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Customers are using search engines to find the answers to their questions. If your help documentation is not in a web-native format, search engines will not be able to crawl your content and display pertinent, quality results to your customers. This is problematic because customers expect quick, easy service and don’t want to exert a lot of energy hunting down information. Businesses realize this and are starting to employ SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics to drive customers to their knowledge centers and direct them to the information that they need. This optimization not only increases site traffic, but also provides businesses with an opportunity to increase brand awareness, offer quality customer service, and increase sales conversions.

Step Into Your Customers’ Shoes:

If you haven’t already, we urge you to test how poorly optimized your help center is for SEO. It’s a fairly simple exercise, but can have extremely far-reaching implications that can impact your bottom line. To start, you should talk to your support team and make a list of common questions that your customers would usually ask. Then, input different queries through Google, Bing, or Yahoo and see what results pop up. If you are not directed to the correct page, your business may be losing customers.

There’s a new LinkedIn Group – Customer Success Tactics – that’s still in its early stages, but has the potential to deliver a lot of value to businesses. If you want to stay one step ahead of your competitors and get the latest industry tips and tricks, you should join now.

 8 SEO Tactics To Drive Customer Success: 

MindTouch is a SaaS organization that has a phenomenal track record with helping businesses (including Intuit, Paypal, MakerBot, and Code42) deliver SEO-friendly self-help options. Whether or not you use the MindTouch solution, we are great at SEO and would like to share some our built-in functionalities to help you drive customer success and increase site traffic.

1. Human Readable URLs - Are clean, simple URLs with keywords to increase your search rankings and place more authority on your content. MindTouch is the only vendor that optimizes this way specifically for Help Centers.

  • The Good: http://www.mindtouch.com/blog/
  • The Ugly: http://www.company12345.com/3d5$#y6h1h%

2. XML SiteMap – Are used to tell search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, that there are pages on your site that they should crawl. By providing these crawlers with more information, such as metadata about specific content, you are helping them learn more about the structure and organization of your site. MindTouch automatically updates the XML site-map dynamically, in real time, as new articles are added. This ensures that search engines will know that something new has been updated and surface the correct results when pinged.

3. No Broken Links – Broken links frustrate customers and hurt your SEO ranking. MindTouch automatically creates and manages all your 401 redirects correctly to prevent any broken links.

4. Correct Use of Meta and Alt Tags for Media – By using Meta and Alt Tags correctly, you improve visibility for your site and content, make it easier for users to discover, and make it easier for web crawlers to find.

5. Content Ruse for Keyword Placement – MindTouch clients can capture and reuse knowledge generated by internal and external experts to deliver consistent, quality information to their customers. This optimizes keyword placement as relevant content is clustered and back-linked.

6. Proper use of nofollow tags – In general, people use nofollow tags for paid links, comments, user-generated content, embeds, and others to prevent Search Engines from crawling links that go to bad, un-related sites.

7. High Quality Social Links with Social Sharing – This makes it easy for interested followers to share content and back-link to your site. With MindTouch you have the option of turning on or off the social sharing buttons, but it is recommended that you leave them on for SEO purposes.

8. Link and Cluster Pages by Topic / Landing Pages – Strategically link pages about “Customer Success” to other pages about ““Customer Success”. This strategic clustering of knowledge makes it easy, not just for web crawlers to find information, but for users to search and find the answers to their questions. Related articles are optimized for this and further improved by dynamically adapting to the search and browsing behavior of end users.

If your company is not optimizing your Help Center for SEO, you are losing an opportunity to promote your brand, drive traffic to your site, and increase revenue. Your customers will love you if you make it easy for them to find the information that they need. Whether you’re using MindTouch or not, you should reevaluate your SEO strategy to stop losing customers and stay one step ahead of your competitors.

New Feature for Editors: Page Revision and Site History Experience (BETA)
  • Two weeks ago we promised more features built on top of our powerful new analytics engine. This is the big one! We’re proud to beta release to your site’s editors, the new MindTouch Page Revision and Site History Experience. This new feature is available on both MindTouch 4 and MindTouch TCS.
  • MindTouch TCS editors can find Revision History in the “More” menu, and Site History in the “Tools” menu. MindTouch site owners who have customized and branded their site may find the location of these menus different than the images shown here.

