Irina Nica
Oct 11, 2021 | 10 min read

Did you know that 89% of customers are more likely to make another purchase if they have a positive customer service experience on your website?

However, delivering excellent customer service that nets more sales and helps you achieve financial and business goals may be difficult, especially if you spend endless hours digging through tons of emails, customer support tickets, and company files. 

But here’s the good news:

By creating a knowledge base, you can achieve goals and avoid the overwhelm and delay in responding to customer queries and unsuccessfully searching for business data. 

A knowledge base is an online self-service system that empowers your customers and employees to find the information they need when they need it. That way, you can hand off queries and focus on your zone of genius. 

To turn your self-serve library into an effective problem-solving tool, you must take an extra step after creating it — making your knowledge base search engine optimization (SEO)-friendly. 

That’ll help you rank in knowledge base search results, making it easier for your audience to consume the content you made for them. 

But how can you do that? How do you drive traffic, solve customer problems, and build your brand through knowledge base SEO?

Keep reading to learn:

Customer knowledge base

A knowledge base is a self-serve library available online where customers can find instant information about a company’s product, service, mission, or specific terms.

A customer knowledge base serves as an online system for storing, organizing, and sharing content to help improve customer support, enlighten searchers, and keep time-sensitive data safe.

According to HubSpot, over 80% of customers want immediate answers from brands when they have marketing, sales, and customer service-related questions.

HubSpot Research
HubSpot’s research

Creating a knowledge base empowers your customers to quickly find answers to their queries without waiting for the help of a customer service rep and dealing with tedious email back and forths. 

Creating and managing a knowledge base

Building a knowledge base is a practical way to provide an excellent, actionable customer experience for your audience.

However, to successfully create and manage an online knowledge base that helps solve problems, you need to consider the following:

  • The concept – This is the idea stage where you highlight the issues you want to address with your database.
  • The design – This is the architectural stage where you build the user interface (UI)/user experience (UX) design.
  • The content creation – This is the stage where you create knowledge base articles, frequently asked questions (FAQ), and videos that speak to your customer persona.
  • The SEO – This is the stage where you optimize the content for search engines. Knowledge base SEO is what makes the efforts you put into previous steps visible to your audience.

After following the steps above, take the time to manage your knowledge base by keeping its content up to date with valuable, problem-solving information. 

Benefits of knowledge base SEO

Even if it provides customers with crucial information, a knowledge base is of no use if those who need it can’t find it. For that reason, SEO is essential to make your knowledge base searchable.

Think of it this way.

Studies show that 91% of people would prefer using online knowledge bases as long as they meet their needs. That means your brand’s existing and potential customers are constantly out there looking for answers to their specific queries.

What often happens is that people go straight to their prefered search engine and type their question there, instead of going to the brand’s site to look for the knowledge base. Their goal is to find a solution asap, and search engines are great at surfacing the best matching results. If your knowledge base is well optimized, people will find you easily. 

Now, imagine what would happen if your competitors’ — and not your knowledge base — topped the search engine result pages (SERPs). 

Well, you don’t have to. Here are the advantages of optimizing your knowledge base for search engines:

Quicker problem-solving

When you optimize your knowledge base search for Google, you help potential and existing customers find quick solutions to their problems.

Improving knowledge base SEO puts the correct answer before people with product, service, or industry-related questions.

By not enhancing your knowledge base SEO, you’re likely losing valuable traffic and missing out on potential customers. 

Improved productivity

Keeping in mind that 68% of consumers are more likely to favor a brand if it offers proactive customer support tools like knowledge bases, live chats, ticketing systems, and CRMs, it’s a good idea to let customers solve problems on their own. 

All you have to do to let your employees focus on more pressing tasks and revenue-growing activities is improve your knowledge base with knowledge base SEO. 

However, if interacting with customers is necessary, knowledge base SEO will help expedite the process. Having an optimized knowledge base as a single point of reference for your employees empowers them to gather the information they need effectively and efficiently. 

Overall, knowledge base SEO gives your employees consistent, current information to relay to customers without hesitation whenever necessary. 

Proactive customer experience

Knowledge base SEO provides customers with a robust and organized content structure full of actionable information. 

That way, you can anticipate your customers’ needs and give them a solution without escalating the query to your staff members.

Remember, each knowledge base article or piece of content you make should fulfill your audience’s needs and draw them closer to a perfect, actionable solution. 

