5 Tips for Optimizing PDFs for Organic Search

There’s a misconception out there that search engines don’t read (i.e., spider) PDFs. They do.

Of course, HTML pages are faster to index than PDFs, but the latter still can be indexed. The trick is to know how to set up the PDF to make sure you get maximum pickup by the search engines.

Here are the top five tips to help make sure your PDFs on your Web site are optimized for search engines:

Again, this is user-friendly for humans and search engines. However, your reading order, for a search engine perspective, will give you an idea of what will be displayed in organic search results. To do this, when your PDF is open, select Advanced-Accessibility-Add Tags to Document. Then select Advanced-Accessibility-Touch Up Reading Order. After you do this, the reading order of the PDF will be displayed.

So if you have PDFs on your site already, it’s a good idea to review them to make sure they were originally set up correctly for search engines.

Wendy Montes de Oca is president of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based online marketing services consultancy Precision Marketing and Media. She can be reached at wendy@precisionmarketingmedia.com.


Often referred to as the 'marketing maven' by industry peers, Wendy Montes de Oca, MBA has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, media, and publishing with expertise in multichannel, direct response, and Web marketing. Wendy has generated more than million in total revenues for Fortune 500 companies, top publishers, consulting clients, and her own firm, Precision Marketing and Media, LLC. She is the creator of the groundbreaking SONAR Content Distribution Model and author of the best-selling book Content Is Cash: Leveraging Great Content and the Web for Increased Traffic, Sales, Leads and Buzz [Que Publishing, Paperback].


Publish date: October 28, 2009 https://dev.adweek.com/performance-marketing/5-tips-optimizing-pdfs-organic-search-413593/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT
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