Analyzing Help Center search results (Professional and Enterprise) Follow

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Zendesk Support provides a search analytics dashboard so that you can review Help Center search terms from the last 30 days. For each search term you can see the number of searches for that term, number and type of search results returned (if any), click-through, and the next action taken.
Note: You must enable Help Center to view search data. For more information, see Getting started with the Help Center.

Viewing search data

Search data includes only end-user searches directly in Help Center, not searches in the Feedback Tab.

To open the search analytics dashboard

  1. Click the Reporting icon () in the sidebar, then click the Search tab.
  2. Click any of the four options for viewing search data:
    • Total, all performed searches.
    • With no result, searches that returned 0 results.
    • With no clicks, searches where no result was selected.
    • Tickets created, searches that led to a ticket being created.
    Above each data set you can see the number of searches in the last 30 days for that data set.
  3. Click one of the four data sets to see a more detailed graph with a node for each day (the graph for Total shows by default). Hover your mouse over a node to see the total number for that day.

  4. Below the detailed graph you can see search data in a table. The Total data set includes data for the top 500 searches overall. Each of the other data sets filters the top 500 search terms accordingly to show data for searches that had no results, no clicks, or resulted in tickets.

  5. To filter the data based on the channel the search was initiated from, click All channels to open the drop-down menu, and select All channels, Help Center, Mobile SDK, or Web Widget to display the data from a subset.

Table 1. End-user search data
Field Description
Search string Exact term the end-user entered in the search
Total searches Total number of end-user searches for a term over the last 30 days
Avg number of results Average number of search results displayed for a search term
Click-through rate Percentage of end-users who clicked one of the search results displayed for a search term.
Tickets created Total number of tickets created by end-users clicking Submit a request in Help Center immediately after a search
Top clicked result Knowledge base content that was the most selected from search results

Following up on search data

Search analytics gives you insight into what your customers are looking for and where they are failing to find answers.

To make end-users more successful you can analyze search data (review searches with no clicks or no results, look at click-through, notice whether the best content appears in results, and so on), then take actions to improve search results and your knowledge base content.

After you make changes, it will take about three minutes before the content is indexed and can be searched.

Improve search results

You can improve end-user search results by updating content in the following ways:
  • Add labels to content. You can add tags to content so that the appropriate content appears in search results. For example, if you see that end-users are searching for "e-mail" but you use "email" without a dash in your content, add a label with the similar term to the content. 
  • Update content titles. You can rewrite titles to more closely match end-user searches. For example, if your article is titled "Deleting an email account" and end-users are searching for "removing a user from email," consider updating the title.
  • Break content into smaller articles. You can divide large articles into smaller articles to help customers find what they are looking for. For example, instead of "Managing email" consider smaller articles about "Setting up email," "Adding email accounts," and "Deleting email accounts."
  • Update content body text. You can add common end-user search terms to the body of appropriate articles so that the article appears higher in search results.
  • Remove old content. You can remove old content so that it does not clutter search results and confuse your customers.

Improve your knowledge base content

You can improve your knowledge base content by identifying content gaps and updating content:
  • Update existing content. You can update existing content to be more complete. For example, if end-users are searching for how to schedule a backup, and you have an article on running manual backups but not how to schedule backups, consider adding that information to the article. If scheduling backups is not an option, you might want to add that info to the article so that end-users don't continue looking for an answer.
  • Add new content. You can add content for common searches that aren't yielding any search results. For example, if end-users are searching for "accessing email remotely" and no content exists on that article, consider adding that article to your knowledge base.
Have more questions? Submit a request


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    We've got the same issue as Travis and Marybeth. What's the solution?

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    We need to wait until it's fixed.
    In the interim, we get periodic status emails from ZD that show us some "Top Trending Searches," and "Search with No Results." Unfortunately, "Search with no Results" is not helpful as the terms listed as not returning results do surface relevant results, so we're not sure what exactly "no results" means. We look at support ticket topics and compare/informally correlate search<->ticket and find that users are seeing appropriate search results.

    Edited by Marybeth Sklar
  • 0

    Hi. I have a follow up question / observation. Users need to be signed into our help center to view articles. I've noticed "no result" comprises a huge ratio of our results for terms that definitely generate results when searched. I suspect that ZD reports for searches that are conducted before users are logged in. Can you verify there is no way to exclude these searches that occur before the user logs in? Thanks!

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    Hi Marybeth!

    If the user is able to search while they are not logged in, those 'no results' searches will in fact be counted and unfortunately there is not a way to exclude these results from the report.

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    Hi - We have many users that search number strings that bring back no results. Is there a way to account for this by saying if the search includes a number string then return a specific article? Or, is there a way to handle no results by actually pointing users to a specific article instead of always showing "no results found?"


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    Hi, is it possible to have this help center search information emailed in PDF form to a nominated address?

  • 0

    Hi James, sorry for the delay! Searching for a number string will be the same as searching for a text string: if it's in the article we'll give you the result, and if not we won't.

    If there are certain number strings for which you'd want to return specific articles, you can add that string as a label on the article. The system returns articles if the search term is in the labels, and it does not need to be in the content. More info here:

    Hope this helps!

  • 1


    I'm getting pretty high percentages of searches with no clicks (over 80%) and my searches with no result, although lower, are still quite high (47% in W1-W2 2016).

    I'd like to know if the % of searches with no clicks include the % of searches with no results?

    Thanks in advance!

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    I find Sean Williams request very useful.

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    Hi Federico,

    If a search returns no results, then the clickthrough count or the number of clicks should always be zero too. However, the number of search results in the reporting is an average, so it's possible that a clickthrough rate would apply. 

    Hope this helps!

  • 0

    Search Analytics is very beneficial and we use it to help enhance search effectiveness and identify client documentation needs. Would it be possible to add "End-user" to the search results categories? This would be extremely beneficial to us so that we could engage specific users about search techniques and documentation needs. 

  • 0

    Hey Pete!

    That's a really great suggestion. I did some poking around in our Product Feedback forum but wasn't able to find anything related to this; I'd encourage you to hop over and post your feedback there! This'll ensure that our Product Managers will see it.

  • 0

    Jesse, on your suggestion, I've added post Search Analytics Data Elements in the Product Feedback Forum. Thanks, Pete

  • 0

    Awesome, Pete! Let us know if you need anything else!

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    The link to this article in is broken

    Why can't I drill down to the specific tickets created? I can see top searches and number of tickets created from that search, but why can't I access the actual tickets created? I need that granular detail to be able to improve the KB

  • 1

    Hello All! Do we have any ETA on when the Dev/Bugfix issues with the tabular data on the report dashboard not displaying?

  • 2

    I am also experiencing issues with the breakdown not loading and that's where all the useful data is!

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    The user Search Strings are missing from the Reporting section of our Zendesk. So we can't see which terms were searched for from the Help Center or the Widget. We're on the professional tier.

  • 0

    +1 I really need this back too!

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