Search engine optimization (SEO) for documentation

What is search engine optimization?

Search engines drive a significant portion of site traffic for docs that publish as public-facing websites. Search engine optimization (SEO) describes the methods used to improve the rank of your web pages in search results for a given set of search terms.

To perform SEO, you must be familiar with the ever-changing algorithms that search engines use to select and arrange the webpages returned for a given set of search terms. These algorithms change frequently, so the requirements for achieving the best optimization also change frequently.

SEO for documentation

Good tech writing follows most of the standard practices required for excellent SEO:

  • Write imperative, user-centric, goal-oriented headings
  • Make your docs skimmable by breaking content into sections under appropriate headings
  • Focus on good information architecture that provides quality navigation and site hierarchy
  • Include page metadata, such as last modified date, in the <head> section of your web page (how to do this varies by your publication toolchain)
  • Make sure your documentation meets standards for accessibility

SEO resources

Search engine documentation

Review the search engine documentation guides:

WTD resources on SEO

Look at the topic archive for the section on search.