Writing better documentation

Jeff Matson | InMotion Hosting

@TheJeffMatson | jeffmatson.net

@InMotionHosting | inmotionhosting.com

Why do I need to write better documentation?

  • Reduce support tickets
  • Enhance customer satisfaction
  • Increase traffic
  • Make it easier on your support reps

Support ticket reduction

Users (most of the time) will be able to resolve issues without contacting support if the information is properly documented.

Make your customers happy!

Don't make them dig for it.

Increase traffic

Documentation, if done properly, brings additional traffic.

  • Branding from related search terms
  • Can potentially convert to sales

Good documentation shows you care

Helping the customer after they have purchased shows that you care about them even after the sale.

Give your support reps a helping hand

  • Directing a customer to an article is much faster than walking them through the entire process
  • Eliminates the need to write things multiple times.

So how do you make your documentation better?

Assume that your customers have a 5th grade education

Write in the simplest way possible. If it's hard to follow, it's not helping nearly as much as it should.

Use visuals

Pictures are awesome. Videos are better.

Document the question before you get it

Being proactive will answer your customer's questions before they come.

Keep your documentation updated

Outdated documentation doesn't help anybody and results in more support tickets.

Target search engines

Most will search Google before your site.

Comments help other users

Allowing comments and answering questions there help other users who come across them.

User-submitted documentation

Helps you, your users, and the contributor

Generating traffic with documentation

Yes, your documentation can actually help you make sales


  • Overlapping keywords with your competition.
  • If your documentation is better than your competition, chances are your plugin is better as well.

If your plugin can do it, write about it

The need may be more common than you think.

Funnel that traffic to where you want it to go

What have we learned?

  • Write like your customers are 10 year olds
  • Be proactive.
  • Use visuals.
  • Target search.


Jeff Matson | InMotion Hosting

@TheJeffMatson | jeffmatson.net

@InMotionHosting | inmotionhosting.com