Is Your PDF File Optimized for the Search Engines?

A very effective way of producing an online catalog that your customers can print out is to add it to your website as a pdf file.  Search engines read and catalog a pdf file just like they do web pages.   I discussed an easy and free way to create a pdf file in a previous post.  But once you have created it, do you know how to optimize it so that the search engines can find it?

If not, here are some tips:

  • Don’t scan your document as an image file and then save it as a PDF.  When you do this the PDF is an image and there is no text for the search engines to read.
  • Save it as a text file
  • Optimize the text in the PDF just as if you were optimizing a web page, including important keywords and phrase in the title, tags, and within the body of the text.
  • Include keywords in the title of your file.  Different programs have different ways that you can modify a document’s title.  If you are using Acrobat,you can usually modify the Document’s title by choosing “File” in the toolbar, then choosing “Properties”, and modify’s the “Title” on the Description Tab.
  • Use the title of the PDF file as your link from wherever you are linking to it within your website.
  • Put the most important text near the beginning of your PDF
  • Include an “active” link to your website url within the PDF file
  • To create the smallest possible PDFs for the Web minimize the number of fonts and bitmapped images.  If you have the capability, use vector images.
  • Use common fonts.  Every font you add can increase the file size by up to 40 KB

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