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Page Naming Conventions for Better Searchability in Confluence

"Sorry, what was the name of that page again? 🧐"

Anyone using Confluence has probably heard or asked this question at one point or another. For as good as the Confluence search is at helping you find the right content at the right time, the search functionality isn't fully effective if your pages are poorly-named or your Confluence space structure is messy.

In the video below, we dive into some best practices you and your team can employ to ensure your Confluence pages and spaces are set up to be found quickly and navigated in the right way, including some tips and examples of how our team at K15t applies these practices in our Confluence instance. 

🎥 Check it out:

We also share a synopsis of these tips below 👇 

Opt for Keyword-Friendly Page Titles

When naming a Confluence page, ask yourself: "How would I or my teammate search for this content in Confluence?" and use those assumptions to guide your title decision. Keywords are especially important to consider as they help Confluence determine how relevant the page is to the search criteria.

Use Timestamps

Adding a timestamp to your Confluence page title can help readers understand how relevant the page content is. Timestamps also help you avoid that pesky problem of not being able to duplicate your page titles in the same space!

Here at K15t, we use timestamps in our page titles to help differentiate a number of our planning pages. Some examples include: 

  • Weekly team updates (YYYY-MM-DD, Weekly Update) 
  • Projects or marketing campaigns (YYMM, Feature Release Announcement)
  • Planning pages for recurring meetings or events (YYMM, Atlassian Summit)
  • Quarterly product or team roadmaps (YYMM, Journey to the Cloud Roadmap)

We find the YYMM structure to work quite well throughout K15t, but perhaps your team has a structure that fits better. What's important is that your organization find and agree on a consistent structure so that everyone understands how to apply the timestamp and navigate these types of pages.

Use and Reuse Page Hierarchies

Most teams make use of Confluence page hierarchies to replicate the kind of folder-structure you might find in other content management systems. Make sure your team is aware of the purpose of parent and child pages and how to use them to group similar content.

For example, commonly created or repetitive pages like meeting notes or your team's bi-weekly retrospective meetings should be nested under a single parent page.

If there's a page hierarchy that works well for your team, try to replicate the structure for other topics too.

Prefixes in Hierarchies

Whenever possible, use short and unique page titles. This is especially important in deeper page hierarchies where pages are nested at multiple levels in the page tree and the page titles start to get cut off. In these scenarios, prefixes can help keep your page title short, unique and still informative.

Here are some of the ways we employ prefixes in our page titles at K15t: 

  • Each of our apps has a 3-4 letter abbreviation which is known company-wide (VPRT for Scroll Viewport, PDF for Scroll PDF Exporter) 
  • Recurring events or meetings have common prefixes (Weekly Update is abbreviated to WUP)
  • Larger projects receive a unique prefix that is spelled out on the parent page (Documentation Style Guide is then abbreviated to DSG in the child pages)

Keep It Clean

Maintaining a great Confluence system requires continuous effort from the team. Set aside time to review the content in your space, delete or archive obsolete content, and move pages around to maintain the structure you want. If you’re a site admin, set up rituals around maintaining your space.

At K15t, we promote a 'Space Gardener' in each team. This individual is responsible for enforcing space structures and page naming conventions, checking that content is up-to-date and archiving pages when they become irrelevant.

What's Your Go-To Naming Tactic?

What are some of your conventions when it comes to naming your Confluence pages? We'd love to hear about your team's approach. 

If you liked this article, you can read the complete version on Rock the Docs, our guide for technical documentation in Confluence. We also have plenty more best practices to share in the guide. Check it out 👉 

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