As with almost any document on the web these days, pdf’s are “readable” by search engines. No you’re not going to gain top results from a pdf only site but you are probably losing out on traffic if you’ve not optimized your pdf’s. So how does this work?
As with any document you should properly use header tags, H1, H2, H3 and optimize the body text as you would an html file. Once you’ve distilled the document, bring it into a full version of Adobe Acrobat (6 and above) for editing. In Adobe Acrobat there are two places you can utilize to optimize the pdf.
- File/Document Properties – There are several menus here but we’re looking for the Description menu. Under this menu are fields for Title, Author, Subject and Keywords. Fill each one out using keywords approprietly.
- Advanced/Document Metadata – Again, several choices but we are going to focus on Description. Under the Description menu are the fields for Title, Author, Description, Description Writer, Keywords, Copyright State, Copyright Notice and Copyright Info URL
As with any optimization don’t keyword stuff use them effectively and place them in a manner that makes sense. Also make sure you place active links back to your homepage or the section of your website the pdf was referenced from. This will help the viewer should they find the pdf in a search result reach your website with a click. Finally don’t forget to brand the pdf, include your logo or at a minimum company name and contact information.
PDF’s are a popular means of distributing information online and through email so by optimizing and branding your document you take one more step in fully implementing a complete online marketing strategy.