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Top 16 KPIs for your Knowledge Base

Why is a knowledge base important?

A good Knowledge Base will empower your customers to successfully find answers to their questions without contacting your customer support team which will result in: Increased customer loyalty by reducing the effort required by your customers to find the help they need, improved customer experience, and reduced support costs.

The emphasis on providing self-service support solutions has been growing for many years. Customers are increasingly using self-service as the first point of contact with your Support organization and, oftentimes, your company. Support organizations continue to invest into the self-service options available to customers, yet the Knowledge Base remains the cornerstone of self-service support with a study conducted by Forrester indicating it is the preferred self-service channel for customers.

Given your Knowledge Base is a crucial piece of your overall customer experience, it is important you have in place a robust set of metrics to track how well your Knowledge base is performing and to help identify areas where you can deliver an improved self-service experience. In this blog post we will highlight a few of the metrics you should track to measure the success of your Knowledge Base, organized into the following three groups: Page View metrics, Self-Service and Ticket Deflection Metrics, and Search Metrics.

What are the benefits of a knowledge base?

This article will describe 16 KPIs for you to use when evaluating the performance of your Knowledge Base:

  1. Page Views

  2. Unique Users

  3. Sessions

  4. Average Time on Page

  5. Average Duration per Session

  6. Pages per session

  7. Bounce Rate

  8. Bounce rate + avg. time on page

  9. Self-service score

  10. Article view to support ticket ratio

  11. Ticket deflection

  12. Search terms

  13. No search results / Failed searches

  14. Clickless results

  15. Count of searches leading to a support ticket

  16. Search to support ticket ratio

What metrics should I start with?

A great way to start collecting data and understanding how your customers are interacting with your Knowledge Base is to track it using your Web Analytics platform (e.g. Google Analytics).

Even basic instrumentation of a Web Analytics platform on your Knowledge Base will provide visibility into things like:

  • How many interactions your customers have with your Knowledge Base;

  • Which articles get the most views;

  • How long your customers are spending on each article; and

  • Where people bounce on your Knowledge Base

Monitor trends to help determine which articles perform better than others and whether the updates you make to your Knowledge Base move the needle for your customers.

Knowledge Base Interaction Metrics

The following metrics allow you to see how many interactions your customers are having with your Knowledge Base and provide useful information on how many of your customers are trying to self-serve:

Page Views

Page views: is the number of times a page on your Knowledge Base has been visited (e.g the views of a specific article or your Knowledge Base homepage). This metric provides useful information on whether your customers are easily able to find your Knowledge Base and on which articles, and category of articles, your customers are viewing most.

Unique Users

Unique users: is the number of times a page on your Knowledge Base has been visited by a unique user and helps you understand how many of your customers are actually using your Knowledge Base to self-serve. It is worth noting, if you run a gated Knowledge Base which sits behind a login, you can directly infer that a unique user equals a customer. However, if you run a public Knowledge Base (e.g., visible on the web, a unique user could also be a lead, a trial user or other search traffic to your public Knowledge Base. So a unique user may not equate directly to a customer on your gated Knowledge Base.


Sessions: is the number of times a user visits any page/s on your Knowledge Base (n.b. a customer visiting multiple pages over the same consecutive period of time is considered to be one session). You can compare your sessions metric against unique users to gain some insight into how often your customers are using your Knowledge Base. You can also look at the % of sessions from new customers versus returning customers to get a better understanding of whether you should tailor your content more towards your new customers or your more tenured customers.

Knowledge Base Engagement Metrics

You can also expand on your page view metrics to get an indication of the level of engagement your customers have with the content in your Knowledge Base:

Average Time on Page

Avg. time on page: is the average amount of time your customers spend on each particular article and can give you an indication on whether they engaged with your content or not. For example, if the amount of time spent on an article is very low, this could suggest your customers were unsatisfied with the content, whereas a higher amount of time spent on the article could indicate your customers more fully engaged with the content.

Average Duration per Session

Avg. duration per session: is the average amount of time your customers spend on your Knowledge Base for each individual session and, similarly to the average time on page, can give you a good indication of whether your customers are engaging with your content and finding what they need.

Adding product screenshots to your content, and other Knowledge Base visuals, is one important way to make your articles more interesting and engaging, and to increase both your average time on page and average session duration. Your content only has a few seconds to make an impression on your customers, and visual cues can make a big difference. Additionally, product screenshots also help you quickly convey to your customers what each article is helping them resolve, and allows them to immediately return to the category page should the visual cues not indicate they have landed on the right article. A good example of this kind of software is LaunchBrightly.

Knowledge Base Relevance Metrics

As well as understanding how often your customers interact with your Knowledge Base and how engaged they are with the content, tracking bounce rate metrics and pages per session can provide additional insight on how relevant your customers are finding your content.

Pages per Session

Pages per session: measures the number of articles your customers view in a single session on your Knowledge Base and provides useful information on whether your customers are finding your content useful or not. Customers viewing many articles in a single session would tend to suggest they had some difficulty or, even worse, were unsuccessful in finding what they were looking for.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate: is measured when your customer leaves the first page on their Knowledge Base journey without engaging with another page. It is the percentage of single-page sessions your customers experience on your Knowledge Base.

  • A high bounce rate can be an indicator of success on a Knowledge Base article implying your customer has found the answer and stopped browsing (i.e. the content was relevant)

  • Alternatively, a high bounce rate on your category or section pages may negatively suggest your customer was unable to find an article related to the issue they were trying to resolve.

Bounce rate + Average time on page

Bounce rate + avg. time on page: is a measure that compares two metrics described above to get a more complete understanding of the relevance of your Knowledge Base content. For example, a Knowledge Base article with a high bounce rate and higher time spent on the page would indicate your customers have engaged with the content on the page and found the answer they were looking for.

Self-service and ticket deflection metrics

In addition to providing useful insight into how customers are interacting with your Knowledge Base as standalone metrics, the above page view metrics can also be compared against the support ticket data from your Help Desk Ticketing System (e.g. Zendesk, Intercom, Zoho, Help Scout) to get a better overall understanding of how your Knowledge Base is performing.

Self-service score

Your self-service score measures the number of customers who access your Knowledge Base against the total number of customers who submitted support tickets through your ticketing system.

Self-service score = Total unique Knowledge Base visitors / Total customers submitting tickets

It describes how often your customers are looking to self-serve and access your Knowledge Base rather than contacting your Support organization. Zendesk’s Benchmark Report indicates the average self-service score for companies using Zendesk is 4.1, meaning that for every four customers attempting to self-serve, one submitted a customer support ticket.

Article view to support ticket ratio

The article view to support ticket ratio measures how often your customers view an article on your Knowledge Base against the number of inbound tickets submitted to your Support organization: