Make Better Decisions with Analytics

Learning Objectives

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

  • Create a Knowledge Search Activity Report.
  • Use the Knowledge Search Activity Report to create synonym groups and to promote search terms.
  • Use the Knowledge Search Activity Report to make improvements to existing articles.

Create Your Report

Sometimes you want to spend the day baking a cake from scratch, and sometimes you just want to eat cake batter. Think of the Knowledge Search Activity Report as a boxed cake mix. Add a few details you probably already have in your pantry and start enjoying delicious information about what your users are searching for and finding. You can even create a dashboard to add some sprinkles to your cake.

Let’s go through the steps of whipping up a report. You need these permissions.

  • To create or update custom report types: “Manage Custom Report Types”
  • To create a public reports folder: “Manage Public Reports”
  1. From Setup, enter Report Types in the Quick Find box, then select Report Types under Create.
  2. On All Custom Report Types, click New Custom Report Type.
  3. Select Knowledge Search Activity.
  4. Enter a name for the report type. Users select the report type by this name when they use it to create a report.
  5. Enter a description. We suggest “Monitor the performance of your knowledge article content in search results.”
  6. Select a category. This is where your users find the new report type.
  7. Select Deployed to make it active right away.
  8. Click Next, then Save.
New Custom Report Type

To view the report, go to Reports & Dashboards and click New Report…. Navigate to the folder where you stored the report type. Then click Create. On the report’s page, click Run Report to see all the results.

Knowledge Search Activity Report

Once you pull your report out of the Salesforce oven, take a look. There are several fields containing some important information about Knowledge searches. You can always click Edit Layout to customize the field display.

Field Description
Average Click Rank The order in which the article appeared in search results when results are sorted by relevance and when readers clicked it from the list of results.
Channel The channel that’s applicable to the article. Possible values are All Channels, Internal App, Customer, Partner, and Public Knowledge Base.
Clicked Article Title The title of the clicked article taken when the search results are sorted by relevance by the reader.
Duration The time period the search count is applied to. Possible values are Daily, Monthly, and Yearly. For example, a record where the Count is 70 and the Duration is Monthly indicates that 70 searches took place over the past month. Totals are aggregated daily for the current month, monthly from the past full month through the past full year, and yearly beyond that. Activity totals are collected nightly and aren’t in real time.
Language The language filter that’s applied to the reader’s search.
Number of Results The number of search results that were returned for the search term. If Duration is also included, this value is aggregated based on the time period specified.
Number of Searches The number of searches for the duration that’s shown (day, month, or year).
Number of Users The number of individual users who clicked the article.
Search Date The date of the search.
Search Term The first 100 characters of the search term that was used to search published articles in the knowledge base.

Cool report, right? But, what do you do with all this information? Glad you asked. In the next couple of sections, we’ll connect what you learned earlier about promoted search terms and synonyms to what you can glean from this report.

Use the Report to Make Synonym Groups

Look at the report you created. There’s a Search Term field. Focus on the top 20 (or 100 if you’re feeling up to it) terms. Do any of them seem to go together because they refer to the same thing? Then look at the Number of Results field. Are users not getting any results when they use a specific search term? Together, these questions identify top search terms that aren’t getting hits because users aren’t using the term that’s used in most articles, even if those search terms somewhat describe the same topic.

Then start creating some synonym groups for the specific needs of your org. Remember that when someone searches for one term in the group, the search returns results for all terms in the group.

An org can create up to 10,000 synonym groups, so the sky’s pretty much the limit.

Use the Report to Improve Articles

Let’s shift away from search terms to start looking at another column on the report, the Average Click Rank. That’s fancy search-speak for article rankings based on user clicks and sorted by relevance.

You want to use the Clicked Article Title field to identify the top 10 highest- and lowest-ranked articles.

  • Top Articles—Focus your time on improving these articles, because they get a lot of traffic. Consider applying what you learned about promoted search terms to these articles.
  • Bottom Articles—See if you can spruce them up or (gulp) delete them. When you review an article, ask yourself if it has valuable information. Maybe it doesn’t add anything to the conversation or has information already covered in another article. If so, consider getting rid of it. However, if the article is a diamond in the rough, an easy win would be to edit the title to include common search terms.

Use the Report to Promote Search Terms

Next, look at those same top 20 search terms from before. From there, find the cream-of-the-crop article that best matches a top search term and is an article you want to appear at the top of search results. Using what you’ve learned from the last unit, add promoted search terms to it.

Remember that promoted search terms shouldn’t be used as a shortcut to fine-tune search engine relevance. It’s a way to override search when you are totally sure there’s a single, best article to answer the question posed by the search term. Only use as a last resort when synonym groups and basic search relevance aren’t optimized and the article isn’t (or is rarely) appearing in search results. With great promotion power comes great responsibility.

Finally, throughout this process, you may identify new topics of interest that don’t have an article—yet. Our advice is to get back into the kitchen and write new topic recipes.

Sit Back and Enjoy

You’ve learned a little about how search works in Salesforce Knowledge. You also enabled some search features and made a couple of search customizations. Finally, you learned how the Knowledge Search Activity Report can guide you in the right direction going forward. Now, sit down at the Salesforce table and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ve earned double servings of dessert today.

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