In a reference work it may be interesting to index your documents online. Typically when a company makes a white paper available on its website, it is in PDF format.
The advantage of this format is that it preserves the formatting (fonts, pictures, graphical objects etc.) as it was defined by its author. Indeed, when you send a Microsoft Word document has a back draw, it does not necessarily use the same word processing software, not the same fonts installed on his computer and so on. So the formatting is not followed.
You are aware that the search engines do index PDF files. Want proof? Enter a keyword followed by filetype: pdf in your favorite search engine. This command tells Google that you are looking documents whose format is PDF (but it also works with . doc, . avi etc.). Like any HTML page it is possible to be indexed by Google with a few links.
The work now is to work the optimization using techniques specific for this type of document. Through testing, it provides essential information: we know what factors are taken into account by Google in its algorithm for indexing PDF files. Now it is the textual content (not surprisingly), the URL and title.
Not surprisingly, since the optimization of PDF is very similar to the optimization of any other HTML document. We must therefore take care in preparing your file. Verify that the text in the document is text, not images of text. Then choose a filename that is consistent, i.e. with good keywords related to the subject.
Last thing, remember to work with the meta title of your document. Treat it like you treat a title tag, in fact, Google generally takes this metadata for use as a title in its search results.
This method is applied by many Multi National Companies; such as pharmaceutical companies, Software and Hardware companies. Microsoft distributes many free e-books; you can take a look in our e-book section. You will get an idea about the quality of pdf you need to deliver to the visitor.
Speaking of SERPS (search engine results pages), you should also know that Google takes usually the beginning of your document in the snippet (description between the title and URL). We must therefore focus on a simple layout so that the text present at the beginning of your document can be taken as a description of your document in search results. Remember to treat this part, it’s sort of a meta-description tag, so its quality will affect the click of the user.
Now that you have these elements to optimize your PDF files it is time to create interesting content to offer your readers through writing white papers etc. Taking into consideration these tips for optimizing and of course, make them easily accessible.
Popularize your blog though distribution of pdf files:
- If your blog has something related to tips and tricks, instructions and tutorials; you might be interested to distribute individually via pdf file. You can offer a link to download the pdf file; this is fully automated process. Here is such a plugin for WordPress which allows to download or send as e-mail any post as a pdf file. This is very nice and professional tool. The plugin has tons of configurable options and you can set the download available only to registered members (not all visitors). However, the real benefit of getting a SEO boost from SERP will not be achieved. Still a good option.
- You can offer free pdf files as summary of the main article, leave a teaser with hyperlink to the post (such as; “read this tutorial with more screenshots and updates”. In this case, you are taking dual benefit: the pdf file is getting indexed, yet the reader has enough chance to come back.