7 Easy Ways To Optimize PDF Files for SEO

Many people with access to computers widely use PDF. The acronym PDF stands for Portable Document Format that is used primarily in displaying different documents in a viewable and electronic form for any device. PDFs are optimized for easier access through different search engines. Maximizing it will make the document relevant and will appear in the right keywords in search engines. In this article, we will show your seven easy ways on how you can optimize different PDF files for SEO.

Come up with a great title

First of all, thinking of a name for a blog post, web page, or documents is an SEO basic, so you need to prioritize it before anything else. You can set the name of your PDF in the 'Document Properties', and the title will serve the same purpose as an HTML title tag. Because PDFs are long and are talking about specific information, you are also required to put different information on the metadata. Instead of putting a title only, you should also set the author, subject, and various keywords.

It should be plain text

Most PDFs produced today are image-based because many producers do not know about SEO and how to make the file visible in search engines. Images are giving a hard time to search engines to process it and understand it completely. Producing a plain text-based PDF will be easier for the search engine to rank it and to crawl into your content. Headings, subheadings, and the body of your file will be crawled better by the search engine than image-based ones, even if the processing of different search engines have improved over time.

Insert relevant links

It is best if you insert relevant links in your PDF file. Most users are adding links that will direct the reader to content on your website. By doing this, you will increase the tendency that the search engine will see your file as a valuable part of your website. Doing this can end up gaining higher ranks for your site, not only for the PDF. If you did not have the chance to insert links on your file, you can do this by editing it. There are informative tutorials online on how to edit a PDF so you should make use of them.

Make it mobile

It is no surprise that making different contents in your site, even PDF files are better if it is made mobile-friendly than not. You can do this by creating your content aligned to the left side, and it should be responsive so that the readers would not need to scroll horizontally just to read a single line that goes beyond their phone's screen size. Another thing is you can use bold text, underline, and bullet points to give an idea what aspects are important and to help time-sensitive readers.

Set the alternative text element on images

As we said earlier, it is easier for search engines to process your PDF file if it is text-based. However, if you need an image for the content, you can add alternate text in your pictures so different search engines can understand what the image is. You can put descriptive SEO keywords and unique from other pictures in your document.

Use subheaders

Most PDFs are longer than what you expect because of the information it contains. It is good if you use different subheadings to break up the content into separate pieces. It helps in the legibility of your content and making it more readable for your users since most users tend to read bite pieces than a long and monotonous material. This strategy is also helpful for readers who are accessing the content through mobile. When breaking up content, try to limit different paragraphs into three to four sentences each.

Create a meaningful file name

Lastly, you need to name your PDF file in the best way possible for search engine optimization. The best way to do this is to name your file with the keywords that you want to rank. These kinds of PDF filenames are user-friendly and search engine-friendly. Another recommendation is that when you are naming your PDF file, separate the words with underscores or dashes to make the process of screening each keyword easier for the search engine.


After trying all of these seven steps, you can wait for the results and eventually, see your PDF files in different search engines. Try using more specific keywords to rank higher on search engines.
Last updated:1/16/2019 11:09:05 PM
Juliette Anderson

Juliette Anderson

Juliette Anderson is an Outreach Community Specialist for an e-commerce fulfillment company that specializes in partnering with online sellers who have an average parcel weight of 5+ pounds or greater. She works hand-in-hand with e-commerce stores to achieve optimal sales for four years already. Her specialty lies in social media marketing and paid promotions.


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