In this digital era, all search engines index PDF files. Most importantly, they also include them as featured snippets. How amazing it is!
Therefore, PDF documents allow you to drive more traffic to your site. To share crucial files like case studies, guides, business reports, and articles with your colleagues, the PDF is considered one of the most trusted and reliable platforms.
As a blogger or site owner, you may want to share important information with your readers related to their businesses and let them download the document and use it for their purposes.
And if you are going to showcase PDF files on your site, you would not want to keep the file hidden. Instead, you would want people to find it easily.
That’s why you need to make your PDF reader and search engine friendly so that both of them can find it with ease. But how to make your PDF SEO-oriented or optimize it?
This is the sole reason I have created this guide for optimizing your PDF for SEO. So, let’s dive right into it!
Why using a PDF document is always a wise move?
A Portable Document Format (PDF) is often used for content that takes a tremendous effort to craft. Why do professionals create PDF files and publish them on their sites?
They do so because they want people to download and print the document. This adds credibility to their sites.
PDF documents include:
You can leverage PDF format for creating white papers. You can place links to your published articles in white papers so people can benefit from those links and satiate their needs.
Expert writers include cover art, infographics, valuable guides, headers, and footers to make their e-books just like a good book.
If you want to post content that people can access through offline options, then PDF covers you. You can include useful information in that offline content.
Seven magical tips to optimize your PDFs for SEO
1. Merge the similar PDF files into one
Posting similar but individual PDF documents on your site is against professionalism. People will find this step quite daunting, and they will not visit all the similar PDF pages.
They will bounce. As a result, it increases your bounce rate. How bad it would be!
This is the reason professional site admins merge all similar individual files to make it a united document. They use an online PDF combiner to combine all the scattered pieces of a specific document to manage their files like a pro.
The online PDF combiner tool can be accessed from all operating systems, whether you are using Windows, Linux, Andriod, and Opera. Using an online PDF combiner also lets you rearrange the file’s format and make them merged as per your requirements.
Merging PDFs and making them one will decrease the number of PDF files embedded on a web page and somehow the total size of PDF data as well. It will help you to optimize your PDF for the website. In a nutshell, merging your PDF files lets you stick readers to your site and decreases the bounce rate.
2. Pick an SEO-focused filename
First things first!
Before creating a PDF file, you have to come up with a unique and descriptive name enriched with the primary keyword so it is easily searchable.
Avoid including too many words in your PDF file name. Instead, keep it short and sweet. You can make use of hyphens to separate all the words.
Your PDF’s title and URL should match each other.
3. Craft top-quality content
Even if PDFs are not web pages, crafting excellent content is always good for building your site authority. Google aims to provide impeccable information to its readers.
Writing great content helps you engage more visitors and increase your site traffic. Thus, you should have a comprehensive knowledge of writing tailor-made copy for your PDFs.
- Create an optimized meta title and description
Your PDF file should have an optimized title and description. It will allow the PDF to appear in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
Write a meta title and description of 60 and 160 characters. These two components will help readers and search engines know what they will read in the PDF document.
Plus, include the main keyword in your title and description. In this way, you have better chances of ranking your PDF.
- Write an engaging headline
Remember, your headline is the first thing people will see and determine whether the entire content is worth reading or not. Accordingly, it needs to be head-turning.
Your headline should stir readers’ emotions and spark their interest.
- Write a powerful hook statement
You only have a few seconds to grab your readers’ attention. So, avoid wasting it on creating a boring hook. Instead, your hook statement should capture their attention and compel them to read the entire page.
- Pursue your own voice
The PDF content you create for your site visitors is the voice of your own brand. Hence, it must be unique and tailored to the audience’s understanding and goals.
- Proofread and edit it
Avoid publishing the content after writing your first draft. Instead, rest for a couple of hours and then revisit your work. Now proofread it with a fresh pair of eyes.
Proofread the paper several times and do proper editing wherever it seems suitable.
4. Do not use image-based PDF – use text-based
Do you know search engines comprehend text far better than images?
Yes, it’s true.
Thus, you have to make your PDFs text-based. This will also help readers to go through the text easily.
5. Leverage standard fonts
Fonts such as Symbol, Helvetica, Times, and Courier maintain your file size and do not increase it. On the contrary, all other fonts will increase your PDF size.
Moreover, readers also feel comfortable reading these fonts.
6. Use fewer font styles
Not all the font styles are of the same size. So, filling your PDF text with numerous fonts will increase your file’s size. In addition, it will also not keep symmetry.
Hence, use the font styles carefully.
7. Add only vector-based images
You need to use vector-based images in your PDF files because they are smaller in size and greater in quality than other images. Additionally, vector-based images are:
- Infinite resolution
- Easy to manipulate
- Deliver realistic results
Google treats web content and PDF text equally. Accordingly, it also indexes PDFs and shows them as featured snippets.
So, you should also focus on creating PDFs and optimizing them for your site. You can make your PDFs SEO-friendly by following the seven tips and tricks.