Best Practices and Common Use Cases | Yext Hitchhikers Platform

What You’ll Learn

In this section, you will learn:

  • Common use cases for synonyms
  • Best practices to consider when using synonyms

Common Use Cases

Here are some common use cases for synonyms:

Mapping a commonly searched industry phrase to the name of an entity type:

  • “Taco joint” → “location” for a taco restaurant
  • “Phone” → “products” for Telecom company
  • “Location” → Healthcare Facility for HC clients
  • “Provider” or “Doctor” → Healthcare Professional for HC clients

Industry or query specific terms:

  • “heloc” → “Home equity line of credit”
  • “PPP” → “Paycheck Protection Program”

Common abbreviations or slang, to full term:

  • “carbs” → “carbohydrates”
  • “IRA” → “Individual Retirement Account”

Best Practices

Please consider the following best practices when implementing synonyms:

  1. Don’t overuse synonyms to start: These should be built up throughout QA and subsequently post-launch period. You want to be sure you are making improvements based on real user data as much as possible.
  2. Know when to use Synonym Sets vs One Way Synonyms vs Normalization Synonyms:
    • One way: If you want a word to be considered in a search, but don’t want the reverse relationship to be considered
      • “Passover” → “kosher”
    • Set: Multiple variations that all mean exactly the same thing within the context of the account.
      • [“Doctor”, “Dr”, “Physician”, “Provider”, “Healthcare Professional”]
    • Normalization: If you want multiple terms to be considered in a search
      • [“Healthcare Professional”, “Physician”] → “doctor”
  3. Don’t use filler words within synonym definitions: Don’t use more than 2-3 words in a single phrase, you should keep synonym definitions as basic as possible. The inclusion of more words can potentially cause undesired consequences.
    • If you find yourself mapping “how do I see an allergist tomorrow” to “Healthcare Professional”, know that there is probably a more concise way to accomplish the end goal, or it is likely something you could address in your configuration or Knowledge Graph.
  4. Don’t Use Synonyms as Keywords: Synonyms are a really great tool to manipulate results in Search. However, make sure you are not abusing synonyms and that the phrases/words in question actually mean the same thing. A common mistake is using synonyms to make keywords work.
    • For example, let’s say you are a financial services business and you have Visa Cards and American Express Cards as products. You want the query “credit card” to return both of these entities.
      • DON’T: Set up a synonym from “Credit Card” → “American Express” and “Credit Card” → Visa. This isn’t scalable and they actually aren’t synonymous.
      • DO: Make sure you are indexing keywords within the vertical in question, and upload “Credit Card” as a keyword for all applicable entities.
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    Based on the best practices above, you should NOT do the following things when setting synonyms. (Select all that apply)

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