Does one of your responsibilities involve creating marketing collateral for your event and distributing it in PDF format? If yes, you may have noticed that search engines don’t always index PDFs the way they do normal web pages. Here are some general tips and best practices to help you optimize your PDFs for search engines.
In Adobe Acrobat, navigate to ‘File>Properties‘ to define the following properties for your PDF:
- File Name: Include relevant ‘phrases’ or ‘keywords’ in the file name when saving the PDF. Use dashes to separate the words in the file name.
- Title: This is equivalent to the Page Title for a web page. Include keywords such as your event acronym, audience, and theme.
- Author: Include your name and/or official title.
- Subject: This is equivalent to the description meta tag for HTML documents. Add a sentence or two that you would want search engines to display immediately below the PDF title in the search results.
- Keywords: Include keywords that your audience is likely to use to search for the information provided in this document. Use only relevant keywords that match the content.
- Text: Never convert text to images when creating or saving PDFs. Ensure that crawlers can read and index the text in your PDFs.
- Reading Order: Navigate to ‘Tools>Advanced Editing>Touch up Reading Order Tool‘ to define headers and add captions to images.
- Links: Navigate to ‘Tools>Advanced Editing>Link Tool‘ to add optimized links. Always include at least one link back to the main website, and as much as possible, place links in the first page instead of burying them deep in the document.
Last, but not the least, don’t forget to link to the PDFs you have uploaded from relevant pages on your website, online press releases and your social media sites. The more traffic you can drive to the PDFs from quality, high traffic websites, the better the chances that search engines will notice and index these.
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