min read

10 Easy Steps & 3 Best Practices to Create a Knowledge Base

Looking to promote self-service with a user-friendly and well-structured knowledge base? This article provides a step-by-step guide to creating one, and offers best practices for maintaining it.
Written by
Meagan Faryna
Last updated
October 23, 2023

A robust knowledge base is essential for businesses seeking to excel in customer support and product education. A knowledge base is the first place customers check out to find help content, making it a great self-serve tool that enhances the customer experience by empowering users to quickly find answers to common questions.

Besides enhancing user experience, a well-structured knowledge base boosts productivity by facilitating faster issue resolution, reducing customer support team requests, and promoting user self-sufficiency. It also serves as a centralized resource for employees, improving internal collaboration and providing a source of truth for product-related questions.

This article explores the characteristics of an effective knowledge base, provides a step-by-step guide to creating one, and offers best practices for maintaining it. Here's a quick summary of the steps we'll cover in this article:

Steps Details
Step 1: Define your target audience and objectives Understand your primary users
Identify user needs
Set clear objectives
Step 2: Select the right knowledge base software Define your needs and requirements
Evaluate knowledge base solutions
Step 3: Organize your knowledge base content Structure with logic
Add user-friendly labels
Prioritize content
Step 4: Define your writing process Establish a workflow
Build a dedicated knowledge base team
Step 5: Create style guides Choose a consistent voice and tone
Define formatting and visual guidelines
Create a terminology guide
Step 6: Write informative and user-friendly articles Follow a user-centric approach
Prioritize clarity
Create a logical structure for your knowledge base content
Optimize individual articles for SEO
Step 7: Incorporate multimedia elements Know the 'why'
Choose quality over quantity
Caption and describe
Optimize for load times
Step 8: Implement an effective search function Add a prominent search bar
Invest in a robust Knowledge base software with intuitive search functions
Handle 'No Results' gracefully
Step 9: Integrate your knowledge base with other support channels Direct support to the knowledge base
Equip support agents
Triage support requests
Step 10: Promote your knowledge base among users Feature the knowledge base in other channels
Utilize in-app or website notifications
Encourage customer support agents

A step-by-step guide to creating a knowledge base

A successful knowledge base is more than just a collection of how-to articles and resources; it's an organized, user-friendly, and dynamic tool that evolves with the needs of its users. Here are seven key elements that contribute to an effective knowledge base:

Step 1: Define your target audience and objectives

A successful knowledge base is rooted in understanding its users and setting precise goals. Here’s how to streamline this foundational step to create helpful resources for your knowledge base:

Understand your primary users: Determine who your knowledge base is for: customers, employees, or partners? Each has distinct needs. For instance, customers might need basic troubleshooting and video tutorials, while partners may seek in-depth technical information.

Identify user needs: Engage with your user groups through brief surveys or by analyzing support ticket trends. Pinpoint their frequent challenges and questions to ensure your knowledge base directly addresses these areas.

Set clear objectives: With a user profile in hand, define tangible goals for your knowledge base. For example, you may want your knowledge base to reduce support response times, improve customer satisfaction, or efficiently onboard new customers. Aim for measurable outcomes, like “Reduce support tickets by 15% in the next quarter.”

Set clear KPIs to measure your knowledge base performance and ensure your objectives tie into broader company goals.

Step 2: Select the right knowledge base software or platform

Finding the ideal knowledge base tool tailored to your organization's needs and customer requirements is essential. You need a platform best suited to help you follow the above best practices in creating and maintaining your knowledge base.

When selecting a knowledge base software, consider the following factors:

Ease of use: Prioritize a user-friendly interface for both creators and users. Bettermode’s platform offers pre-built, beautifully designed templates to speed up the creation process.

Customizability: Ensure the software allows you to tailor the design and layout to your organization's branding and needs.

Bettermode's block-based page builder empowers you to customize your knowledge base
Bettermode's block-based page builder empowers you to customize your knowledge base

Content management features: Intuitive interfaces allow your team to create and update content efficiently. Look for a platform that allows for rich texts, content scheduling, and multimedia attachments.

