Portable Document Format or PDF is one of the favoured formats today to publish reports, studies, survey results, guides and tutorials, manuals, etc. Businesses have started to showcase relevant documents and information in the PDF format on their website to be used as a resource for visitors/customers. In any case, making PDFs available on your website is one thing and making them SEO-friendly is another.  

An SEO-friendly PDF will easily rank higher on search engine result lists and most certainly add to the credibility of your website and business alike.   

For instance, businesses often provide free Excel cheat sheets for download in the PDF form on their website. In such a scenario, they’ll want the relevant links to appear in the search engine results. And to make that possible, businesses have to sincerely think about SEO-friendly PDF designing, which makes it easy to identify through search engines and ultimately increases their visibility.   


Tip – 1: Keeping a Relevant File Name and PDF Document Title:  

Both of these are quite basic and simple steps but often marketers and entrepreneurs ignore their significance. This is because having an optimised file name and PDF document title improves the chances of a positive SEO. Marketers need to understand that Google reads and evaluates each and every text on your website and if the content is in-line with the keywords that people search frequently, it will help your website rank higher.   

Similarly, the PDF title tag also functions as an HTML title tag which makes it quite an essential aspect with respect to SEO. However, this might seem like a difficult task as it is not easy to include keywords in the PDF title tag. However, you can deal with this issue as you can change the properties of the PDF file and change its ‘general’ details by relevant keywords and you’re all set.  

Tip – 2: Using the Text Properly:  

Search engines such as Google, Bing and many others read, understand and evaluate text way better than images. However, not all PDFs are text-based as most of them are simply images of the text. This is also quite prevalent with the scanned PDFs as after scanning, they’re all identified as images. Therefore, search engines are not able to read it; and if they cannot read it, all your SEO efforts go in vain. So, just to check if your PDF is an image or not, try to copy past the text in your PDF. If you can copy-paste in a word document, this means it’s a text.  

Marketers also do not have to worry that they need to do PDF writing for SEO again. Much open-source software is available that can transform an image PDF into a text within minutes. There is advanced OCR technology that can quickly convert scanned PDFs to popular text file formats such as MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel.   

Tip – 3: Adding the Alternative Text to Images:  

Many PDF documents often contain images and graphics and they go with the text without any issues. However, to make the most out of Google algorithms, the images need to include an alternative text that must explain the image in the crispest way possible. The alternative text must describe the image in a way that it contains all the relevant keywords that are in-line with the overall online marketing services and SEO objective.  

Tip – 4: Hyperlinking Text from the PDF to the Website:  

Your goal of optimising PDFs, according to SEO, should also entail an internal linking structure that includes backlinks to your website. Marketers also have to understand that even a free PDF is an integral part of their website. And its utility stands even after a user downloads it. The document will still have the capability to draw people back to the website. Although including backlinks in a downloadable document is not part of SEO, it still can drive traffic to the website.  

These useful tips will help search engines read and understand PDFs better and in turn, give them more visibility and better ranking in search engine page results. Although this may not include all possible aspects of SEO strategy regarding your PDF documents, it will still positively impact your overall SEO campaign.  

O2 Digital is the best SEO agency in Australia that believes in maintaining transparency in processes and communication, cultivating long-lasting relationships, speedy communication, discipline in commitment and solutions-focused attitude. Their processes and dedicated staff have been the driving force behind their goal of achieving clients’ objectives and becoming the leading small business SEO agency Australia.