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:
- Give them a keyword rich name (separated by hyphens), e.g. web-design-cambridge.pdf
- Keep them light – a large PDF is probably better divided up for the benefit of the user as well as Google.
- 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.
- Use a good heading and subheading structure.
- Label images clearly.
- 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.
- To change some options for an existing PDF use a free tool such as PDF Info to set those tags (www.bureausoft.com/download.html), 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’.