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How to Optimize a Knowledge-Base Article

While an article or blog post might flow like a short story, visitors seeking information love to see that information optimized in a consistent format. A reader of an article may carefully read through each word, each line, and each paragraph. However, a visitor seeking knowledge may wish to quickly scan the page and jump directly to the information they’re trying to find or learn more about.

Creating a killer knowledge base might not be sexy, but it will go a long way towards helping your paying customers get the most from your product. And the more value you can give your customers, the more likely they’ll become return customers. Colin Newcomer, HeroThemes

Colin Newcomer has put together a fantastic article, The Ultimate Knowledge Base Article Template, along with the infographic below. I wanted to take a bit of a spin on the topic and speak to how you might best optimize your knowledge base article to attract both readers and search engines. Here are my tips aligned with Colin’s:

  1. Title –  search engine users often utilize actual questions such as how to, what is, etc. I would have optimized Colin’s title in the infographic to How to Write an Effective Knowledge Base Article.
  2. Slug – many content management systems remove words like to or is. You’ll want to keep those in your article permalink slug so it will match searches closely. That will increase click-through rates from the search engine results page.
  3. Start with the Problem – along with starting with the problem, I’d also ensure you set expectations on what you’ll learn or discover in the knowledge-base article. For instance, in this article, you’re going to learn the elements needed to write effective knowledge-base articles, tips on how to write the knowledge-base article, and how to optimize it for search.
  4. Add a Table of Contents for Long Articles – I don’t even think it’s a bad idea to set jump points for shorter articles so users can jump directly the information they’re looking for.
  5. Interlink Articles – link to deeper articles but ensure your readers can navigate back and forth. Breadcrumbs are a beautiful way of doing this.
  6. Use Step By Step Instructions – but summarize the step with a bold title as Colin did in his infographic!
  7. Break Up Content with Headings – these are the jump points that you could use in number 3.
  8. Use High Resolution Images to Illustrate a Task – along with a series of images, use a screen capture video or how-to video that your visitors can watch.
  9. Provide Extra Information With Asides and Info Boxes – tips, notes, downloads, warnings, and other information is great to make stand out for your readers.
  10. Give a Jump Off Point With Related Articles – great way for people who land to navigate to the information they were really looking for… search results aren’t always perfect!

Now head over to Colin’s article to read in-depth advice for each of his tips in HeroThemes infographic:

knowledge base article

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and a recognized expert on digital transformation. Douglas has helped start several successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to launch his own platforms and services. He's a co-founder of Highbridge, a digital transformation consulting firm. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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