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FabFriday: SEO and .pdfs….What works for Ranking!

January 11, 2013 by · 14 Comments
Filed under: SEO 

google_operatorsFriday once again, and today I’d like to share a DIY SEO tactic that we’ve found has helped some of our clients earn major rankings….and that is how to optimize their whitepapers or .pdfs to get better rankings and increase leads and entrants into their sales funnel.

First, you have to understand that search engines, i.e. Google, Bing etc. can read a .pdf perfectly. It’s a text based program developed by Adobe that is universal in its acceptance and use all over the globe. And the contents of any .pdf can easily be read, indexed and yes, ranked by search engines too.

Why by the way is optimizing for .pdfs even on my radar?

Well, consider what’s come to the forefront of online marketing in the past couple of years….the term inbound marketing and the use of Whitepapers to establish your firms abilities and validate your authenticity. Look at HubSpot and their success….and all of their clients…inbound marketing works, simply. And hence the creation and development of Whitpapers used to show your expertise to the world….with the accompanying signups for further marketing….easing leads into the sales funnel and moving them to the new customer level.

That’s why the optimization of .pdfs is so important…

One further pre-list point…that using a search engine search operator is not reserved for us real SEO types; almost everyone knows that if you type in say “web page evaluation checklist filetype:pdf” you’ll get a google search results page with ONLY .pdfs listing showing the ranked web page evaluation checklists….we all know that, right? So wouldn’t you want your own .pdf Whitepapers to end up on page 1 too?

You do need however to plan ahead when it comes to this kind of .pdf optimizations based on a short list that follows here –

  • always use say Word or some such standardized text-based editor to produce your .pdf whitepaper….there are other apps that can also produce a .pdf…but stay away from them as search engines read TEXT…not images!
  • always use a keyword enabled TITLE for the .pdf….nothing is worse than seeing .pdfs entitled things like “d368994.pdf” and it’s non-ranking makes total sense…make it keyword rich for better serp rankings!
  • always fill in the Document properties areas too…and ensure that you do fill in the KEYWORDs areas as well, as search engines from our experience do still read/index/rank on them….hope you got that as it’s a VIP tip!
  • always have interior links that point to your newly published .pdfs….else googlebot et al will NOT find them to index them… 

As you can see…the list is short…and just about universally accepted by most of us Canadian SEO practitioners…however in doing my research for this piece, I did find a conflicting Powerpoint piece by Vincent Francois of a Montreal based firm here….he makes a case using testing and serp ranking results that using the Document properties that I said above DO help is a non-starter….well worth the click to see his POV, eh!

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14 Responses to “FabFriday: SEO and .pdfs….What works for Ranking!”
  1. ALSO,

    0. Use Google+.
    Google is pushing it really hard right now.

    1. Don’t guess at your keywords.
    – use google adwords traffic estimator to accurately plan
    – create emotionally surprising content for that keyword and related alternates
    – compare traffic vs ctr vs conversion.
    (the terms that bring the biggest traffic don’t always bring sales)

    2. If you’re not a professionally trained writer, hire a college student for $35.
    Google reads grammar. You’ll get penalized

    3. Phone call bloggers.
    Ask them to link to you. Offer unrefusable value back. They never get calls. You’ll stand out.

    4. Use a high speed server.
    Google wants to feel fast. They can’t if you’re site takes longer than 2 seconds to load. Use a site like Pingdom or other to test yours.

    5. Join 20 DOFollow Discussion Forums.
    Do NOT use the signature to place links. It’s all duplicate content. Personally write DIFFERENT signatures with varying anchor text links to your site.

    6. Use Reddit under the right SUBREDDIT. It’s DoFollow.
    And bloggers link to Reddit all the time

    7. Don’t use directory links.
    There’s an actually Google HELP doc that say’s you’ll be considered spammy

    Partially stolen from sparkah.com/blog

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  1. Zoomit.ca says:

    FabFriday: SEO and .pdfs….What works for Ranking! | CanuckSEO…

    Friday once again, and today I’d like to share a DIY SEO tactic that we’ve found has helped some of our clients earn major rankings….and that is how to optimize their whitepapers or .pdfs to get better rankings and increase leads and entrants into thei…

  2. BizSugar.com says:

    FabFriday: SEO and .pdfs….What works for Ranking!…

    Friday once again, and today I’d like to share a DIY SEO tactic that we’ve found has helped some of our clients earn major rankings….and that is how to optimize their whitepapers or .pdfs to get better rankings and increase leads and entrants into thei…

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