Search Engine Traffic for PDF Documents and Forms

Continue to Part II: Optimizing PDF Documents»


PDF optimization is an overlooked form of search engine optimization (SEO), but for websites with lots of PDF files posted online, such as white papers, brochures, technical briefs, and sales materials, optimizing these can help a website achieve higher rankings in the search engines, which, of course, can result in more traffic for your site. Although many times website owners choose to convert their PDF files to HTML, this can be a difficult, time-consuming process, requiring fairly advanced skills. Another reason to keep files in their PDF form is that it is normally much more pleasant to read, and if the pages have graphs, images, logos, and other graphics, you may want to preserve them in this state for aesthetic reasons. Also, optimizing PDFs can make them more web-friendly and save download time and bandwidth, making them easier for users to download and read.


PDF optimization should not incur many costs, unless a programmer is hired to do the work. There are free or low cost programs available for download that can help ease the process along.


Depending on the amount of PDF files to optimize the process can vary in length, but is not normally a huge time sink.

Implementation Details

Failing to take into account your PDFs when optimizing, or building your site, will result in lower rankings, and you will have missed a great opportunity to add some quality and content to your site. Of course, using picture based files will not help, as the spiders will not be able to read the text. Scanned copies of originals will be of no service. PDFs made using Microsoft Word, however, will be of a great use. Adding links to the file will also help improve rankings, as will keywords, and keyword anchor tags.

Continue to Part II: Optimizing PDF Documents»

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