SEO for your PDFs

You may not realise it, but files you have and host on your site also need SEO in order to aid the discovery of them and your site/pages. And one of the most popular file types that people search for, and therefore needs to be optimised, is PDF. Riikka has some info on how you can do this.

“PDFs are still widely used, but tend to rank poorly in search results – mainly due to poor SEO and optimisation. That doesn’t have to be the case and it doesn’t take much work to improve your PDFs and site SEO.

Back in 2013, LunaMetrics posted a really great best practices article for SEO with PDFs. The same best practices still apply in 2016.

You can get all the specific details from the link above at the LunaMetrics site, but here’s a great high-level checklist you should try to ensure you follow when adding PDFs to your website:

  • Always use text-based PDFs
  • Set your title in the document properties
  • Set an SEO-friendly URL/filename
  • Do good SEO (internal linking, good keyword selection, keywords in body copy, image optimisation, human optimising)
  • Keep the file size light
  • Avoid duplicate content
  • Set the other document properties too
  • Touchup the Reading Order
  • Don’t save as the latest Acrobat version
  • Write-protect your document

We’ve also previously talked  about adding Alt text to your PDFs (and images), so make sure you also take a look at that tip as well to ensure your on-site PDFs are fully optimised and adding additional value to your sites’ SEO.”

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