MindTouch TCS editors can find Revision History in the "More" menu, and Site History in the "Tools" menu. MindTouch customers who have customized and branded  their site may find the location of these menus different than the images shown here.

  • MindTouch 4 editors can find Revision History in the “Page Options” menu, and Site History in the “Site Tools” menu. MindTouch site owners who have customized and branded their site may find the location of these menus different than the images shown here.

MindTouch TCS editors can find Revision History in the "More" menu, and Site History in the "Tools" menu. MindTouch customers who have customized and branded their site may find the location of these menus different than the images shown here.

  • Both the Page Revision and Site History (formerly “Recent Changes”) interfaces have been redesigned to allow faster navigation and location of page change events. MindTouch also provides more change events for each page as well, including permission, page display name, and custom page property changes, along with the existing change events such as page edits, renames, moves, and deletes.

  • The workflow for comparing and rolling back page revisions has been optimized as well. Editors can switch between different comparison views (side by side, merged, or a combination of both), and rolling back to a previous revision also for the first time rolls back the state of embedded images on the page.

  • Read up on the many benefits the new Page Revision and Site History experience provides your organization in the official feature announcement.
Infrastructure Optimizations for All Site Visitors
  •  Our central site management and configuration repository could possible return malformed site configurations, which could cause a MindTouch site to become unresponsive and unreachable after a weekly release. We’ve added more checks and validation to ensure that this does not happen.
  • We’ve implemented a web request queue in our API to limit the number of parallel requests. All requests to the API are still handled very quickly, but putting a limit on how many are handled at once increases the performance of all operations, and the stability of the API.
Bug Fixes for Site Administrators
  • After adding a user to a group, there was a noticeable delay before the group membership would appear in the user’s details in the user management control panel.
Bug Fixes for All Site Visitors
  •  Viewing a PDF, generated from MindTouch article content, in Adobe Acrobat omitted the page title
Pro Member Feature Removal: Page Properties Manager (MindTouch TCS Only)
  • As announced in the April 3rd, 2014 release notes, the MindTouch TCS Page Properties interface, which could be accessed by your site’s Pro Members under the page ”More” menu, has been removed. Usage of this feature had dropped to a insignificant amount, and removing this feature allowed our engineers to focus on areas of the product with higher impact to yours and your customer’s experience.

 

Businesses that care about customer success are slowly adopting an intelligent swarming support model. By lowering the barriers to knowledge, businesses can empower experts, both internal and external to an organization, by allowing them to autonomously capture and reuse information by authoring, editing, and requesting content in real time. This constant, iterative interaction with the knowledge layer by experts forces knowledge content to remain up-to-date, to be purposefully, and to constantly evolve. Collaboration models are essential for customer success but require stringent internal controls to hold authors accountable for their work. This accountability is what keeps a knowledge layer tight, targeted, and focused so that the content being delivered is in line with what is being released by product development. MindTouch realized the importance of incorporating internal controls into our software early on and have, with each release, slowly improved the reach, granularity, and quality of our internal control toolset.

What is Site and Revision History? 

MindTouch is offering, in open Beta, an extremely robust dashboard that tracks both the site history as well as the revision history. These internal control tools are extremely powerful because it lets businesses quickly overview all the changes made across an entire site, identify who made the change, and when the change was made. By being able to compare revisions side-by-side, section editors can revert and undo changes to reflect a previous version, track how their content is evolving, and see who their key expert contributors are.

With the latest release, MindTouch now integrates the following events into its site and revision history. The features have, consequently, become more powerful, the design more user friendly, and the functionalities more granular. In other words, MindTouch customers can mine more data, customize with more flexibility, and tighten their control of their document management system.

