RoadMap: Make Your PDFs Web Friendly
Here are some tips to follow to ensure that your clients and customers are able to find the valuable information that you have posted on your website in PDF format, and to use it easily once they have accessed the document.1. Make sure that your PDF document is searchable.
In order to be searchable, your PDF must be a text document. Because of the way they are converted to PDF, some scanned documents become one big graphic file. If you find that you have this problem with a document, you can run the optical character recognition process in Adobe Acrobat to add text to the document and make it searchable to Google and other search engines.2. Prepare your source documents carefully.
This is the most important thing you can do to ensure that your PDF is web friendly. A SEO friendly PDF document starts its life as a thoughtfully prepared source document. Information added to your source document will be included when you create your PDF document and will be available to search engines. You can make these changes in Acrobat, but it is much more efficient to get in the habit of doing it in the source document.
3. Optimize the PDF viewing experience for your readers.
- Complete the Document Properties. Document properties provide information about the document (meta data) needed by search engines to properly rank your document. Provide a descriptive title, author, subject and keywords. Descriptive document properties will give the search results a more professional appearance and allow people looking for your information to find it more easily.
- Use styles rather than the bold and italic buttons. If you do this, headings in your PDF will be viewed by the search engines just like they are in HTML documents.
- Use a 4 X 3 ratio and a horizontal document orientation so that your document is easily viewed on the most common screen sizes. A document displayed at 10 x 7.5 screen ratio will give a good viewing experience as well as still fit on an 8.5 X 11 piece of paper when printed.
- Experiment with Conversion and Compression settings to ensure that the size of the document is optimized for loading, viewing and printing. File size limits may apply, so try to make your document as small as possible to minimize the chance that search engines may give up before they have indexed your document.
- Make sure that your document is tagged, validate the tags, make sure that images have good alternate text and ensure that tables lists and other structured elements are in good order.
- Optimize the PDF for fast web view. This is a check box which instructs Adobe to display the first page of the PDF as soon as it is loaded instead of waiting for the entire document to download before any of it is displayed. This will make your viewers' experience much better, especially when they are loading a very large document.
- Add bookmarks to create a Table of Contents (TOC) that is always available to the reader. This TOC can be displayed on the left side of the document and allows the reader to link to the section of the document they want to read.
If you would like more information about optimizing your PDF documents for the web, SmartSite Technology can provide training documents or a live class for your employees. We are also available to survey the PDF documents on your website and optimize them for you. For additional information, contact us
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