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A PDF file represents a format that allows for the preservation of the design of the document irrespective of the application or the platform used to open it.In addition, these files can be downloaded and saved on systems without making any changes to the original document.
Institutions release placement reports, results and brochures in PDF format. Organizations release their sales data in this file format. People too upload their resumes in PDF format. It is only obvious then that just as the HTML pages are optimized for search, the same is done to the PDFs as well.
The following steps will allow for the PDFs you make available to rank higher on the search engine result pages.
1. Optimize the content of your PDF file
Akin to the optimization of content on HTML pages, the content of PDF files too needs to be optimized as per the relevant keywords. Use the keywords in headings and subheadings. Keep the density of the keywords at an appropriate level throughout the document.
Do not make it appear like a deliberate attempt to place keywords. Pay attention to the quality of the content. It matters.
2. Allow for the search engine crawlers to read the text
This is possible only if the PDF file is text based. For this, use MS Word or Adobe Pagemaker to create the file.
Do not use software applications that are used to work on images. For instance, Adobe Photoshop. A document created using this application, being image based, renders the text unreadable for the search engine spiders.
This severely hampers the chances of the document to rank high on the search engine result pages for a particular keyword. Avoid making such a mistake.
3. Pay attention to the document properties
Fill in the document description. The information you place here describes your document in the search engine result pages. Do not leave this vacant. In case you do, a line from the PDF is taken to describe the document on the result pages. The line so taken may not be the appropriate description for the document.
If the document is being released by an organization, place its name in the Author field. Add appropriate keywords and subject to the document description and save.
4. Name the file appropriately
This is essential because if the file name carries the primary keyword, the chances of the document ranking high on the search related to that keyword increase manifold. As the search engine spiders crawl the links, the URL for this PDF will also contain the primary keyword for which the document’s content has been optimized.
The placement of the link to the PDF on the home page or some other high ranked page helps. Place links for other pages on the website in the PDF. Linking the document appropriately helps its chances of a higher rank.
Search engine optimization is essential for all kinds of content you place on your website. This is because irrespective of the format in which the content is placed, the ultimate aim is to get maximum number of people to read it. This is possible only if the content ranks high in the search engine result pages. Optimize the PDFs and reach out to the people the content is targeted at.