Rich text and advanced editing options in Bettermode
Rich text and advanced editing options in Bettermode

Collaboration capabilities: You want a platform that enables multiple team members to collaborate on content creation and editing.

Seamless integration: Choose a platform that integrates easily with your existing tools and systems. A direct integration with your CRM, chatbot, and ticketing solutions creates a seamless customer experience and streamlines your team’s workflows. More advanced platforms will allow you to build custom apps for your unique needs.

Bettermode's app store
Bettermode's app store

SEO friendliness: Opt for a knowledge base platform that provides features such as meta titles, tags, descriptions, and more – making your articles discoverable by search engines like Google.

SEO features on Bettermode
SEO features on Bettermode

Powerful search functionality: Ensure users can quickly find relevant information with a robust search feature. Granular filters and fast answers help your customers find exactly what they are looking for and reduces the chance of them creating an extra support ticket.

Detailed analytics: Opt for software that provides insights into user behavior and content performance.

Multilingual support: This feature is essential if you have a global customer base looking for answers in their own language.

Building a multilingual knowledge base on Bettermode
Multilingual features on Bettermode

Scalability: A company's knowledge base should be able to grow with the organization and adapt to its changing needs. High-speed browsing and world-class security and compliance will ensure your knowledge base will be scalable.

Pricing model: Choose a platform with a pricing structure that aligns with your budget. If your company is in its early stages, you may not need sophisticated features and would rather opt for a free plan and scale from there. It's also a good idea to explore whether the platform offers monthly, quarterly, or annual payment options.

Some knowledge base solutions are built for external knowledge bases while others are better fits for an internal knowledge base, so make sure you choose the one that suits your needs. Considering these factors, you can find the best knowledge base software to meet your organization's unique requirements, creating an effective and user-friendly knowledge base system.

Popular options include Bettermode, Zendesk Guide, Confluence, and HelpDocs, and you can dive deeper by reading our complete review of the best knowledge base software solutions.

Step 3: Organize your knowledge base content

A knowledge base, no matter how comprehensive, loses its value if users can't quickly find the information they need. Efficient content organization isn't just about neatness; it directly impacts user satisfaction and the self-service success. Here's how to get it right:

Structure with logic: Start by creating overarching categories that mirror the main topics users are interested in, such as "Billing," "Product Features," or "Troubleshooting." Within these, break content down into subcategories or articles. For instance, under "Billing," you might have "Invoicing," "Refunds," and "Subscription Changes."

Add user-friendly labels: When naming categories or articles, think like a user. Avoid internal jargon. Opt for terms your users naturally use and understand to make content discovery intuitive.

Prioritize content: Place the most accessed or crucial information prominently. Whether it’s frequently asked questions or critical updates, ensure they're not buried under layers of less-relevant content.

Remember, the goal is to help customers find the information they need. When they can self-serve efficiently, it not only enhances their experience but also reduces the load on your support team.

Step 4: Define your writing process

A streamlined writing process is the backbone of a successful knowledge base. It sets the pace, ensures consistency, and aids in maintaining content quality. Here's how to define yours:

Establish a workflow: Clearly define the steps from content inception to publication. This might look like: Topic Proposal → Research → First Draft → Review → Revisions → Final Approval → Publication. A clear workflow ensures consistency and maintains content quality.

Build a dedicated knowledge base team: A successful knowledge base needs a committed team that takes ownership of the knowledge base management, but don’t get trapped thinking you need a dedicated department for this. By pulling experts from areas like support, product, and marketing, you're not just filling slots; you're creating a powerhouse of diverse insights. This team should ensure content stays updated, relevant, and user-focused.

Step 5: Create style guides

While your process ensures consistency in content creation, a style guide guarantees uniformity in content presentation. Think of it as the rulebook that every writer refers to:

Choose a consistent voice and tone: Whether you opt for a more formal tone or a conversational one, stay consistent. If you're addressing the user as "you" in one article, it might be jarring to switch to a third-person perspective in another.

Formatting: Decide on a format for headers, sub-headers, bullet points, and so forth. Should headers be questions or statements? How should links appear? Consistent formatting not only looks professional but also helps readers know what to expect as they move from one article to the next.

