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How an Intranet Search Engine Can Make Work Easier

intranet search engine

People familiar with the early days of the company intranet still have a sour taste in their mouth. The first intranets were groundbreaking at the time ... because they offered a new way for colleagues to work and interact. But to say they were functional and easy to use would be a massive overstatement. Early company intranets were more theory-based than anything else. They lacked many design elements that are necessary to create a positive user experience.

Now take a look at today's social intranets. When compared to intranets from the past, today’s options are astounding. The social intranet will enhance how your business handles daily processes. This is all due to the many well-thought-out features ... one of the most important being the intranet search engine.

5 Benefits of an Intranet Search Engine.

intranet search engine

More often than not, a healthy intranet has a ton of content created and published on a consistent basis. Over time, it can be hard to go back and find this information ... especially if created months or years ago.

In the old days, recalling content on your intranet was a frustrating process. Since then, content organization has come a long way ... and it is now possible to make your intranet search-friendly.

Here are 5 benefits of search-friendly intranet software:

1. Improved Productivity

No one wants to spend hours wading through a sea of content just to find an article or wiki. This equates to a loss of productivity. When you have a streamlined intranet search engine, people find content with no trouble. This leads to increased productivity levels.

2. Less Information Overlap

Information overlap becomes a problem when you don’t have a well thought out intranet organization structure or a good intranet search engine. Organize your content so it's searchable. This way, you won't create duplicate content ... or create an overwhelming knowledge base that's difficult to navigate.

3. Better Customer Service

One of the major benefits of today’s intranets is the customer service capability. Customers want to search your knowledge base and take part in self-service support. And the only way they can is if you have a good intranet search engine.

Keep customers happy with a simple search that lets them find what they need.

4. Enhanced Employee Engagement

Every intranet has the potential to improve employee engagement. This is one of the main reasons why so many companies are embracing this technology. It has to be functional though ... which means that searching for content needs to be a simple, straight-forward process. Equip your intranet with a great search feature, and you won’t have to worry about a lack of engagement.

5. Streamlined Project Management

Project management is a big stressor for many professionals. Botch a project, and there’s no telling what could result. Improving your intranet search engine can streamline project management within your organization. It offers a quick and easy reference to past projects and other pertinent information.

12 Ways to Enhance Your Intranet Search Engine.

intranet search engine

Improving your intranet search engine requires a breakdown of steps to fit your business. When working towards better search functionality, consider the following 12 tips:

1. Start with a Robust Search Engine

You can spend time creating the best content ever, but it won't be valuable if you don’t have a good search engine. Most of the time, the quality of your search engine depends on which platform you’re using. A well-designed, modern social intranet is the best solution to your search issues. You can't tailor one-size-fits-all applications to suit the needs of your business.

2. Create Great Content

At the core of every great intranet is a knowledge base filled with high-quality content.

Don't write your content based on what you think people might search for ... instead, write content based on what people will want to read, how easy it is to read, etc.

If you take this approach, creating useful content is an easy process. And searching for it later will make more sense.

3. Craft Strong Headlines

A headline is more than just a simple title or descriptor, and this is especially true when it comes to search. Improving intranet search is about creating content with searchable headlines. This should be a part of your intranet content strategy. At the same time, it’s important to avoid stuffing too many terms into a headline for search purposes. Instead, create a headline that describes the content it supports.

4. Tag Content

Tagging content is one of the most important things you can do to find blogs, wikis, and articles at a later time. Check the main points of each piece of content and create tags based off applicable keywords. Using repeat keywords can be an excellent way to organize your intranet content.

5. Watch for Spelling Errors

Spelling errors in your blogs, wikis, and articles are an issue. When you publish content riddled with errors, your business looks unprofessional. It stops appearing as an authority. This can damage your reputation, among other things. If you’re tagging content with specific search terms, the issue can be especially prevalent. Misspelled tags won't help people find content. This is why it’s always helpful to have a second set of eyes.

6. Keep Search Visible

Searching for content on your intranet can save time when you have organized content. But users will waste time if they can't find, or don't know how to use the intranet search engine. Make the search bar as visible as possible, most likely in the header of your intranet navigation ... and everything will be fine.

7. Include Author Bylines

Sometimes, the best way to find a particular piece of content is to search for the author who wrote it. When you include bylines and tag authors in the articles they write, searching for their work is easy.

8. Don’t Focus on Keywords Within Content

Keywords can be effective to improve your intranet search functionality.

You'll want to use keywords for tagging content rather than being in the body copy of a blog or wiki. "Keyword stuffing" is a common issue in SEO (search engine optimization). It will dilute what might otherwise turn out to be great content. Don’t place a heavy focus on keywords. They will pop-up throughout the course of writing.

9. Link Related Content Together

Linking related blogs and wikis is an excellent way to expose people to content they don't know about. This can help further their involvement in the community. You can place links within the body copy of the articles you write ... or as comments ... each of which can be an effective technique.

10. Use Acronyms for Tags

Tagging content is as much an art as it is a science, and no two people can seem to agree on a best method. One technique that can work for your organization is to tag content with acronyms. Acronyms pop-up in business all the time ... and often, they relate to the company itself. Tagging content with acronyms will make content more available. It also cleans things up organization-wise.

11. Tune the Results Page

If you have the opportunity to tweak the look of your intranet search results page, do it. A lot of information that comes up in a results page is filler, and getting rid of it can improve user experience.

It's unfortunate because ...

Most one-size-fits-all social intranet platforms don’t offer customizable search results.

This is just one more reason why it’s so important to find the right platform. Ask your intranet software vendor what customizations you can make to enhance your intranet search.

12. Track Usage

Track search usage to improve the quality of you intranet search engine. The more you pay attention to search trends, the easier it is to build an intranet suited to the needs of your staff.

In Conclusion

Improving your intranet search engine can take a fair amount of time to pull-off, but the benefits are monumental. Create a plan, and finding content will become second-nature for you and your employees.

 

How to Know if Your Company Needs an Intranet

 

Tim Eisenhauer
Written by Tim Eisenhauer

Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions and author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. He’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.

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