1. Make text based files

The first tip to create a SEO friendly PDF is to ensure that the file is text based and does not consist of images. The reason for this is simply that plain text can be recognized and indexed by search engines. If images are required, then remember to give them a title including one or more keywords.

However, be aware of duplicate content! Having the same content available both on your website and in the PDF version will be registered as duplicate content, which has a negative impact on your search results. Therefore, to make a SEO friendly PDF, the PDF should contain unique content. In the case you wish to provide readers with a PDF version of content that is present on your website, make sure that the PDF is not indexed.

2. Use keywords

Like in any other SEO practices, keywords are key when you create a SEO friendly PDF. Make sure that the file name contains keywords, because when published online it becomes the URL. Also, edit the title in document properties and fill out other blank fields like “subject” and “keywords” to make an even more SEO friendly PDF.

3. Link to other content

Links are crucial to create a SEO friendly PDF. Without any links, the PDF becomes a dead end in which users are stuck. The consequences are that the users who access the PDF file from a search page might not even visit your website, and those who access the file from your website are not led back to the website. In other words, your visitors disappear and you lose PageRank – the complete opposite intention of the SEO friendly PDF.

The solution to the problem is to make internal links, which will both ease navigation and get users back to your website. In addition, make sure to link to your other pages with relevant content to get a more SEO friendly PDF, and further engage and retain users.

If you want to get professional advice on how to optimize the publication of your PDF files contact Napp A/S.

Sources: Search Engine Journal, Henrik Bondtofte, LunaMetrics

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