White papers are used to educate readers about a particular subject or help readers make a decision. They are used in many technical fields to explain a process or product. Businesses use white papers as a marketing tool to showcase their area of expertise. But how can a white paper help you with your SEO?
A white paper is a PDF. A PDF can be indexed by search engines. A PDF can be optimized. Ergo, white papers, when properly optimized, will help your SEO efforts. Since white papers contain expert information and high-quality content, you want to make sure that the content is optimized properly based on normal on-site SEO best practices. I won’t go into great detail about those best practices as they can be found in a previous post, 5 Basic SEO Principles.
Having another way for search engines to know that you are an expert on a particular subject will boost your brand and overall authority throughout the web. If you have tutorials, helpful guides, promotional brochures or any other type of content that can be repurposed into a white paper, I suggest you do it. Having multiple points of reference on a subject can benefit both your readers and the search engines, as long as you edit the content so you’re not treading into the duplicate content arena. A compelling and insightful white paper is so much more than just an interesting PDF; it’s a doorway into another marketing channel.
The bottom line is if you are an expert in your field then you need to be producing high-quality, effective white papers to showcase your expertise. Taking the time to craft a couple of great white papers will in turn open up different avenues and ideas on how to repurpose that content for other areas of your site, blogs, newsletters, and webinars. Just keep the creative (and marketing) juices flowing!