4 Ways to Optimize Your Knowledge Base with Analytics
Customers are increasingly opting to use self-service as their favorite channel for finding support when an issue arises. These options can include community forums, where other customers provide advice and feedback, as well as chatbots (often incorporating knowledge base search and suggestions), webinars and other online tutorials. But most customers prefer to start with a basic search, beginning either from their preferred search engine or a dedicated product help desk interface. That means it’s more important than ever to include a well-organized knowledgebase in your support program ecosystem.
If your current support strategy is focused on personal service and in-depth agent assistance, it can seem daunting to start a knowledge base, let alone maintain and optimize it. However, many comprehensive help desk platforms include robust, yet easy-to-use knowledge base tools that make set-up and updating a breeze. Once you’ve completed launching your knowledge base, you’ll find handy built-in reporting tools that provide helpful data points including page views, whether or not most visitors find individual articles useful, and even feedback options, so that your customers can explain what they need.
Having quick access to basic data points about knowledge base traffic is very useful when you are first setting up your program. However, when it’s time for you to expand self-service options to develop a robust deflection strategy, you’ll want to access more specific information to learn about how your customers use your knowledge base. To fully optimize your knowledge base and enhance the success of your self-service options, you’ll eventually find that you want a tool that can access more powerful data sets. The best route to achieve this is through a Google Analytics integration.
Use Analytics for Deeper Knowledge Base Data
With a Google Analytics integration for your knowledge base, you can dig deeper into the traffic coming in, while also gaining valuable insights into what your customers are searching for. This can help you increase customer engagement by solving problems that are driving customers to look for support. It also means you can identify opportunities to expand support options in growing markets along with increasing deflection through knowledge base content relevance and SEO optimization. That probably sounds like a lot. Let’s break down four key ways that data from Google Analytics can help you achieve these goals.
Track Knowledge Base Traffic
Discovering the main traffic sources for your knowledge base traffic can be extremely valuable.
To begin with, this will tell you how much of an impact external referral points such as search engines, links on third-party pages, or social media posts have on your overall traffic. You may be surprised to find out how many visitors start outside of your own site, or that a social media campaign is driving a different amount of traffic than you had expected.
Learning where customers start before coming to your knowledge base provides an opportunity for support to bring valuable data to VOC conversations. However, identifying traffic sources and referral points that originate within your own site are often among the most important discoveries and can elevate the support team’s role in voice of the customer conversations. For example, you may learn that a significant percentage of knowledge base visitors start looking for help when attempting to complete a purchase, or when looking for more information about a certain subscription level. This can help you gather data to bring back to stakeholders on product and development teams, highlighting areas where product adjustments will increase positive engagement. Understanding traffic sources also helps you develop tracking campaigns for more targeted reporting on specific traffic flows. When your support team surfaces simple yet valuable adjustments such as this, stakeholders in other departments will be more likely to look to your team for further data in the future.
Improve Article Content
Through Google Analytics, you can even trace specific visitor journeys from the main platform referral point through individual knowledge base articles and onto a support ticket or contact point. Following user flow data from one page to a final exit point helps to understand the journey a customer takes. Learning which reports highlight the user flows that are most important for your needs can take a little time to learn, but you’ll gain valuable data once you’ve mastered the process. This can be a complicated facet to understand, but it pays significant dividends once you’ve mastered the process. You can learn how to follow user flow data from Google Analytics Academy.
You might assume that your articles are successful at answering customer questions simply because you’ve created content based on frequently asked questions from support contacts. But by tracking user flow, you can learn whether the article is providing the information your customers need, based on whether or not they still open a support request after viewing it. You may be surprised to learn that visitors arrive at the page with questions you haven’t anticipated, or may be coming from a different source page than you’ve assumed. With this knowledge, you can update the article to include more relevant information or link to other articles that offer the solution they are looking for.
Geographical Data Leads the Way to Content Translation
Using Google Analytics to understand the geographical location of your knowledge base visitors may seem like little more than an interesting exercise. However, watching real-time traffic from around the world or reviewing reports on overall traffic broken down by geographical location actually holds useful information for enhancing knowledge base effectiveness as well as general support optimization.
To start with, learning how much of your knowledge base traffic comes from countries outside of your home region can help you decide whether or not you may need a content translation program. Even if you already have a multilingual knowledge base strategy, your translated support documentation may not be complete, meaning a significant portion of customers are unable to find answers on their own. Through Google Analytics, you can determine how many support contacts are arriving from regions where the primary language is not covered in your current translations. From there, you can easily arrive at an estimate of how much of your support team resources are being spent providing basic assistance to these visitors, then compare that with the cost of updating FAQs or other documents to provide answers in translation. You may find that a small and relatively inexpensive translation project will provide a significant reduction in contact requests from customers who use those languages.
Additionally, if you’re able to identify a significant upswing in traffic and contact requests from a country or region that you’re not currently supporting, it might be time to surface this data for company leaders to review. Company reputation can grow overnight through word of mouth or viral campaigns, bringing in new customers who are eager to grow with your business but aren’t able to do so successfully, due to the language barrier. You can use this data to demonstrate areas for potential business growth, while also projecting how and where you will need to expand your support team and other resources to manage this growth.
Know What Your Customers are Searching For
One of the most powerful ways Google Analytics can help you optimize your knowledge base is by highlighting the actual terms your visitors are using when searching for articles. In many cases, you’ll find that customers are using terms that you haven’t anticipated, or maybe consistently misspelling actual terms used in your tags and metadata.
It’s often the case that when you review actual search terms being used by your knowledge base visitors, you’ll recognize the content that they are trying to find – but can’t. That means you can quickly capitalize on this new data by making minor adjustments to your current documents. By updating content to boost search rankings through SEO optimization, you’ll improve both internal and external search functions. The most effective impact can come from adding frequently misspelled terms or similar phrases to the tags and metadata for each document, which will surface the correct documentation for your visitors even if they enter differing search terms.
Whether you’re looking to finetune specific content pieces in your knowledge base or build a larger deflection strategy, Google Analytics offers powerful access to a wealth of data about your visitors and their needs. Once you’ve mastered the core tools that are most useful for your needs, you can also move on to learning Google Data Studio, which helps you refine Analytics data and create real-time maps and charts for fast, accurate data analysis. But, no matter where you start, learning to navigate customer traffic and referral points, tracking contracts from geographical regions, mapping journeys through user flow, and identifying actual site search terms will help you gather deeper insights that will give you confidence in optimizing your knowledge base. Finally, if you want to surface some of these data points for easy access by support team members and other company stakeholders, consider building a few simple dashboards in Google Data Studio to pull in Analytics details and create real-time visualizations for easy interpretation.