A key component to the overall TCU web experience is search. We are continuously tweaking and adjusting our search index to try to connect our visitors to the TCU content they are looking for as seamlessly as possible. Our Connected Campus microsite is a convenient place to go for the latest updates and information related to COVID-19 and the 2020-21 academic year. We have partnered with Yext to pilot a tool that might make this experience even better.
Our TCU network search engine utilizes a matrix of search signals and machine learning to serve up a listing of the most relevant page matches within our collection of thousands and thousands of TCU content pages. We can make adjustments to schema and rule-based ranking to help fine-tune the results. It works. It’s fast. And it works a lot like a Google search.
Take It To the Yext Level
With the Answers product from Yext, we can return information in more contextual and interactive ways. Instead of a list of blue links, Yext can display knowledge cards, academic program cards, academic calendar dates, TCU FAQ entries and even COVID-19 information pulled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the most powerful differences that you will see between Yext and our standard search is its ability to understand natural language searches. Rather than typing in shorthand keywords and phrases, you can enter normal questions. For example, instead of typing “tuition,” you can ask “how much is tuition at TCU?” This search experience feels similar to asking your smartphone or home assistant a question. As consumer expectations shift, more and more folks will expect our search tools to behave like other consumer technologies.
Using natural language searches, Answers can also better understand the intent behind a question. While a keyword search for “case count” can return lots of pages related to lots of different things, a Yext Answers search for “what is the current case count?” produces a knowledge card with a case count of active COVID-19 cases, followed by relevant TCU FAQ entries, CDC COVID-19 facts, as well as the familiar list of relevant pages (Yext calls these Links).
User Experience & Feedback
For the purposes of our pilot program, this special Yext Answers experience is currently enabled only within the Connected Campus pages. We’d love your feedback. Do you find it helpful? What is your favorite feature? How could we make it better? Let us know using our feedback form.
Give it a test drive and let us know what you think.