8.8secI’m Sharon – I’m senior online comms manager at Standard Chartered Bank, and one-quarter of IntranetizenToday I’m talking about top tips for intranet search. So let’s hit the search button.
13.0secPeople talk about Search Engine Optimisation as a ‘dark art’. It isn’t.Actually, it’s not that complicated: Good quality content on good pages performs better in search. Problem is, a lot of intranet content just doesn’t meet these basic criteria.
13.1secIf your search doesn’t work, the most likely culprit is the content. Before you spend time and money making changes to the search engine, first look at whether your content is in the kind of state where it can be found by a search engine.The most effective way to improve search is to improve content.
15.4secHow do you improve the content? Again, it’s not rocket science. There are just a few key areas to focus on.Does it have a unique title?Does the intro clearly summarise the content? Does it contain the right keywords?Has relevant metadata been added?If your content doesn’t have these, it won’t matter how good your search engine is.
14.4secBut you can’t optimise every single page on your intranet on your own.It’s vital that those contributing content to an intranet understand the basics of SEO and what they need to do to make their pages findable.Before you let people loose on your CMS, give them some basic training on how to optimise their content.
15.2secWe’ve all heard this, right? Here’s the rub: Google have spent fourteen years and many billions of dollars perfecting their search algorithm. Google holds an obscene amount of data on each and every one of us. They know your search history. All of it. Even the bit you don’t tell your wife about.
12.2secContrast that with your enterprise search. I’m guessing most of us have search that looks more like this, right?Few have even one person responsible for search, or even spend time on search regularly. But there are some things we can all learn from Google.
14.7secGoogle make something like 500 tweaks per year to their search algorithm. Meanwhile, most intranet managers don’t understand the search admin interface, if they’re even allowed near it. Maybe you have a bloke in IT who ‘looks after the search engine’.It’s time to get the keys to your search engine and take a look under the hood.
14.9secSearch engines are not like Macs; they don’t “just work” straight out of the box.They need to be tweaked and trained in order to produce the most relevant result. Google succeedsbecause it does this constantly. To get it working optimally, you’ll need a certain amount of fine tuning, looking particularly at:IndexingWeightingMetadata
There’s often a disconnect between the terminology used by specialists who create the content, and what people are searching for. Look out for this in search logs and add synonyms and acronyms to your back end so pages can be found using the search terms people are actually using. Again, a bit of effort is needed. Contact all business areas and ask them to send you a list of their most popular jargon.
Review search logs regularly; you’ll learn a lot – about where your search engine is failing, and about what your employees think of your company
6.6secThe 80:20 rule applies here.The vast majority of searches are for a small number of things so focus on getting the right results for popular searches first, as this is where you’ll see the most benefit.
14.7secIf you want to help people find what they want, it helps if you know what people want.What are your key user tasks? What are the key searches for those tasks? And does the right information come back when you run those searches?If you want to make search better, first understand where the problems are.
Popular searches are often seasonal. Watch for peaks in searching and promote relevant content to more visible spots when it’s being looked for regularly.
Which are the search terms that either return nothing? These tell you a lot. Simply, that people are looking for stuff, and either you don’t provide it, or you do and your search doesn’t find it.If you don’t provide it – doIf you
The average Google web search string now contains four words, but research shows users tend to use fewer words in enterprise searches. Less focused searching means less relevant results.Encourage users to use longer search strings by implementing autosuggest. This will produce more detailed search queries, and in turn more relevant results.
One of the reasons Google’s search is so good is that it’s personalised based on what it knows about you – location, search history, and so on.Internal users will be looking for different content based on their role, department, or location. Personalising results based on these improves relevance to searchers.
Google’s search page has 15 words on it. Research consistently shows the simpler the search page, the higher the degree of user satisfaction. Users should be able to type their search term, hit a button and get some results. And understand those results.Allow users to refine that search afterwards, and leave any additional options to an Advanced Search option.
The design of the results page probably has the greatest impact on user satisfaction with search. It should enable the user to quickly identify which of the results is the one they’re looking for.This means stripping out unnecessary detail (such as last updated date), highlighting instead those things which give the user strong ‘information scent’, like title or site section. This will allow users to more quickly scan the page and pick out the right result.
Google has become synonymous with quality searching. There’s some evidence to suggest satisfaction with search goes up if the search results are simply made to look more like Google’s, even if the actual results are the same. Make your page look like Google’s and people are more inclined to like it. Why do you think I’ve been using it for the past five minutes?
