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How to Optimize Technical Documentation for Search

7 min read
fairly easy
Knowing how to SEO technical documentation will lead to wider adoption. Here's how to search engine optimize documentation.
Forgetting to optimize technical documentation for search, otherwise known as SEO (search engine optimization), is a missed opportunity. For starters, you already have the upper hand: Assuming that you know how to create good technical documentation, you have informative, actionable, and pre-written content ripe for crawlers and users alike.

Having written technical documentation in the first place, you're already following the first, but often-forgotten principle of great SEO: Ranking well and consistently requires informative content, rather than marketing drivel.

With that in mind, here is how to SEO your technical documentation.

Getting Started

Use an Established Platforms To Boost Technical Documentation SEO

Don't have a website yet? Go with a household name like WordPress, Drupal, or Mediawiki.

Platforms like WordPress have automated much of the technical SEO you'll want for your documentation — and any other keyword-oriented content you publish on your website later. WordPress specifically is great with:

Canonical links Sitemaps Site structure Redirects Robots.txt files Meta descriptions Schema markup 3rd party SEO plugins, such as Yoast

WordPress is janky, but having your website do all the above without you thinking too much about it is critical for technical documentation SEO.

Alternatively, you can build a static website, but implementing the above will take significant time and effort.

Have You Already Published Your Technical Documentation?

Great. To check how "good" your website is in terms of SEO, check for alerts in your Google Search Console (see next section) and Google PageSpeed Insights.

If you've already published your technical documentation, make sure that it isn't using iframes.

Having your content on one topic split across multiple URLs is the worst thing you can do for your technical documentation's SEO.

No matter how good of a user experience you think this provides, do not use iframes for this reason. No…
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