Technical documentation should be optimized as any content to help your readers to find your documentation quickly and make your content more user-friendly. SEO is a great recourse of optimization rules, it helps not only to promote your docs but also make them more readable for all people. Here are some advanced SEO tips for your technical documentation but don’t worry they’re easy for implementing.
Avoid Uncrawlable Content
The essential rule that you should follow is to avoid content that is “hidden”, it will not only improve your content but also SEO. This includes content hidden in images or videos which the crawler may not understand. Of course, you can write alt text for the visual content, but if your video is long, it can be difficult to describe the whole video content via the alt text. For a video in your docs, make sure the rest of that page describes the content of the video.
If your content has moved, it’s essential to tell search engines that you did it. For example, if your guide moved from guides/seo-tips.html to guides/advansed-seo-tips.html, the search engines will still have the old URL in their index and show it to users. And when your website returns 404 frequently, it’s bad for your SEO. Read this article to learn how to Redirect a Web Page:
How to Redirect a Web Page | CSS-Tricks
A redirect is when a web page is visited at a certain URL, it changes to a different URL. For instance, a person visits…
Moreover, don’t forget to change the link in your documentation content.
Use a sitemap.xml File
A sitemap is a file that contains a list of pages and other files on your site and some metadata or relationships about them. It’s created for crawlers, so they can easily understand your website structure. A good sitemap provides information like how frequently a page or file is updated or any alternate language versions of a page. Some professional help authoring tools like ClickHelp provides you with the ready sitemap.xml file of your documentation portal. You can learn about this here: Documentation Portal Sitemap.
Use Analytics Tools
Use analytics tools like Google Analytics, it will give you feedback about the search terms people use to find your docs, your most popular pages, and lots of other useful data. The feedback will be useful for content optimization for certain keywords or for related keywords. Knowing your popular pages can help you prioritize where to spend your SEO efforts. Optimizing your already popular pages can have a significant impact. Moreover, if your help authoring tool provides you with internal statistics, it will be also great for SEO optimization. For example, ClickHelp has a search queries report that allows you to monitor the keywords queried by readers. So, you can examine what your readers search for and improve your content.