A knowledge base is a powerful tool for any organization, providing a centralized repository of information that can be accessed by customers, users, or employees. However, to ensure that it remains effective and useful, it’s crucial to maintain and update it regularly. A well-maintained knowledge base is the secret sauce for a highly successful self-service support center. Here are some best practices for maintaining and updating your knowledge base to keep it relevant, accurate, and user-friendly.

Regularly Review and Update Content

Creating a knowledge base is not a one-time job. Things are constantly changing, and evolving in different ways. A knowledge base is like a living creator, we need to monitor it and make sure it is healthy, useful, updated, and working as expected. Outdated information can lead to customer frustration and may even damage your credibility. It is recommended to proactively schedule regular weekly or monthly reviews to ensure that the information is current, accurate, and useful.  Play around with the knowledge base frontend view to simulate actions performed by visitors. Drill up and down between the categories and check out the content items.

Categorize and Tag Content Effectively

A knowledge base should look like a big, nice, organized tree, with branches and sub-branches. The content should be organized into a small number of top-level categories, and if needed sub-categories. The level of hierarchy or how deep the sub-branches are going is based on the complexity of the content. This structure can help visitors to easily navigate between the relevant topics while going up or down between the categories.

However, a category name is not necessarily the only way to mark, divide, or correlate content items. Therefore, we have the option to extend the meta-data on our content items and use tags. This improves the overall user experience and can reduce the time spent searching for information. When adding a new content item, carefully consider which tags will be useful.

Encourage Customer Feedback

Close the feedback loop between your knowledge base content and your customers. Customer feedback is invaluable for maintaining an effective knowledge base. Encourage users to provide a different mix of feedback types on multiple content items, highlighting what’s useful and what could be improved. Use this feedback to make necessary adjustments and to identify areas where additional content might be needed.

Use Analytics to Monitor Performance

Use the knowledge base analytics tool to quickly identify missing content, evolving searching trends, and issues with the content quality. It is a great way to understand how the content is being used. Monitor metrics such as knowledge base page visits, top visited categories, content items visits, top visited tags, search queries, search success rate, content rating score, and more. This data can help you understand which content items are most popular, which ones may need improvement, and what additional content might be necessary.

Ensure Consistent Formatting and Style

Consistency is key to creating a professional and user-friendly knowledge base. Develop a style guide that outlines formatting, tone, and style preferences. Ensure that all contributors to the knowledge base content are following these guidelines to maintain a cohesive and readable knowledge base. Before adding a new content item to a specific category location, make sure it is aligned with other content items in that location, consider the reading flow from a visitor perspective, and if needed re-adjust the order of content items inside that category.

Keep a User-Friendly Design

The design of your knowledge base should be clean, intuitive, and easy to navigate. Avoid clutter and ensure that important information is easily accessible. Use headings, bullet points, and images to break up text and make it more readable. Responsive design is also crucial, as many users will access your knowledge base from mobile devices.

Make Content Searchable

A powerful search function is essential for any knowledge base. Ensure that your knowledge base search tool is effective at finding relevant content items based on user queries. Make sure supports features like autosuggestions, content filters, searching FAQs, searching tags, filters using categories etc.

Train Your Content Team

Ensure that all team members who contribute to the knowledge base are well-trained on how to create, update, and maintain content using the WordPress plugin admin interface. Provide regular training sessions and resources to keep everyone up to date on best practices and any changes to your content management system.

Keep Your Knowledge Base Incredible!

Maintaining and updating your knowledge base is an ongoing process that requires attention and dedication. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your knowledge base remains a valuable resource for your customers and employees. Regular reviews, customer feedback, effective use of analytics, and a commitment to quality will help keep your knowledge base relevant, accurate, and user-friendly. A well-maintained knowledge base not only enhances customer satisfaction but also contributes to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your business.