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7 SEO Insights You Can Learn by Mining Your Help Desk

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7 SEO Insights You Can Learn by Mining Your Help Desk

Your help desk is a treasure trove of customer insights that your marketing, sales, and customer service teams can all learn from.

Depending on the size of your business and the sophistication of your customer, you likely have a collection of tools to allow customers to:

  • Submit support tickets, search your knowledge base (support articles).
  • Live chat with your employees (or bots).
  • Give you the ability to survey your customers’ NPS.

Once your help desk is properly configured, here are seven SEO insights you can mine from your ticket log and help desk analytics.

1. Keyword Research & Analytics

What are the most common phrases that your customers are using when submitting a support ticket or searching your knowledge base?

Depending on the sophistication of your ticketing system, you’ll either be able to see these insights within the app or you can export all of your tickets into a CSV.

From here, there are a host of text analyzer tools to help you identify the most common issues or questions that customers are experiencing.

One other analytics insight you can gain from your help desk is identifying how people are finding your help documentation.

Are people finding your documentation through organic search or via your own internal search functionality?

If people are mainly coming to your help docs from Google, this could indicate that:

  • Either your help docs’ search functionality or layout isn’t meeting your customers’ needs and they are searching Google for the best documentation.
  • Or you are generating search traffic from non-customers.

Crawlable help documentation can drive a large amount of long-tail search traffic.

If you drive non-customers to your help desk documentation, this could be a good opportunity to introduce these visitors to your awareness or consideration stage content.

2. Content Ideation

Once your knowledge base is clearly organized by category, you can mine analytics data to see what topics people spend the most time reading.

Content groupings and/or custom reports in Google Analytics are your best friend to help you organize your data this way.

This reporting will inform you about what other documentation you should create or enhance through your customer service or marketing teams.

In many cases, you may already have the written documentation but you need to spend more time improving it through video, in-app microcopy, or other content formats.

Lastly, don’t forget to submit your help documentation articles through Google Search Console. This can help you identify additional topics that you’re generating impressions for in search regardless of whether you are actually generating traffic through those pages.

3. Search Seasonality

Certain times of the year, people ask certain questions more than others.

Analyze customer ticketing data month over month or quarter over quarter to identify trends in your customers’ search behavior.

You’ll be able to be a more proactive marketer or customer success manager if you’re able to anticipate the increase in help desk inquiries during certain times of the year.

This proactiveness will help inform:

  • How many help desk agents you need during certain times of the day or week.
  • What articles you want to feature around specific campaigns or product launches.
  • Your ability to differentiate predictable seasonal churn versus a larger more systemic churn issue.

4. Identifying Topics to Attract Affiliates or Partners

If you are growing a channel side of your business, ticketing data can help you identify the specific topics potential partners will be exploring as they consider engaging in a more formalized referral relationship.

Segment your existing partners’ ticketing data and mine it to identify topics that your future partners will need to explore.

Don’t have partners yet? Pull together a list of prospective partners.

Use SEMrush or Moz to identify the types of non-brand-based queries they rank for.

Use this data in your prospecting/outreach campaigns to them in order to show your alignment with these partners and that your customers can benefit each other through referrals because of your content overlap in terms of types of topics.

You can also use SEO data to identify which partners to focus on from a co-marketing perspective.

If your potential partners have a large SEO “share of voice” for specific topics you are looking to rank for, then these may be the partners you should consider co-marketing with through a co-branded book or webinar.

5. Product Roadmap Decisions

If you keep your knowledge-base articles ungated (and viewable to crawlers), pull Google Search Console data for keyword impression and click data.

Identify trends in feature requests and integration queries to help you prioritize product development decisions.

Google Search Console allows you to create an account based on a subdirectory or subdomain, so this will allow you to isolate the keyword impression data specific to your help desk.

6. Usability by Device

How are people coming to your help desk?

Device-level data from Google Analytics gives us insight into how (and in what situations) people are seeking customer support.

If you see more help desk queries coming from mobile devices, this could indicate that users are running into issues when they are not sitting at their desks.

Next, pair device-level data with heat mapping and user recordings to quickly identify where users are running into roadblocks.

7. Localized Campaigns

How do your customers’ search behaviors vary by geography?

Indexed help desk data can provide the benefit of driving traffic from both customers and prospects.

Create custom Google Analytics reports identifying the types of topics users are coming to your site to learn about.

These insights can empower customer marketing and training departments.

For example, if you see an uptick of help desk search traffic coming from a specific region and from a specific customer segment, consider featuring their support-need topics within:

  • Localized user groups.
  • Customer education.
  • Or product marketing campaigns.

Alternately, if you’re driving search traffic from non-customers to specific product support documentation, this can be a good opportunity to convert those visitors into leads through top-of-funnel calls to action or chatbots.

Don’t assume all of the search traffic to your help desk or knowledge-base articles are made up of just your paying customers.

You can better align your marketing, sales, and customer success teams with:

  • Some basic text analysis of your customer service tickets.
  • Knowledge-base search queries.
  • GSC keyword-level impression data.

With this data, you can also be more proactive in meeting your customers’ and prospects’ needs.

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Paul Schmidt

Strategist at SmartBug Media

Paul Schmidt is a strategist at SmartBug Media. He works with clients on SEO, analytics, lead generation and inbound marketing ... [Read full bio]

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