Create a terminology guide: List specific terms, especially industry-specific jargon, and define how they should be used. This ensures that terminology is used consistently and correctly across articles.

Visual guidelines: If you're incorporating screenshots, charts, or any other visual content, provide guidelines. How should they be annotated? What size and resolution should they be? Visuals can enhance understanding and the performance of your self-service content, but they should complement the text, not overwhelm it.

Step 6: Write informative and user-friendly articles

Follow a user-centric approach: Effective knowledge base articles center on the users' needs and questions. Before you even type the first word, ask: "What does the user need to know?" This shifts your focus from merely providing information to truly aiding customers with helpful content.

Prioritize clarity: Ensure every piece of content in your knowledge base is clear and jargon-free, and presents information in a logical flow from introduction to conclusion. Link to other relevant resources and regularly review and update articles to ensure accuracy.

Create a logical structure for your knowledge base content:

How to structure a knowledge base article

Optimize your knowledge base articles for search engines: Use keyword research tools such as Ahrefs to find out what keywords your users commonly search for, and follow SEO best practices such as incorporating meta description and using descriptive article titles. Most knowledge base software come with robust SEO settings that help you be in front of your users when they are searching for a solution to their problems.

📖 Learn how you can create a perfect knowledge base article in 7 easy steps.

Step 7: Incorporate multimedia elements (images, videos, etc.) for enhanced learning

Integrating multimedia into your knowledge base isn't about jazzing up your pages; it's about catering to diverse learning styles and providing more comprehensive explanations. Here's how to thoughtfully weave in multimedia for maximum impact:

Know the 'why': Before adding an image or video, ask, "What's its purpose?" Every multimedia element should serve a clear goal, be it simplifying complex topics, illustrating a process, or highlighting a product feature.

Quality over quantity: It’s better to have a single well-produced video than five mediocre ones. Ensure your visuals are clear, high-resolution, and professionally presented. Blurry screenshots or shaky videos can hurt your credibility.

Caption and describe: Every image or video should come with captions or descriptive text. This aids understanding, enhances accessibility for those with impairments, and provides context in case the visual doesn't load.

Optimize for load times: Heavy images and videos can slow down page loading, frustrating users. Compress your files and consider using external platforms like YouTube or Vimeo for videos, embedding them into your articles

Step 8: Implement an effective search function

Enhancing your search experience ensures that users can quickly locate the exact details they need without wading through irrelevant content. Here’s how to get it right:

Add a prominent search bar: Position the search bar where users expect to find it, typically at the top or center of your main page. A clearly visible search bar signals users that answers are just a keystroke away.

Invest in a robust Knowledge base software: All knowledge base tools have search functions, but not all search engines are created equal. Prioritize one that can understand user intent, manage typos, and deliver relevant results even if the exact phrasing doesn't match.

Choose intuitive search functions: Users shouldn't need a manual to figure out your search. Features like autocomplete suggestions, which predict what a user might be typing, can significantly speed up the search process. Similarly, advanced search filters allow users to narrow down results based on criteria like date, topic, or content type.

Handle 'No Results' gracefully: It's inevitable—sometimes users won't find what they're looking for. Instead of a generic "No results found" message, guide them towards other resources or offer an easy way to contact support for further assistance.

Advanced search functionalities in a knowledge base built on Bettermode
Advanced search functionalities in a knowledge base built on Bettermode

Step 9: Integrate your knowledge base with other support channels

A standalone knowledge base is valuable, but when integrated with other support channels, its utility skyrockets. It's not just about hosting answers; it's about creating a seamless support process that efficiently guides users to resolutions.

Direct support to knowledge base: Within support tickets or when users contact support, offer relevant knowledge base links as possible solutions. It might be the quick answer a user needs, reducing the load on your support team.

Equip support agents: Ensure your support agents have swift access to the knowledge base. During live chats or calls, they can pull up relevant articles to guide users or even send direct links to help them further.

Triage support requests: Upon receiving support requests, utilize AI or basic algorithms to suggest relevant knowledge base articles before the user finalizes their request. A solution might already exist, saving both the user and agent time.

Create a feedback loop: Encourage support agents to flag outdated or missing content in the knowledge base. Their frontline experience with users makes them invaluable in identifying gaps or areas of improvement.

