Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Apply Search Engine Optimisation Rules to Your PDF Documents

Maybe you’re not the biggest fan of SEO, but love it or hate it you have to face up to the facts. As long as the majority of internet use centres around search engines to find what we are looking for, the world of Search Engine Optimisation will remain just as important to the success and popularity of everything online from articles to videos.

Keywords form the basics of SEO, this is how Google bots and spiders collate all the data online to store it in an easily searchable database.

Often a new website build will go hand in hand with SEO. As will be the case for any online digital asset you may have, that you want to increase the amount of traffic reaching it.

The humble PDF document is often overlooked in the world of Search Engine Optimisation
. For years there has been false rumours circulating around that PDFs hold no SEO significance whatsoever and these documents will not get crawled by the big search engines. This is not true. To realise this, carry out a simple search for ‘PDF’ to see the amount of documents that have been cached.

The figure is astronomical!


The PDF is a great piece of kit to have in every good SEO’ers tool box. PDF’s are everywhere and form many a business document online, including press releases, newsletters, white papers and much more.

To take full advantage of the content within your PDF’s and make sure that this valuable resource is made the most of, consider these pointers when your next putting together a PDF for online publication.

• PDF creation should be seen the creating of a regular webpage. Use keyword rich content throughout including your titles, headers, sub titles.

• As with a keyword rich title the same applies to the actual name of the file too.

• Make sure you use keyword rich titles to label any images you use. This is pretty much the equivalent of what an Alt tag would be within a webpage.

• When using certain PDF creation software like Adobe Professional or inDesign make sure you take advantage of the option to add meta data to the document.
This can normally be found within document properties and will allow you to add keywords and descriptions.

• It is possible to create your own custom meta data panel within InDesign to add more relevant information.

• Always use a text based program such as word or indesign to create your PDFs to ensure easily crawlable documents. Steer well clear of using software like Photoshop.

• Locate your PDFs as close to the root directory as possible to ensure that spiders crawl your content.

• Create a clear keyword rich anchor text link from a popular page on your website directly to the PDF in question. This technique will favour crawling from search engines.

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