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Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Recently, I conducted an online search and found a number of search results pointing to PDF's. If you're not already familiar with Adobe's Portable Delivery Format, its a common document type that preserves all of a documents original formatting. Believe it or not, if you create your own PDF's in the form of online documents or whitepapers, there is a way to optimize them for search engines.

What follows are some tips on how to improve your PDF file's placement on search engines. These tips come from MarketingSherpa's article, How to Optimize Your PDFs to Increase Search Traffic: 10 Steps.

1. Optimize the text: Simply apply the same rich keywords that you would for an HTML file. This means your white paper should contain many of the phrases that folks search on when looking for a solution to their problems.

2. Add metadata: This means you should manually insert keywords and descriptions of the document using Adobe Acrobat. This can be done by accessing document properties. MarketingSherpa adds, "You can also enter other keywords here, but don't put in misleading phrases. That ‘black hat' SEO tactic can get you penalized by most search engines.

3. Add links:
Links inside PDF files are crawled by search engines. MarketingSherpa adds:

Be creative with adding links. Acrobat allows you to insert links in PDFs, so customers can click to view more information about a product or click to add it to a shopping cart. This step turns the PDF into a landing page and you can define its intended conversion however you want. You can also add links to your homepage or other parts of your site to gain the SEO benefits of internal linking.

4. Create a document footer: Include your business contact information and website. This helps folks easily find you when your great paper goes viral.

5. Establish external links: To get your PDF indexed by search engines and increase it's popularity, link to your PDF from your website or blog. Additionally, let others know that you are offering a PDF of value and invite them to link directly to the document. This builds link popularity and helps to improve search rankings.

It's not just web pages that show up in search results. In fact, search engines are crawling all types of documents that can be found online. Optimize your documents to ensure that website browsers know who you are and can reach you.


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