Improving Your PDF Search Engine Compatibility

Thursday, March 20, 2008 by Mistlee

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Improving Your PDF Search Engine Compatibility

By Michael Stelzner

If you write white papers, you most likely are creating PDF files as the final product.

As you may already know, search engines like Google will treat the content within your PDF file as if it were a web page. This means that a properly formatted PDF file can actually come up very high on search engine results. That translates into more exposure for your white paper.

What follows are some tips on how to improve your PDF file's placement on search engines.

These tips come from MarketingSherpa's article, How to Optimize Your PDFs to Increase Search Traffic: 10 Steps.

1. Optimize the text: Simply apply the same rich keywords that you would for an HTML file. This means your white paper should contain many of the phrases that folks search on when looking for a solution to their problems.

2. Add metadata: This means you should manually insert keywords and descriptions of the document using Adobe Acrobat. This can be done by accessing document properties. MarketingSherpa adds, "You can also enter other keywords here, but don't put in misleading phrases. That ‘black hat' SEO tactic can get you penalized by most search engines."

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3. Add links: Links inside PDF files are crawled by search engines. MarketingSherpa adds:

Be creative with adding links. Acrobat allows you to insert links in PDFs, so customers can click to view more information about a product or click to add it to a shopping cart. This step turns the PDF into a landing page and you can define its intended conversion however you want. You can also add links to your homepage or other parts of your site to gain the SEO benefits of internal linking.

4. Create a document footer: Include your business contact information and website. This helps folks easily find you when your great paper goes viral.

What other tips do you have? I would love to hear from you.


About the Author:
Visit for extensive resources on crafting compelling white papers and applying creative marketing tactics.

Michael A. Stelzner is the author of the new book Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged and has written nearly 100 white papers for companies such as Microsoft, FedEx, Motorola, Monster and SAP.

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