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How to optimize PDFs for Search Engines?

by Styaff Writer
17 Aug 2021 at 16:13hrs | Views
PDF is one of the most widely used document formats in the world and is used for many purposes such as sharing documents, making reports, survey results, tutorials, guides, manuals, etc. If you are a business owner then it might be required for you to showcase documents related to your business to promote the growth of your business and make them publicly available.

Fortunately, it is now possible for you to share your PDFs, not on your website but also make them publicly available through search engines as search engines index PDFs and show them in relevant search results.

To make it possible for people to find the PDFs, you need to optimize the PDFs and make it easier for the search engines to discover your PDFs so that they can be indexed and included in the search results for relevant keywords. Here are some ways by which you can optimize PDFs for Search Engines:

1. Choose a Good File Name
This is a basic step that most people overlook. When saving documents, including PDFs then most people usually type a random name just because they are too lazy to choose a proper name for the document, however, when it comes to optimizing PDFs for Search Engines then saving the PDFs with the proper name is very important.

When you save a file and upload it online on your website then the same file name will also be used on the internet unless you change it. If you are using a random name for PDF then it won't make much sense because no one will be able to search for the PDF using the name of the file and the PDF won't even show in the search results. However, if you were to use the proper keywords that people can use to search for the document in the file name then it will be much easier and accessible for people to access the PDF through search engine and the PDF will also show up in search results if relevant keywords are typed in.

2. Write a Good Document Title
Just like the name of the file, the document title of the PDF file is also important and it functions as the HTML title tag that appears on the search engine. Therefore, if you want to target an audience through a PDF file then make sure that you write a good and compelling article, for people and search engines that it will be easier for people to search for the documents just by its title and easier for the search engines to show the PDF in relevant search results. Make sure that you include your target keyword in the title of the document.

You can easily add a title to your PDF file just by opening the Properties of the document and adding the PDF title in the title box.

3. Use Text Instead of Non-Text Elements
Search Engines can read and understand text just like humans but they have trouble understanding the text contained in images. If you are trying to get a PDF file ranked on search engines then you should use text instead of non-text elements such as Images, Graphics, or Visuals.

Search Engines aren't like humans and they have a hard time with PDFs that don't contain text but instead contain images, although images may contain text. This is mostly seen when documents or files of other formats are converted into PDFs, for example, when you convert Excel to PDF or JPG to PDF then such PDF files usually contain images, and search engines have trouble with such PDFs.

Although humans can easily see and read the text in the images but not search engines and if you want to rank a PDF on search engines then you gotta comply with the things that will help in the ranking. So, instead of using PDFs full of images, try to use PDFs that have more text than images as such PDFs will be ranked easily.

4. Add Alternative Text to Images
As mentioned earlier, you should try to add more text in the PDFs than non-text elements to improve its chances of appearing high in the search engine results but still, most documents contain graphics and images of some sort.

PDFs that are full of text-only aren't as appealing as PDFs that contain both texts and visuals. To help the search engines understand the images that you are using in the PDF file, you should use Alt text or Alternative text to describe the images.

Alternative text describes the purpose of the image used in the document. Make sure that you use a unique alt text for every image. Also, try to include important keywords in the alt text to improve the chances of appearing in search results.

5. Add Hyperlinks From PDF to Your Website
When you are trying to optimize PDFs for search engines then you should also try to link them to your original website and make an internal linking structure. If you are linking to a web page in your PDF then you are basically telling the search engines that the linked webpage is also related to the PDF and they should index that web page and also show the web page in search engine results for relevant keywords.

You can also do the opposite and link the PDF file in the web pages on your website and it will help improve the visibility of the document in search engines.

Source - Byo24News

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