Many people discover Issuu content by searching on Google, Bing or Yahoo search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a way of increasing the visibility of your content in search results. This article discusses what Issuu does to improve the SEO of your content and what actions you can take as a publisher to optimize your content for search.
How Issuu Improves SEO
When your content is uploaded to Issuu, we extract and expose all of the text within the content so that search engines can better understand what’s inside. That means that the link to your content will be displayed more often in relevant search results.
Suggested content to the side or below your Issuu content helps both you and them get more exposure from readers and search engines. It also signals to search engines that both your content and its related content are relevant to each other, improving the chances of those documents ranking in search results.
With more than 30 million uploads, 100 million monthly uniques and an enormous network of content shared and embedded across the internet, Issuu is the world’s largest digital publishing and discovery platform. All content uploaded to Issuu gets an SEO boost just by being on the platform — something you can’t get on any other digital publishing site.
How You Can Improve SEO
Before you publish, make sure that the text inside your content is selectable as a vector, not an image. We do not perform character recognition (OCR) on images, so this is crucial.
Title and Description
In addition to making sure your Issuu profile display name, description and website URL are up-to-date, be sure to add detailed and specific titles and descriptions to your content. This helps tremendously with SEO. For example:
- “Niseyknits Fall 2016 Knitwear Lookbook” is a better title than “Lookbook ‘16”
- “New for 2016! Handmade scarves, hats, mittens and baby blankets by popular Etsy seller Niseyknits” is a good description because it includes specific details about what’s inside the content.
Relevant Links and Content
Search engines look for quality content that people find valuable. They’re smart enough to detect signals that show when your content is crammed with spammy, duplicate, keyword-stuffed text and links.
In your content, only add links that would be relevant to the content and your readers. Examples include linking to your own site and social accounts, to an online shop or to an advertiser.
Sharing and Embedding
Be sure to link to and embed your content on your site, blog and social channels. Use your website, social channels and marketing emails to encourage readers to share your latest work. This adds to the relevancy and quality of your content.
Troubleshooting SEO Issues
Not in Search Results
If you've just uploaded your content, it can take a short while before search engines index it. Additionally, while we make all public content available to crawl, search engines may choose not to index content if it doesn’t seem relevant. To help search engines get to your content faster, follow the tips listed above, and start sharing your content right away.
Low Search Ranking
SEO is competitive. It’s probably not realistic for your content to rank on the first page for popular terms like “Beyoncé” or generic terms like “dogs.” To help search engines evaluate the relevancy of your Issuu content, follow the tips listed above — remember: the more specific your content and descriptions, the better.
Outranked by issuu.com
As explained above, issuu.com has excellent search equity, which may mean your content on Issuu is listed above your own website in search results. This might seem undesirable, but it’s actually good — after all, the important thing is getting your content in front of your audience. If you put relevant links in your content, share your work by embedding it on your website and clearly showcase your profile name and URL on Issuu, it will be easy for readers to follow you outside of Issuu.
Unlisted Content Showing Up
Unlisted documents are not shared with Google and other search engines. If you discover an unlisted/private Issuu document in search results, it's because someone has shared the link on another site or social channel. You can delete your content and re-upload with a different file name to remove it from search results, as detailed here.
Embedded Content Not Helping Rankings
Search engines will see the content inside an embedded document as living on issuu.com, not on your site or blog. This is because the actual content (text, articles, images) is not included in the embed code — it’s only hosted on Issuu. You can optimize the rest of your website’s content and metadata to signal to search engines that the page is relevant to what’s inside your content.