About this sample

The context: I had just led a content creation program for one product in our portfolio, and many other product teams were hearing about it. My assignment here was to write a brief describing the program and its results, and inform other Product Teams that if they wanted to run such a program, I'm open to consult them.


Global KM Governance Board, Knowledge Managers, Product Teams
Sage Software

Program Report: Search and Content Tuning

Details in this work sample have been altered to preserve privacy, including the use of fictitious names and product information.


In the last two months, we initiated a program called "Search and Content Tuning” for Sage Zero, our flagship accounting solution in the SMB market.

This program aimed to answer these two fundamental questions:

  1. What are our customers' most popular intentions when visiting our site?
  2. How can we ensure the availability and visibility of relevant content, and optimize our search functionality to deliver the best possible user experience?

Through this exercise, we created a methodology that other regional KM Leads can follow in their own respective regions and products to yield similar insights and actions that we have found.

Who was involved

  • Global KM Lead
  • Product Owner (Product SME)
  • Customer Support Representatives
  • Content Writers

Process and methods

1. Collect Data: To begin, we gathered data from various sources, including top "call drivers" in our CRM, top search queries, and searches with zero clickthroughs or zero results. This data provided insights into the most common reasons customers visited our Help site. Product Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) qualified what part of the data set was actionable and analyzed this data. They identified approximately 50 topics represented by search queries.

2. Determine Intent: Product experts worked to determine the possible intents behind each query. For vague queries, 1-2 possible intents were identified, while specific queries were matched with existing or newly created articles, termed "Preferred Best Answers" (PBAs). If no suitable article existed, one was created to address the query.

3. Act on Opportunities: Instances where PBAs did not rank within the top 3 search results were flagged as opportunities for content or search engine tuning. Content tuning involved adding relevant keywords, editing articles to align with search queries, consolidating similar articles, and archiving deprecated content. Search engine tuning included adding synonyms, creating business rules to boost certain articles, and optimizing search result rankings.



  1. Improved the rate of returning the best article "above the fold" from 50% to 95%.
  2. Established rules to boost content visibility based on seasonal trends.
  3. Identified the need for a more sophisticated search engine to combine content sources, monitor search performance by category, and add features like type-ahead, process wizards, and promoted answers.
  4. Discovered inaccuracies in search log tallying and issues related to Google Analytics integration.


  1. Identified 15 new articles needing creation.
  2. Identified 20 articles for consolidation into 5.
  3. Recognized the need for content consolidation and cleanup to address excessive article duplication.
  4. Identified instances of "keyword stuffing" among authors, impacting search result relevance.
  5. Identified 3 new topics for coaching opportunities.

Next Actions:

  1. Develop and implement a more advanced search engine capable of integrating multiple content sources and supporting features like type-ahead and process wizards.
  2. Address inaccuracies in search log tallying and improve Google Analytics integration to enhance data accuracy.
  3. Implement content consolidation and cleanup initiatives to streamline the knowledge base and reduce article duplication.
  4. Provide training and guidance to authors to discourage keyword stuffing and promote best practices in content creation.
  5. Continuously monitor search performance and user feedback to identify further opportunities for improvement and refinement.

By implementing these next actions, we aim to further identify opportunities, issues, and enhancements to this process.

Interested in executing this program in your region?

Reach out to Randy Santamaria, Sr. Knowledge Management Lead for a consultative assessment on your readiness to do this program.

created by | Randy Santamaria
created by | Randy Santamaria