PDFs are the standard file type used to ensure all users can read your text and see your images as you intended, regardless of the software used to create the documents. Therefore, the portable documents are a natural choice for use on websites. PDFs are a great platform for brochures, charts, graphs and the like. However, despite their widespread use for file sharing they are surprisingly under utilized for improving organic SEO – search engine optimization.
What’s in a name? Everything!
When trying to achieve good SEO every little bit counts. You wouldn’t dream of not naming, tagging, titling and keywording for your web pages (HTML content). Yet many fail to use those same tools with their PDF formatted content. Users can enjoy your PDF content once on your website, but the trick of course is getting them there. Strategically naming your PDFs is a great way to bolster your SEO rankings and thus increase traffic to your site.
Doing your homework…Keyword Research
Just like with your HTML pages it’s important to do some keyword research to determine the best titles and descriptors for your PDF files. For example, let’s say you own an event and catering company and you want to post your menu of services in PDF format on your site. Searchers who want to hire you may use the keywords party planner, special events, or catering. All these keywords describe your business, but one of them is going to give much better results then the others based on searching trend.
Knowing which keyword, special events, party planning or catering is trending can vastly improve your results. Because these keywords are trends they often change. Therefore it’s a good idea to perform new keyword research on a regular basis to keep those rankings high. Be sure to use those keywords not only in the title but also in the headings, in the first paragraph and throughout your content especially if your keywords are common. However, be careful to write for humans as well as search engine robots.
Text vs. Image Format is Best
When creating your PDF it is best to do so in a text format rather than an image format. This helps those little spiders crawl to your content. Be sure to fill out all the descriptor fields offered in PDF to help searchers find you. Linking to and from your PDF back to your site or other relevant content is key in getting your PDFs noticed. While Google has improved its indexing of PDFs files that are too large may be ignored entirely. Make sure your PDFs aren’t bigger than 10MB.
If all this sounds overwhelming don’t despair, Evolve Systems is here to expertly guide you through determining and utilizing the best keywords for your PDFs to achieve results driven organic SEO.
Have you seen an uptick in unique visitors to your site, thorough your referrals in your analytics, after using keywords to optimize your PDFs’ impact? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook.
Are you a small business owner spending too much time on social media marketing instead of running your business? Not seeing the ROI through your social media marketing efforts? Check back for our next post on the pitfalls of do it yourself social media marketing and how a little expertise goes a long way in improving your overall online marketing integration plan.