Link to contact support: Not all answers exist in the knowledge base, and that's okay. Always provide an easy pathway for users to contact support if they don't find what they're looking for. This ensures they never hit a dead-end.

Analyze support tickets: Regularly review the nature of support tickets. Are there recurring questions or issues? If so, consider creating dedicated articles or updating existing ones in the knowledge base to address them.

Step 10: Promote your knowledge base among users

To increase the visibility of your knowledge base among users, consider implementing the following strategies:

Include the knowledge base link on your website: Place it prominently on your website's main navigation menu, footer, or support page, making it easily accessible for users.

Feature the knowledge base in email communications: Include it in newsletters, onboarding emails, or support responses to familiarize users with the resource.

Utilize in-app or website notifications: Use tooltips or pop-ups to guide users towards relevant knowledge base articles when encountering specific features or tasks.

Optimize content for search engines (SEO): Ensure users can easily find your articles through organic search results.

Encourage customer support agents to send knowledge base articles to users: During live chat or email support interactions, guide users to the knowledge base and promote self-service.

Monitor user feedback and analytics: Identify popular topics or common issues, create new content to address these needs, and promote it across your communication channels to demonstrate the value of your knowledge base to users.

Best practices for maintaining and improving your knowledge base

Regularly review and update content

Knowledge management is a key part of an effective knowledge base. Establish a workflow for reviewing and updating content to ensure your knowledge base remains accurate and relevant. This may involve checking for outdated information, updating screenshots or videos, and ensuring your articles reflect product or service changes. For example, revise related articles to keep users informed when releasing a new product feature or updating your pricing plans.

Gather and incorporate user feedback

Feedback is your friend. It’s wise to have a variety of channels where you can learn what your users need. Use rating systems, comment sections, or direct communication channels to allow human interaction and collect as much feedback as possible.

Feedback can help you identify areas for improvement, such as unclear explanations or missing information. For instance, if multiple users report difficulties understanding a specific article, consider revising the content or adding visual aids to clarify the concept.

Track analytics to identify popular topics and areas for improvement

Monitor your knowledge base analytics to identify trends like the most frequently asked questions or queried articles. These metrics can guide you measure effectiveness of your current content and help you create new knowledge base content, refine existing articles, or reorganize your knowledge base structure. For example, consider making additional resources or a dedicated category if a topic consistently receives high traffic.

📖 Check out the most important KPIs you need for tracking your knowledge base performance.

Training your team to contribute and maintain the knowledge base

Encourage a collaborative approach to maintaining your knowledge base. Provide team members with clear writing style, formatting, and content structure guidelines, and establish a review process to ensure consistency and accuracy. You could even assign team members to specific categories or topics, making them responsible for creating, updating, and curating content within their areas of expertise.


A well-organized knowledge base enhances customer support, product education, and internal collaboration. By following the steps and best practices outlined in this guide, you'll create an effective knowledge base that benefits your customers and your organization.

If you want to learn more, find the answer to your question in the following FAQ section.


What are some good knowledge base examples?

An example of a knowledge base can be found in the support resources provided by companies like Shopify and HubSpot, which are designed to help users better understand and utilize their products and services.

Shopify's Knowledge Base: Shopify offers an extensive knowledge base that covers various aspects of its e-commerce platform, including guides, tutorials, and articles on topics like setting up your online store, managing products, processing orders, and integrating third-party apps. Their Help Center is organized into categories and features a powerful search functionality, making it easy for users to find the information they need.

Knowledge base example from Shopify
Shopify's knowledge base

HubSpot's Knowledge Base: The HubSpot Knowledge Base serves as a comprehensive resource, offering users detailed insights into their marketing, sales, and customer service tools. With a wide array of content types, including articles, videos, webinars, and certifications, the Knowledge Base covers essential topics like CRM, marketing tools, sales tools, and service tools. Users can effortlessly navigate through the content by browsing categories or utilizing the search function to find specific information.

Knowledge base example from HubSpot
HubSpot's knowledge base

These knowledge bases exemplify how companies can create well-structured, informative, and user-friendly resources to support customers and promote self-service.

Meagan Faryna
Content writer

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