Previous Events Tracked:  

  • Reverting a page
  • Copying a page
  • Moving a page
  • Deleting a page
  • Restoring a deleted page
  • Creating a new page
  • Reverting to a previous version of the page
  • Updating the contents of a page
  • Restoring a deleted file
  • Copying a file
  • Moving a file
  • Deleting a file
  • Adding a new version of a file
  • Attaching a new file

New Events That Are Being Tracked: 

  • Reverting page conflicts related to files
  • Update the display name for the page
  • Resetting the url and display name of the page to be the same
  • Change the capitalization of any letters in the url for a page
  • Creating a new description, or custom property, for a file
  • Updating a description, or custom property, for a file
  • Deleting a description, or custom property, for a file
  • Creating a new page property
  • Deleting a page property
  • Updating a page property
  • Updating permissions for a page (More granular)
  • Remove grants from permissions (More granular)
  • Adding new grant(s) to permissions (More granular)
  • Adding or deleting a tag on a page (More granular)

Why does Site and Revision History Matter?  

Site and Revision History serves as an audit trail and captures all the interactions that experts have with a knowledge layer. Section editors can use this snapshot of events to track the evolution of a piece of content, hold authors accountable for their work, control what needs to be filtered, and determine what the next steps are. As it is impossible to erase the history, section editors can dynamically compare content written at different points in time and choose to compare, revert or undo any changes. This functionality is extremely robust. Even when you revert back to a previous instance, MindTouch will not erase any history. Instead, the Site History and Revision History will show that a new event has been created.

If you haven’t used the Site History and Revision History tools yet on MindTouch, we would highly recommend that you give it a try. These tools will amplify your company’s ability to monitor, track, and manage content knowledge in a collaborative environment. Businesses will now be able to overview their entire knowledge layer, pinpoint weaknesses, and make quick, actionable decisions in real time. 

For more information, please check out our MindTouch Customer Success Center.

As many of you know, MT Survivor 2014 started in February.  We have successfully finished two challenges and 50 Shadez is in the lead by a whopping 30 points!

Challenge 2 consisted of a riddle, searching for a missing cache and the final outcome locating the missing rabbit’s foot.  After three weeks it was found in Presidio Park by Ryan F and Hsin-Ju.

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I received the confirmation via Ryan C. on Friday, April 11.

Hello Tara, from all of us at 50 Shadez :)

Our search party lead by RyanF and Hsin-Ju have located the rabbit’s foot, and triumphantly brought it back to the MindTouch Café (photographical proof attached).

If you’ll allow me the luxury of a short poem:

foot of the rabbit

a lost item found again

hung on head held high

Let me know if you have any questions on this one!

– Ryan C.

Way to go MindTouchers!

 

For more information regarding MT Survivor contact Tara at [email protected]

 

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A couple weeks ago we shut down Developer.MindTouch.com and as a result have received a lot of feedback from longtime MindTouch Core (open source) users. Even after a three year wind down period of MindTouch Core and Platform it seems we could have decommissioned this better by giving everyone more notice that this old site was coming down. Sorry about that.

Why did we take down the old developer center?

  1. Our Customer Success Center has a lot more information and it’s up to date.

  2. The old developer forums were a den of SEO link farmers.

  3. Maintaining the forum software updates and moderating required significant resources.

  4. Most importantly, the old developer site was specific to retired products.

  5. Existing and prospective customers were discovering old information about retired projects and were confused.

What if you want access to something from the old site?

No problem. We’re going to migrate some of the old knowledge from developer.mindtouch.com to the Customer Success Center. Even though the documentation is aged and possibly obsolete, we understand that it may be helpful to have around for some of the legacy users.  Simply use the suggest article form to let us know which pages you want migrated and we’ll take care of the rest.  If you could provide a URL and some context, that would be extra helpful.

When we took down the old developer site my goal was to provide an exceptional experience to our customers (and users) and by all metrics our new Customer Success Center exceeds expectations. Unfortunately, we could have done a better a job in communicating. I realize now that this was an abrupt change for users of developer.mindtouch.com and we’d like to remedy this.

Thanks for understanding,

Damien Howley
VP, Customer Success