a fourth!) and probably warrants its own post since linking strategy, both outbound and inbound, is such an interesting topic. I'll be working on some additional SEO resources in January where I'll be sure to cover this.