Technical Content Development vs SEO

Technical writing and SEO are not mutually exclusive. You can take advantage of both of them to provide your readers with a better user experience.

Reuse in terms of SEO

The Google search engine appreciates unique information and has no interest in showing their users duplicated, low-quality content. In2011, Google introduced an algorithm of a lovable name, Panda. Its job is to encourage unique content and to find genuinely unique sources that provide value to the readers.

Does it mean that reused content — one of the greatest blessings of technical writing — is a curse in the context of SEO? Absolutely not. As long as your webpages have clear goals and aim to help users, there are no worries. However, do not reuse too big chunks of content unless it is well-justified. You do not want your own webpages to compete in search results.

Also, try not to create too long topics. From a technical writing point of view, long topics are harder to reuse in other documents. Moreover, if you decide to reuse such topics anyway, you duplicate long parts of content which can impair your SEO.

Information architecture

Your information architecture, topic naming convention, and map structure are directly related to the navigation on your website. Making it simpler allows a user to dive deeper in your website and engage with it better. This increases parameters like time people spend on your website, which is directly related to SEO. An algorithm called RankBrain recognizes user engagement . It aims to understand search queries better and measure user satisfaction by checking how readers interact with results.

Internal linking

Internal linking occurs when you link between two URLs that belong to your website. Contextual linking provides your readers with additional helpful resources. It also helps search engine robots navigate through your domain. It makes it easier to reach URLs that otherwise would be harder to access. For example when it takes a lot of steps from the homepage to reach them.

To develop internal linking you can take advantage of DITA elements. Relationsip tables or related links are good technical writing practice. It is also a very good solution for your SEO. Such links are display at the end of your articles so they do not distract your customers from reading.

Diversity of elements

Long passages of paragraphs:

  • make it more complicated to find the right answer quickly

  • are harder to comprehend and can overwhelm a reader

  • can make your reader feel bored

You can easily prevent that. Different DITA elements render in many ways online thanks to the CSS language. It results in diverse webpages that present content in more approachable way. This also indirectly improves your SEO by keeping users engaged.

A note element is a good example of how to bring diversity to your content. You can use it to make sure that users will not omit important information like warnings, things to remember, restrictions, and cautions.
Remember: Using different DITA elements improves user experience by making documentation more readable which indirectly contributes to your SEO.
For example, if a user finds your webpage in search results but immediately leaves, it is a strong signal that it was not what they were looking for. Try to design your documentation in such a way that a user quickly finds the right answers rather than keep browsing the search results page (SERP). Using different DITA elements may help to highlight these answers properly.

Learn more about it by reading about important SEO factors.