Articles in the series
- Introduction: Elements of a self-service channel
- Part 1: Planning your self-service content project
- Part 2: Planning your self-service content structure
- Part 3: Determining what articles you need to create
- Part 4: Writing your knowledge base articles
- Part 5: Launching your help center
- Part 6: Tracking essential self-service metrics
- Part 7: Maintaining and improving your knowledge base
As you track your essential self-service metrics (see Getting started with self-service - Part 6: Tracking essential self-service metrics) and receive feedback from your customers and from internal sources, you may find that you need to make changes to your content based on what the data is telling you. As needed, you can easily update and republish your articles and reorganize your content in your categories and sections.
In addition to that, you can maintain and improve your content and your content development processes using tools provided by Guide as well as other Zendesk products and features.
This article covers the following topics:
Using labels to improve search relevance
In Guide you can add labels to your articles to improve search relevance. Labels are single words or multiple word phrases.
Using labels can help you improve the rank of the article in search results because they are additional keywords that influence the search engine in the help center. The Answer Bot also uses labels to influence its search results. For more information about labels, see Using labels on your help center articles.
To understand what influences search results in the help center, see About help center end user search.
To raise the visibility of specific articles in your knowledge base, you can promote them, which raises them to the top of the section in which they are listed. Promoting them also marks them with a star.
For more information, see Promoting an article to the top of the section.
Over time you may need to remove articles that are no longer relevant. You can do this by archiving articles. This cleans up clutter for your customers when they’re searching your help center for the information they need. Outdated articles can lead to confusion and a request for support from an agent.
Before you archive an article, you should determine if it’s being searched for and used and if it might be better to update it rather than archive it.
Archiving articles removes them from your help center so that they are no longer visible; however, they can be restored at a later time, if you wish. If an archived article has been linked to from another article or website page, the link will no longer work. You should remove or update those links or set up a redirect before archiving the article.
For more information, see Archiving an article to remove it from your knowledge base and Viewing and restoring archived articles.
Using article lists to view, manage, and update articles
To help you monitor and maintain the articles in your knowledge base, you can create lists of your articles in Guide. For example, you can create a list of all the articles that were labeled as out of date and then archive those articles in bulk.
As another example, you can create a list to view all your draft (unpublished) articles to monitor the queue of content that is in development.
For more information, see Using article lists for different views of your knowledge base content and Updating knowledge base articles in bulk.
Localizing your content
When you’re ready to begin supporting other languages in your help center, you create translated versions of the text elements in the user interface, the categories and sections pages, and your articles.
The instructions for localizing these elements of your content are described in Localizing help center content.
The localization process for articles typically includes sending your native language content out for translation and then bringing them back into your help center. Translations are versions of the original language article that you create in the Guide editor.
You can create and add the content for translated versions of articles manually or you can use an integration to help you streamline and automate this process.
After you’ve added translated content, you can use Guide to help you manage it by, for example, flagging translations as needing to be updated. For more information, see Managing help center translations for articles.
Using the advanced features of Guide Enterprise
Guide Enterprise provides a number of additional features that help you to optimize your content development processes and improve your knowledge base.
Reviewing automatically generated lists of articles that need to be archived, updated, or created
Using machine learning, usage data from your published articles, and historical ticket data, Content Cues helps you to identify gaps and areas for improvement in your knowledge base.
- Articles that you should consider archiving
- Articles that you should consider updating
- Support topics that are often mentioned in tickets that you should consider creating articles for
For a more detailed overview of Content Cues, see Understanding Content Cues.
Setting up collaborative workflows to review, approve, and publish content
If you’re working with a larger team to create and maintain your knowledge base content, you can use Team Publishing to set up knowledge management workflows for reviewing, approving, and publishing your content.
A collaborative workflow is managed through these roles: Author, Approver, and Publisher. Articles are marked as being either a Work in Progress, Ready for Review, Approved for Publishing, and Published.
With these roles and article states, you set up a workflow such as assigning an agent to review an article that’s been marked as Ready to Review and then when the review is done the approver marks it Approved for Publishing. The person in the publisher role then publishes the article.
For more information, see About Guide Team Publishing.
Scheduling articles to be automatically published
You can schedule articles to be published automatically at a specific date and time. If for example you’re launching a new product, you can prepare and queue up all the articles related to the launch and then schedule them to be published automatically.
You can also schedule articles to be unpublished. This can help you to automate the management of articles for campaigns and announcements that last for a specific amount of time.
For more information, see Scheduling articles for publishing and unpublishing.
Setting reminders to review and verify articles
To help prevent your knowledge base articles from becoming stale or out-of-date, you can create verification rules to send reminders to article owners when articles need to be reviewed for possible updates. The article owners verify whether or not there’s a need to make an update, and then update the article and mark it as verified.
Article verification rules are built using a filter (a label that’s been applied to the article, for example) and a frequency interval (2 weeks, for example).
For more information, see Setting reminders to review and verify articles.
Creating reusable blocks of content
If you have content that you need to repeat in more than one article (a paragraph of disclaimer text, for example), you can select this content and create a content block from it.
When you create a content block, it can then be inserted into other articles. There’s no need to manually copy the text from article to article. The other advantage of using a content block is that if it needs to be updated, you can edit it in any of the articles that use it and all the articles that use it are also updated.
For more information, see Creating and inserting reusable information with content blocks.