Search Engine Optimisation for PDF files

Many people forget the need to give PDF files some attention when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation for their website. However, Google is perfectly capable of indexing PDFs, so here are some SEO tips for these often neglected files:

  1. Give them a keyword rich name (separated by hyphens), e.g. web-design-cambridge.pdf
  2. Keep them light – a large PDF is probably better divided up for the benefit of the user as well as Google.
  3. If you have the time, consider having the same material available as website page content – HTML content is always going to be better indexed than PDF, and having both formats offers the website visitor a choice of how they view the content.
  4. Use a good heading and subheading structure.
  5. Label images clearly.
  6. Don’t forget to give the file a decent title, keyword and subject. These can all be set using the program that you used to generate the PDF file in the first place and (just as with their analagous website metatags) are key to good optimisation.
  7. To change some options for an existing PDF use a free tool such as PDF Info to set those tags (, and also change the default view etc.

So, the next time that you’re uploading a corporate brochure, price list or case study to your website don’t forget to spend an extra 5 minutes making sure it is optimised: as is so often the case with Search Engine Optimisation ‘every little helps’.

Help and advice on SEO in CambridgeHuntingdon or Peterborough from WebSanity Internet Marketing.

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2 Responses to Search Engine Optimisation for PDF files

  1. website designers southampton says:

    This is so nice idea because we have wanted the benefits and long term online advertising advantages. if undertaken correctly, can be the single most effective advertising and marketing campaign hands down when compared to conventional advertising or marketing even if you are small to medium business or company, you can still compete with national or international household names. Search engine for companies or businesses offering internet marketing services.

  2. Thank you yet another great post!

About Gerald Thulbourn

Gerald Thulbourn setup WebSanity in 2004. He has a 1st class honours MEng in Microelectronics & Software Engineering (i.e. he's a techy), 5 A grades at A level (i.e. he works hard) and loves to communicate (i.e. odd for a techy). He hates tech speak, sloppy/badly tested code, and technology for the sake of technology's sake. He loves helping people understand marketing concepts and seeing how their application makes a real difference to their business. In particular he loves training; SEO, Website Analysis, WordPress etc. Read more about us on Google+