Top tips for intranet search
Top tips for intranet search
Good content + Good pages = WIN Intranetizenhttp://quitesimplereally.com http://intranetizen.comProblem is, a lot of intranet content just doesn’t meet these basic criteria. A world-leading intranet blog written by four amazing UK practitioners.Search engine optimisation is not a dark art Interaction Intranethttp://not-alchemy.org ConferenceA poor search function doesn’t just mean users can’t find the content they want; it http://www.intranetconference.comreduces user confidence in the whole intranet. Exclusively intranets. Learn all you need to know about the hottestIt‟s one of the most useful features on an intranet intranet topics of 2012.http://webaddresshere.comWhen it works, it’s great – helping people to quickly find what they’re looking for. #IIC12 http://twitter.comBut also one of the most complained-about. That’s today’s hashtag. Join thehttp://webaddresshere.com conversation online now, and afterPages and pages of badly-titled, irrelevant results annoy and frustrate users, leading the event.many to ask…“Why can‟t it be more like Google?”http://notgoogle.com/you/wishUsers have grown used to search engines ‘just working’. So when yours doesn’t, they’reeven more disappointed.
Optimise your content Intranetizenhttp://optimisation.net http://intranetizen.comEnsure your content is designed to be found by search engines A work of staggering genius. About intranets.Titlehttp://title.net #IIC12The title is what shoes up on the results page. Can someone tell what the http://twitter.compage is about just from reading the title? That’s today’s hashtag. Join the conversation online now, and after the event.Introhttp://intro.com Interaction IntranetThe introduction should clearly summarise the content. It’s the bit thatshows up in results. Conference http://www.intranetconference.com Exclusively intranets. Learn all youKeywords need to know about the hottesthttp://what.your.page/is/about intranet topics of 2012.Search engines scan the page for keywords. Make sure your contentcontains the right keywords so it can be found. Simples!Metadatahttp://metadata.comYou can set up enterprise search to more heavily weight this and ensureimportant content is found.
Optimise your contenthttp://optimisation.netEnsure your content is designed to be found by search enginesTitlehttp://title.netThe title is what shoes up on the results page. Can someone tell what thepage is about just from reading the title?Introhttp://intro.comThe introduction should clearly summarise the content. It’s the bit thatshows up in results.Keywordshttp://what.your.page/is/aboutSearch engines scan the page for keywords. Make sure your contentcontains the right keywords so it can be found. Simples!Metadatahttp://metadata.comYou can set up enterprise search to more heavily weight this and ensureimportant content is found.
Train your contributors Sharon O‟Deahttp://optimisation.net http://sharonodea.co.ukMake sure the people who write the content understand SEO That’s my blog that I hardly ever updateBefore you let them loose on your CMShttp://quite-simple-really.org James RobertsonYou wouldn’t give someone your car keys if they haven’t got a licence. has a book out http://www.steptwo.com.auGive them a little training on the basics He probably won’t mention ithttp://a littleknoweldgegoesalongway.com though.Some basic training on the key elements of content SEO #IIC12 http://twitter.comAnd help them understand That’s today’s hashtag. Join thehttp://webaddresshere.com conversation online now, andUnderstand how they can make their content perform better in search after the event.How to make their content findablehttp://notgoogle.com/you/wishUsing those key elements – title, headers, keywords
“Why can‟t it be more like Google?”http://www.morelikegoogle.com #IIC12Yeah, we’ve all heard this. A lot. http://twitter.com That’s today’s hashtag. Join theBecause Google has much more money than you conversation online now, andhttp://www.google.com/minted after the event.Search giant Google has a turnover of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of staffacross the world Follow the liveblog http://intranetizen.com/lliveblogAnd they‟ve spent the last fourteen years stalking you Exclusively intranets. Learn all youhttp://www.google.com/search need to know about the hottestThey have hundreds of people who analyse search behaviour intranet topics of 2012.They read your emails @sharonodea http://twitter.com/sharonodeahttp://www.gmail.com That’s me. Tweet me up; I’ll readThey scan every single one of your mails to make sure adverts – and paid search – is as it after.closely targeted as it can be.They‟ve driven a little car down your streethttp://streetview.google.comYou live in the terraced house with the blue door. You drive a grey VW Polo. You shouldtrim the hedge out the front.They know your search historyhttp://saucy-pix.xxxAll of it. Even the bit you don’t tell your wife about.
Understand your toolshttp://make-search-work.netLearn how to use your admin interfaceDon‟t leave it all to „that bloke in IT‟http://that-bloke-in-IT.co.ckThe one with the Marillion t-shirt who lives with his mumGet access to the back endhttp://a littleknoweldgegoesalongway.comPersuade the bloke in IT to give you access.And learn how to use ithttp://userguide.netAsk your supplier for training and documentation. There’s tons ofinformation about most common search engines on the interwebsTake control of your toolshttp://seizetheday.tvSpend some time working out how to configure your search engine. LikeMarx said, he who controls the means of production holds the power.
