Google’s search algorithm is rather mysterious.  How it actually crawls the bazillion bits of data on the internet really is mind-boggling.  Within those bazillion bits of data on the web are numerous PDF files, images, videos and the like. Because these types of files are structured differently than plain text and may not have the same weight for SEO, it is important to maximize your content for best search ranking and ease of access.

Here are 4 tips to make your PDF files more search friendly.

  1. Use A Simple, Easy To Understand File Name.  The name of the file becomes part of the documents URL and that URL is searchable.  Make sure the file name contains at least one keyword that you want to get ranking for.
  2. Use Title Tags, Keywords and Meta Data.  Most CMS’ have SEO options in the post box. Don’t skip these very important steps in finalizing your posts. Fill in each of those fields to help search engines find your content.
  3. Add Meta Data To The Actual PDF File. In addition to your website’s post options for SEO, when you save your PDF file you can actually add metadata to the file description. You tell google what your file is about so it doesn’t have to infer or decide for you.
  4. Use Links In Your Documents.  Search engines can find links in PDF files. Use one to two links to within the text of your document to help the search engine determine relevancy and keyword compatibility.

Here are a couple of places to go for more detailed content on how to set up your files for SEO from Adobe as well as Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.  

Straight from the Google Master’s mouth…. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for Content

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