Increased customer acquisition and retention

When your brand ranks in the top results of the SERPs for a knowledge base search, it shows target customers that your brand is:

  • Credible
  • Established
  • Socially recognized
  • A master at high-quality content

Customers can also discover your brand through general inquiries, niches, services, or product-related searches if your knowledge base SEO is on point. 

Knowledge base SEO attracts the right traffic, helping you generate new customers and gain the loyalty of existing clientele. 

Reduced team workload

According to McKinsey, employees spend 20% to 28% of their time sorting emails, including customer queries and internal information. 

Having a knowledge base and improving its SEO helps your company organize its messages and information, empowering employees and customers to search and access what they need at any time quickly. 

That reduces your team’s workload in two ways:

  • Administrative executives will not have to comb through a sea of files and emails
  • Customer support agents will have ample time to respond to fewer queries

Ultimately, improving your knowledge base SEO equals a reduced workload and more time for better task management

3 Examples of companies that have an online knowledge base 

Here are a few examples of companies with knowledge bases you can use as reference for your knowledge base SEO:

HelpCrunch

HelpCrunch has an organized, easy-to-navigate knowledge base search center. It offers top category picks with a list of other categories you might want to check out.

HelpCrunch’s knowledge base
HelpCrunch’s knowledge base

For example, when a Squarespace user is looking for ways to add a live chat to their site, they can easily find the solution on HelpCrunch’s Knowledge Base, via Google. 

HelpCrunch's installation guide for Squarespace
HelpCrunch’s installation guide for Squarespace

HelpCrunch appears on Google’s first page of results for “Squarespace chat help” which gets around 100 searches per month (source: Ahrefs.com).

HubSpot

HubSpot’s knowledge base search center is organized and attractive. With several internal links to the top articles and topics to choose from, customers can find instant answers to their questions.

HubSpot’s knowledge base
HubSpot’s knowledge base

When someone has a question about HubSpot and they type it into Google, oftentimes their first result is a HubSpot knowledge base article. This means that the user gets their answer straight from the source.

For example, when someone is using Google to find how to connect HubSpot to Outlook (e.g. “hubspot for outlook” has 100 searches/month according to Ahrefs), the first result they see is a Knowledge Base article about how to install HubSpot Sales. 

Hubspot's installation guide for mail agents
HubSpot’s installation guide

Canva

Canva, being a graphic design platform, has a knowledge base that stands out in terms of aesthetics. Moreover, its well-arranged categories and top articles will provide quick answers to customer queries.

Canva's knowledge base
Canva’s knowledge base

Aside from that, Canva is also a great example of a well optimized knowledge base. In fact, according to Ahrefs, their help center gets around 5700 organic visitors per month coming from people using search engines to get answers to questions like: how to search canva layouts,  how to upload a font to canva etc.

5 SEO best practices for your knowledge base search

After you’ve created your company’s knowledge base, what’s next is getting it seen by as many people as possible on the SERPs. 

Having a knowledge base SEO is crucial so your audience can find instant responses to their queries in your self-serve library. With that in mind, here are five ways you can optimize your knowledge base articles to reach more prospects and existing customers:

1. Find out what your customers and prospects are searching for 

You should look for keyword opportunities in content related to your niche and the questions your customers are asking online.

HelpCrunch’s popular knowledge base searches
HelpCrunch’s popular knowledge base searches

After all, commonly used search terms are excellent keyword ideas to include in your knowledge base content. Here are some helpful keyword research tools you can use to your advantage:

You can use these tools to find the volume of searches and search intent for specific terms, which will help you create meaningful knowledge base articles around them. 

Here are some knowledge base SEO tips to keep in mind while doing keyword research:

  • Look for variations of the terms your customers searched for
  • Check your brand keyword and related terms as they may contain some valuable ideas
  • Go through customer feedback for content ideas they’ll want to see
  • Use long-tail keywords for better knowledge base SEO performance
  • Choose primary keywords you want to rank for and related semantic keywords
  • Include keywords in your meta tags (title tags and meta descriptions), ALT text, meta video, and image descriptions 

You can also draw keyword ideas from Google’s Autocomplete, People Also Ask, and Related Searches sections. 

2. Look at your competitors’ knowledge base for content gaps

Doing knowledge base SEO research will help you find content gaps you haven’t covered. 