Understand what users are looking forhttp://www.key-objectives.comFocus on the basics first. #IIC12 http://twitter.com That’s today’s hashtag. Join the conversation online now, andThink: what do people use the intranet for? after the event.http://www.backtobasics.org.ukThink back to when your rolled out the intranet; what’s it supposed to do for your Martin Whiteorganisation? http://www.intranetfocus.com He has a book too. It’s not bad.Focus on key taskshttp://www.my-organisation/key-user-tasks IntranetizenWhat are the key things people in your organisation need to do to get their jobs done http://intranetizen.com The finest intranet blog on the planet, if we do say so ourselvesAnd key searcheshttp://www.what-people-need.netWhat do they need to look for in order to do those tasks?Test them outhttp://www.checkitout.co.ukWhat happens when you search for those things? What do you get? Are youdisappointed with the results?
Your search top tips for intranet search did not matchany documents Intranetizen.com http://intranetizen.com All intranet, all the time. On yourSuggestions: internets.• Review your failed searches regularly J Boye Aarhus http://www.jboye.com Enjoyed this conference? Come to Denmark! In November! And run with the Vikings! #IIC12 http://twitter.com That’s today’s hashtag. Join the conversation online now, and after the event.
Personalise resultsAcme refrigerator – design specifications Acme refrigerator – what they‟re all aboothttp://intranet/departments/design/fridges/acme http://intranet/departments/customer-service/brands/acmeAcme is the largest and quietest domestic refrigerator in its price Troubleshooting and home fixes on installation and other commonbracket concerns, eh.Acme refrigerator - New models for 2013 Acme fridges – Maple Syrup storage tipshttp://intranet/departments/design/fridges/acme http://intranet/departments/customer-service/brands/acme2013 models are the most energy-efficient yet. This new range is Best Acme range fridges for storage of maple-based syrups in small toalso available in a range of colours medium quantitiesAcme refrigerator – older models Acme refrigerator – Moose damage, eh?http://intranet/departments/design/fridges/acme http://intranet/departments/customer-service/brands/acmeFull design specifications for pre-2012 models Details of how to book home engineer visits for Acme products
Keep it simpleSearch For exact phrase canteen menu For at least one of these words Without these words Between these dates and Data source Meaningless DatabaseName File type web pages (.html) run query search
salesfigures-Q1-with-debbie-comments.xlsxhttp://intranet.acme.com/sales/records/2011-2012/Q1/sales/individual/916643/debbie/excelCreated by: Deborah Smith Uploaded by: Deborah SmithLast modified: 29/03/2010 Size: 46kbsalesfigures-Q2-with-debbie-comments.ppthttp://intranet.acme.com/sales/records/2011-2012/Q1/sales/individual/916643/debbie/presentationsCreated by: Deborah Smith Uploaded by: Deborah SmithLast modified: 26/03/2010 Size: 1.91MBsalesfigures-2009-10.ppthttp://intranet.acme.com/sales/records/2009- Improve look and feel2010/sales/individual/916643/my-stuff http://www.morelikegoogle.comCreated by: Deborah Smith Uploaded by: Deborah Smith Strip out unnecessary detail on the results pageLast modified: 17/10/2010 Size: 1.91MBSales targets DRAFT 2012-13http://intranet.acme.com/sales/records/2011-2012/targets/sales/individual/916643/debbie/Created by: Deborah Smith Uploaded by: Deborah SmithLast modified: 04/04/2012 Size: 4.64MBSales leaderboard Q4 2011.docxhttp://intranet.acme.com/sales/records/2011-2012/Q1/sales/individual/916643/debbie/Created by: Deborah Smith Uploaded by: Deborah SmithLast modified: 02/01/2012 Size: 1.1MB
Make it look more like Googlehttp://www.morelikegoogle.com #IIC12Research shows this makes a huge difference http://twitter.com That’s today’s hashtag. Join the conversation online now, andPeople equate Google with quality after the event.http://www.google.com/qualityIt’s seen as the ‘gold standard’ of search engines Follow the liveblog http://intranetizen.com/lliveblogEven if you leave everything else the same Exclusively intranets. Learn all youhttp://www.google.com/search need to know about the hottestAnd don’t change any of your search setup at all. intranet topics of 2012.Just make your results page more like Google‟s @intranetizenhttp://www.gmail.com http://twitter.com/intranetizenUsing familiar layouts, colours and fonts That’s us. Follow us on Twitter for weekly(ish) intranet news and viewsAnd satisfaction with search will go uphttp://streetview.google.comCall it a quick win.