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Optimizing Your PDF Content: Discover Missed Opportunities

Most people are pretty good about getting their webpages optimized, however they are missing an opportunity with other content. Most people don't realize this, but you can actually optimize a PDF document. Learn why you should use PDF documents on your site and the guidelines to follow when making your PDF search engine friendly.

Most people are pretty good about getting their webpages optimized, however most people are missing an opportunity with other content. Keep reading to find out if you are too.

Most people don't realize this, but you can actually optimize a PDF document.

A lot of my content is in PDF format. All my white papers are PDF, as well as my newsletters.


- PDF content will look good on everyone's screen, unlike web pages where you have to consider various different settings and resolutions.

- PDFs are often downloaded to people's desktop and therefore have a longer "shelf life" ' they may come across the PDF in the future, but with a web page (even a bookmarked one) they are not likely to accidentally come across it again. They would have to actively go to your site to see the page again.

There are many other "pluses" for PDFs.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying all content should be in PDF. It definitely should not be. But there is value to a PDF and it has its place within your content and your marketing plans.

There are ways you can make your PDF more search engine friendly to get maximum benefit out of it. Here are some of the steps:

1. Make sure your PDFs are text based. Using images is just fine, but don't make the actual content within your PDF an image. Use images to enhance your content and illustrate your points.

2. Complete the document properties. Most people are unaware that this is an important step.

The most important property is the Title.

The Title property, if present, typically represents the words that will be displayed as the heading of the search result. It's the equivalent to the html title tag.

If you don't complete the Title property, the search engine is going to generate a title from the PDF's content, and it may not be what you would choose ' it may not be compelling or use your keywords well.

3. Use keywords within your content. It's just like a web page, you want good keyword usage. You should never spam or stuff your keywords in any of your content, but you do want to make sure you use them well.

4. Build links into PDFs. Make sure you include links in your PDFs, and pay attention to the anchor text used. Search engines do recognize these links.

5. Don't get caught up in "versionitis" ' which means don't get too hung up on making sure you have the very latest version as soon as it comes out. Search engines do "read" and index PDFs, their capabilities tend to lag behind with the new versions of Acrobat. Although Acrobat 8 is out, for now you should save your PDFs as version 1.6 (Acrobat 7) or lower to ensure search engines can index the content.

6. It's true boys and girls - size does matter. You can "optimize" the size of your file, so it isn't too big and annoying for the engines and users to download. If you have the full version of Acrobat you simply Select Advanced>PDF Optimizer. You may also want to enable the "Optimize for Fast Web View" option in the Preferences>General Settings panel. This allows the PDF to be "loaded" a page at a time, rather than waiting for the whole PDF to download.

7. Don't forget to tag your PDFs You can add tags to your PDFsHealth Fitness Articles, similar to html tags. With your PDF open (while using the full version of Acrobat) select Advanced>Accessibility>Add Tags to Document.

Consider how PDFs may help your marketing and search efforts and start implementing them following the above guidelines.

Article Tags: Most People, Make Sure, Search Engines

Source: Free Articles from


Jennifer Horowitz is the Director of Marketing and co-owner of Since 1998, her expertise in online marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has helped clients increase revenue and achieve their business goals. Jennifer has written a downloadable book on Search Engine Optimization and has been published in many SEO and marketing publications.

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