SEO for Technical Content: How to Optimize It for Search Engines

You always need SEO. Search engines underlie every kind of writing today. So when we discuss SEO for technical content, I want you to keep in mind that EVERY kind of content has to be ‘findable’ for its target audience. The Swiftie needs to find your TikTok dancing to the latest single just as much as the Fortune 500 CISO needs to find what you have to say about how your product is perfect for dealing with the latest AWS updates.

Those two examples notwithstanding (and don’t worry—I won’t tell anyone about how you Taylor your life), SEO should be in mind with every kind of content relevant to your business. We’re going beyond the blogs and product pages. This covers your technical documentation, your temporary landing pages, and especially your long-form PDFs or sales enablement.

Even if the content was meant for physical distribution or emails (out of the scope of a search engine), you’ll want to work that optimization in because:

  1. You will want to repurpose content in different mediums (or ‘media,’ if you like ambiguously singular/plural terms). 
  2. Search engines have integrated text recognition into visual asset analysis, as well as non-webpage text files like PDFs, docs, sheets, and the like.
  3. You will want to be in the habit of using SEO instincts.

Quick Note: “Technical Content” and “Technical SEO” – Two Different Things

To clear up any confusion in the event we have some less-SEO-experienced readers here, I’m going to iterate that “technical content” here does not refer to “technical SEO.” 

Technical SEO refers to the logistics around making sure Google Analytics works on your site, you index and de-index certain pages, you have redirects set up in the event of 404 errors, you have alerts in the event of 404 errors, etc. etc. 

Technical content refers to anything you produce (write, video-record, audio-record, etc.) that deals with product content. In the tech and startup worlds, that always involves computer technology, but this is still relevant for ‘non-tech’ companies when they need to write up complicated topics or guides. 

Sticking with the high-tech sphere, I’m mainly going to be talking about demos (written or recorded) that dive into the code, blogs that go into detail about software topics, and technical documentation. 

Target Audience & Keyword Research Go Together

You can’t identify the right keywords if you don’t have the right persona in mind. 

If you need to get Python enthusiasts to want your software, then you have to see what kinds of questions they ask in forums, which tutorials for Python-focused sites are getting the most traffic these days, and where they seem to be going to get their answers. 

You’ll find yourself looking at websites like and, opening SEMrush or SimilarWeb to see which of their tuts are scoring the most hits, then seeing what keywords are grabbing them the most visits.

Readability in Tech is all about Structure

Always assume your technical content is complicated – blogs, guides, documentation, sales presentations, and the like. Now put yourself in the audience’s shoes: What would make this easier for you to read and get through.

There is ‘SEO structure,’ sure, but this is honestly mostly intuitive. The guiding principle is to keep paragraphs short and not let sentences run too long. Then, make sure to hit this checklist (and don’t panic if you don’t have all of these 

  • Mention the focus topic in the opening paragraph. This isn’t just good SEO practice. In journalism, not covering the main topic in the opening but later in the article is called “burying the lede.” Don’t bury your lede. Introduce it quickly, briefly define it, and only then go into it in more detail in the ensuing paragraphs.
  • Give your subtopics their own subheaders. Outlines help with this, telling you when to break your story down into sections, but this lets readers quickly scan your write-ups so they can see if the article is relevant to them. Yeah, it definitely helps SEO to do this, but the reason Google counts those subheaders is because it makes the content more digestible.
  • Mention related ideas, even in passing. This is a balancing act, because people just trying to tick the boxes are known for ‘keyword stuffing,’ giving token mention to related concepts to try to land in more search results. You can avoid this by simply following the final tip here:
  • Write to be relevant. This is why an all-ChatGPT content policy doesn’t work. Look for ways to add that little bit extra that other webpages might now have when that keyword drops. 

Offer Something Unique

You have to go beyond the basics for your content to rank, otherwise you’ll be at the bottom of the search results with all the other people copy/pasting an AI bot’s quickly generated article. That means offering something at least a little bit different or unique that isn’t typically in this type of article (at least not in the highest ranking ones that cover the topic).

That might mean mentioning a common error and its solution that someone might experience or a new trend that is affecting this audience’s work. Whatever it is, give it its due and highlight it as best you can.

Everything you write, as long as it has substance, will justify all the logistical SEO you did by hitting those keywords to show up for your target audience.

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