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Last weekend marked the end of summer for most folks. Even here in the Southeastern US we have had a few tastes of cooler weather, although we have not yet experienced the first chilly night of the season. In this part of the country we don't trust that fall has truly arrived until we have to a wear a jacket to a Friday night football game. We are not quite there yet!

As summer draws to a close, we refocus on our work life. Everyone is looking for ways to be more productive without adding more tasks to our to-do list. One way to do this is to ensure that your website is working hard for you by making sure that your clients and customers can find your information on the web. This month's RoadMap discusses how to make sure that you optimize the PDFs you put on the web for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which makes them available and accessible to everyone you want to reach.

This month Tech Tutor alerts nonprofit organizations to the services of TechSoup.org. Check out their services if you are a 501(c)(3) organization.
 
Happy Fall!!
RoadMap: Make Your PDFs Web Friendly
Roadmap
 
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.
  • 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. 
3. Optimize the PDF viewing experience for your readers.
  • 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.
SmartSite Technology serves as a virtual IT Department for small and medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations.  We provide all of the information technology services that a business needs to compete in today's marketplace.
 
Our goal at SmartSite Technology is to help each of our clients to be a success!! We know that technology is not a core competency for many small business owners and non-profit professionals. We believe that every organization benefits when they automate their business processes. We work closely with all of our clients, even those who are uncomfortable with computers and technology, to help them introduce automated processes into their operations. 
 
Contact us today to discuss your technology needs.
Sincerely,
 
Dixie Groutt
SmartSite Technology
 
Copyright 2009 SmartSite Technology. All rights reserved.
September 2009
In This Issue
RoadMap: Make Your PDFs Web Friendly
Your Tech Tutor Says...
 
tutor pic number 1
Nonprofit organizations, stretch your technology knowledge and dollars by joining the Tech Soup community and registering to receive product donations through Tech Soup Stock.

TechSoup.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which offers  technology information, resources and support to nonprofit organizations. In addition, they provide access to donated and discounted technology products to all qualified 501(c)(3) organizations. These products are provided by their many technology partners.

Visit TechSoup.org to find out more and to take advantage of their unique services.
 
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