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Inbound Marketing

11 SEO Tactics to Optimize eBooks and White Papers


Do you currently use white papers, eBooks, or infographics to generate leads? According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 Benchmarks for Content Marketing Report, 55% of B2B companies create white papers, 51% write eBooks, and 67% design infographics as a part of their content strategy.

Not convinced you should add them to your marketing mix? Well, consider several advantages they offer: They are perfect top-funnel content, have a longer shelf life than other content, and establish your credibility as a thought leader or designer. But even with that in mind, you have to make sure people can find them, and that calls for healthy SEO habits.  

Keep reading to see the differences between the three offerings and tricks you can use to optimize them for SEO.

Read More: Build Out Your Entire Inbound Marketing Plan With Our Handy-Dandy  Excel Template

The Differences Between White Papers, eBooks, and Infographics

Generally, eBooks are longer (15 – 200 pages) and focus on introducing the reader to a problem (one your company solves ideally), while white papers are shorter (2 – 10 pages) and more industry-related or technical.

Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly and can be used for a variety of campaigns. eBooks can be more design-heavy and incorporate visuals like an infographic, while white papers are more content-focused.

When creating any content, there are a few aspects to consider, such as your target audience, the visual design, and the distribution avenues. As noted, another crucial consideration is optimizing this content to maximize SEO performance.

How Do You Maximize White Papers, eBooks, and Infographics’ SEO?

With these 11 SEO-tactics, savvy marketers (like yourself!) can increase the reach your content has with potential clients and customers. The better the reach, the more opportunity for attracting qualified leads to your company.

Start with Your Buyer Personas

  • Identify which buyer personas your white paper, eBook, or infographic is targeting
  • Determine what and how much information that persona will find value (this will help you zero in on the length of your content)
  • Select keywords and keyword phrases that reflect your buyer personas’ interests to incorporate within the content
  • Write the copy featured throughout your white paper, eBook, or infographic using keywords and keyword phrases without overdoing it (keyword stuffing is counter-effective)

Optimize Titles and Text

  • Use keyword-rich titles, text, and embedded links back to targeted landing or conversion pages
  • Place keywords early within titles – both on hard copies and web copies
  • Ensure your file is named appropriately and uses keywords so that Google can find it (i.e., SEO_Tricks_Infographic.pdf over image.png)

Make Good Use of Your Links

  • For embedded links, use keywords or phrases as anchor text over “read more” or “click here”
  • Avoid pronouns in place of descriptive keyword

Enhance Your Visuals

  • Remember to use keywords in the file names for images and graphics
  • Tag images and graphics when adding them to the document
  • Use keyword phrases in images alt text or titles
  • Include a description or caption with the image when possible

Don’t Forget Your Footers

  • Use keyword taglines in the footer with a link back to relevant content or website page 
  • Add social media links to help with distribution

Write an Executive Summary

  • Write a keyword-rich executive summary
  • For white papers and eBooks, aim for 250 to 400 words
  • In your infographics, write a short intro paragraph on the actual graphic
  • Publish all over and often—landing pages, press releases, social media posts, newsletters, and more

Create Landing Pages

  • Create landing pages for different personas that have keywords that match them
  • Place keywords within URL
  • Try and keep your URL as short as possible
  • Optimize the metadata on your landing page (or blog post) for all your content
  • Ask for persona data (job title, industry) on submission forms to see who is consuming the material to adjust keywords if needed

Announce Your Content

  • Announce publication with a press release, newsletter, or blog post
  • Use tagged links in the release to track reach
  • Share it with any cited sources you used
  • Send to niche and industry journalists, influencers, or co-marketing partners asking them to report on it

Promote on Social

  • Use embedded social sharing buttons within the document
  • Tag the social sharing URLs to track reach
  • Prompt readers to share the material
  • Use social media sites that reflect your audience (Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram)
  • Consider using paid ads

Repurpose It

  • Use portions of your lengthier white paper or eBook for blog posts
  • Cut down your infographic to share on landing pages
  • Recreate your white paper or eBook as an infographic, or lengthen your graphic into an eBook
  • Record a short video introducing or explaining the topic, then post to YouTube or a similar site and optimize there focusing on the same keywords

Index Your Content

  • Add a table of contents/summary to longer white papers, eBooks, or infographics
  • Create an index page of documents on your site
  • Organize these documents by category using keywords in the category titles

To Sum It Up

Sometimes SEO gets overlooked with all the energy being placed on actually creating your content; however, if you take into account optimizing the material beforehand, you’ll increase its reach to potential clients. For more help, reach out today!

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