Dropbox’s knowledge base has several drop-down categories with popular topics, which can serve as inspiration for your knowledge base SEO
Dropbox’s knowledge base has several drop-down categories with popular topics, which can serve as inspiration for your knowledge base SEO

Here are some practical knowledge base SEO tips for content gaps:

  • Make a list of keywords you want your knowledge base to rank for 
  • Use any of the keyword research tools above to analyze your web page and see the keywords you’re currently ranking for
  • Analyze your competitors’ websites as well to see the keywords they are ranking for
  • Mark the keywords you are not yet ranking for
  • Learn from your competitors’ strong points and take advantage of their weaknesses to improve your knowledge base SEO keywords
  • Check your existing content to see if you can optimize it for knowledge base search with target keywords.

In addition, you can research user-generated content to find potential keyword-friendly topics that provide value to your audience.

3. Optimize existing content

Optimizing your existing articles for knowledge base search is another effective way to improve your SEO. Refreshing old content can quickly help you fill content gaps and top the SERPs. 

HubSpot keeps its knowledge base articles updated
HubSpot keeps its knowledge base articles updated

When done right, historical optimization is a game-changer. That’s why if you have old blog posts or knowledge base articles on a highly searched topic, you should optimize them by following these knowledge base SEO steps:

  • Identify the old pieces that are worth updating
  • Update the article content for accuracy, freshness, and readability
  • Optimize using keyword research principles — adding keywords reasonably in article titles, throughout the post, metadata, ALT text, media descriptions, and URLs
  • Publish an updated article as a new post in your knowledge base and promote it to social media, email subscribers, forums, and other promotion channels

4. Make sure you are linking internally and externally

Interlinking holds a lot of knowledge base SEO benefits for your website.

HelpCrunch is set up for knowledge base SEO with internal links in its help articles
HelpCrunch is set up for knowledge base SEO with internal links in its help articles

When you build internal links throughout your website, here is what happens:

  • Search engine crawlers, like Google or Bing’s, can crawl and index your website better
  • Your target audience can consume your content more effectively
  • You can retain customers on your page for longer, reducing the bounce rate
  • Your website ranks higher on SERPs

Also, when you link to external sources and get backlinks from other websites, especially top domain authority websites:

  • You build up domain authority. Higher domain authority equals better brand establishment.
  • You increase your social proof and credibility
  • You’ll find opportunities for networking and collaboration.

Link building goes both ways. Not only does it help expand your knowledge base content by linking to related concepts, it also helps boost your SEO ranking and brand reputation.

5. Optimize media

Another effective knowledge base SEO technique is optimizing videos and images for search engines.

Canva is a pro at knowledge base SEO with optimized images in its articles
Canva is a pro at knowledge base SEO with optimized images in its articles

Search engines like content that contains well-optimized videos and images. Therefore, your self-serve library has a higher chance of topping the SERPs in a knowledge base search for your keyword if you include search engine-friendly media.

Moreover, your images and videos may appear in the corresponding Google’s section and bring you additional organic traffic. People aren’t always eager to read a wall of text to resolve a small issue. So they go straight to the video tab, and that’s where your visuals may and should appear.

Here are some knowledge base SEO tips to optimize media for search engines:

  • Use your keyword as the screenshot or image name in your computer folder. If your primary keyword is “attract your audience,” don’t upload the image file “pic21.JPG” to your content management system (CMS).  Instead, rename the image file “attract-your-audience.”
  • Include descriptive ALT text to images 
  • Add subtitles to your videos and mention keywords several times to help search engine algorithms understand your content
  • Write ALT text and descriptions for your videos
  • Compress image file size to a few kilobytes 

Final thoughts on knowledge base SEO

While creating a knowledge base for your business will help prospects and existing customers find instant answers to their queries, you need an effective knowledge base SEO strategy to make it visible online.

Not only will implementing these strategies generate traffic and help you reach a wider audience, it will also help you increase customer acquisition and retention rates. Ultimately, knowledge base searches will boost your company’s revenue.

If you follow the tips we gave you, you’ll get your brand seen in more knowledge base searches. However, if the prospect of trying these tips to create a knowledge base on your own seems a little daunting, don’t fret. 

HelpCrunch offers 24/7 customer service features and knowledge base software that’ll help you stay on top of customer expectations. Sign up for a free 14-day trial today. 

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