By Timo Selvaraj
As a person who interacts with customers on a daily basis on various types of search, it is a learning experience for the customer and myself about what constitutes great enterprise search. While most vendors try to sell a solution that “solves all your information access” or “relevant search” problems, I truly believe enterprise search that works great is an ongoing business business process rather than a one time project that is done when IT completes deployment of the search software.
Know your content strategy if you have one
Understanding what content exists in your file systems and web servers is generally a much harder task than we know it to be. As marketing and communication teams work on communication and brand strategy, it is also imperative to work on a strategy for making the information searchable and accessible. Having a multi-pronged content strategy to address the challenges systematically is also required.
If content is king, metadata is king maker!
In the age of crawlers, site maps, and faceted search, having atleast a basic level of meta data in your content like titles, descriptions, meta fields for capturing information for Open Graph fields is a must if your content needs to be findable not just by your site search but also your public search crawlers. While search will still function and find results, advanced search features like faceting require better metadata for search relevance and accuracy.
Periodic business review of queries and what is viewed
Search needs to be part of the communication review process. It is important to see what users are searching for and clicking on (maybe on a monthly basis) to check for gaps in connecting user intent with relevent content. If content is not tagged correctly or standards are not followed then corrective steps need to be put in place for stopping them from being placed in the public view. Understanding that enterprise content is touched by many hands, informational sessions are required for your content authors and they need to be provided the visibility into why content standards need to be followed through the search queries report and documents viewed report analytics.
Do you have a content access challenge in your organization? Do you often hear your employees or customers saying “Your search sucks” or “I can’t find anything”, contact us to have a quick conversation around how you can take the relevant steps to turn things around.