Set Up Search Customizations

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Add promoted search terms.
  • Create synonym groups.
  • Customize suggested articles based on case fields.

Add Promoted Search Terms

Do you ever feel like your articles are missing a little something? Give an extra boost of search flavor to optimize search results in Salesforce Knowledge.

If an article addresses a common support issue, you can associate keywords, called promoted terms, with it. If the user’s search matches the promoted terms, the associated article is returned as the first search result, with the rest ordered by relevance. It’s like you’re a PR agent for your superstar article client.

Let’s say that you have a great article on how to make the best green smoothie ever (hint: add fresh mint). You associate the terms green and smoothie with the article. Now, when users search for green smoothie, that article rises to the top.

Article search matches a promoted term whenever the user’s query contains all the promoted term’s keywords, in any sequence. Each keyword must match exactly. So, smoothie green and green smoothie would both lead to the desired article. But green juice wouldn’t.

Here’s how to give your own articles the red carpet treatment. To create, edit, and delete promoted search terms, you need the “Manage Promoted Search Terms” permission. You can only manage promoted terms for published articles.

  1. In the Article Management tab, select Published Articles in the View section, and then click the title of the published article for which you want to promote a search term.
  2. In the Promoted Search Terms related list, select New Promoted Term.
  3. Enter the keywords that you want to associate with the article. You can associate the same term with multiple articles.
New Promoted Term

If you want to edit or delete a promoted search term, there’s a single page to visit. To get there, follow these steps.

  1. From Setup, enter Promoted Search Terms in the Quick Find box, then select Promoted Search Terms under Customize | Search.
  2. To view which terms are assigned to an article, sort by the Article Title column.
  3. To edit a term, click Edit in its row. You can only change the term from this page. You can’t change the article it is assigned to.
  4. To delete a term, click Delete in its row. The term is only deleted from the article associated with this row, not from other articles.

Here are a few things to know before you start creating promoted search terms.

  • As with choosing the right ingredients to use for a special meal, be selective with promoted terms. Use them thoughtfully only when you want to be certain, no matter what, that a search for a specific term returns your prized article first. But in general, trust that the Salesforce chefs serve you the best meals, relevance-wise.
  • Article search matches a promoted term whenever all keywords within the term occur within the user’s search terms, in any sequence.
  • Each keyword must match exactly. Each promoted term can have a maximum of 100 characters.
  • Your organization can create a maximum of 2,000 promoted terms. But we suggest way fewer than 2,000. For best results, use them selectively, which means creating a limited number of promoted terms and a limited number of promoted articles per term.
  • The end user’s language setting determines the scope of the article search. Search results exclude text that’s not in the user’s language, including article versions and associated promoted terms.

Create Synonym Groups

More words, more problems. Say that your org uses similar, but not exact, words for the same thing. Or, a product is known by different names in different countries. Or, the marketing department decided on a new name for a product. Or, there’s an internal and external name for a feature. Search chaos is what that is. Users need to remember which term is in which article. With synonym groups, you can associate them all together. Then, when someone searches for one term in the group, results for all terms in the group are returned. Remember our previous example of creating a dessert synonym group containing pie, cookies, and cakes? That’s a yummy example of a synonym group.

Creating synonym groups is easy as pie.

  1. From Setup, enter Synonyms in the Quick Find box. Select Synonyms under Customize | Search.
  2. Under Custom Synonym Groups, click New to start a synonym group or Edit next to an existing group.
  3. Add two to six synonyms per group. A synonym can be any word or phrase. No special characters.


Standard synonym groups, which are provided by Salesforce, are enabled by default.

Synonym Groups

Customize Suggested Articles Based on Case Fields

There’s a nifty little feature in Knowledge that automatically suggests articles for cases based on the case subject and description. As a service rep fills out the case, the search engine automatically displays the articles that are attached to related cases or that have keywords in common with the admin-selected case fields. The user working the case scans the articles and attaches them to the case, or initiates another search with different keywords. And just like that, the service rep is on the way to closing a case.

Suggested Article on New Case

If you want to make the suggestions ultra-relevant (and who doesn’t?), consider customizing what case fields should be considered when making recommendations.

First, have you enabled the feature yet? We sure hope so. But if not, let’s do that real quick right now.

  1. From Setup, enter Support Settings in the Quick Find box, then select Support Settings.
  2. Click Edit and, under Early Triggers Enabled, choose Enable suggested articles. You can’t enable suggested articles and suggested solutions at the same time.
  3. Check each channel where the articles are available.

Next, change the case format so the panel appears in the console.

  1. From the object management settings for cases, go to Page Layouts.
  2. Click Edit next to a page layout.
  3. Click Layout Properties.
  4. Check Knowledge Sidebar, and click OK.
  5. Click Save.
Knowledge Sidebar Layout Properties

At this point, you should see the Knowledge Sidebar in the console. If not, check that you updated the correct case layout.

Suggested Articles in Sidebar

Now, let’s get back to how you can make sure these suggested articles are relevant to the case. We’re going to show you how to enable suggested articles in Knowledge, and then how to customize which case fields are used to suggest articles. By customizing which fields are taken into account, you can fine-tune the search based on how your service agents write cases.

  1. From Setup, enter Knowledge Settings in the Quick Find box, select Knowledge Settings, then click Edit.
  2. On the page, enable Suggest related articles on cases.
  3. Under Case Fields Used to Find Suggested Articles, you can move fields from Available Case Fields to Selected Case Fields using the Add button.
Knowledge One Case Fields

By default, the search engine always uses the Description field to make suggestions and the Subject field is already selected. You can choose up to five of the available short text fields. We suggest choosing fields that include a description of the issue, the affected product, or the case topic. We recommend choosing short but uniquely identifying text fields to return the most relevant results. It may be tempting to go for broke and choose the most text-heavy fields. But, much like eating an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting, too much of a good thing can get you in trouble.

As you begin building your delicious lunch plate of article suggestions, know that search only considers the first 255 characters of the total content from all admin-selected fields. The Description field doesn’t count toward that limit since it’s always taken into account. If the fields don't include enough information to make suggestions or if the suggested articles aren't suitable, users initiate a full search to see more articles. Suggested articles are available in the Salesforce Console for Service and your portals when you create new cases and view existing ones.

Whew! Take a breather, because customizing promoted search terms, synonym groups, and suggested articles is a workout. If you’re feeling a little iffy on the best strategy for choosing just the right customizations to make, not to worry. The next unit has got your back. We’re going to talk about using reports to make strategic choices for Knowledge search settings.

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