16 Feb, 2010

Optimise other file types such as .pdf .xml .doc

Posted by: drobs In: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

In addition to optimising ‘normal’ web pages, it is also important to optimise other page types.

For example, lots of sites include documents such as Word documents (.doc) Adobe PDF documents (.pdf), Spreadsheets (.xls), Video (.avi or .mpeg) etc.  If these are also optimised, your overall SEO optimization can be improved or speeded up. Pages can be ranked faster.

Below are some simple techniques that should be employed:

1. Use a Text Based PDF Creator. Lots of free tools available online; Adobe Acrobat is probably the best text based PDF creator. If a PDF document is instead created in an image based program, the search engines will completely ignore it. If the PDF is created using a text based creator like Adobe Acrobat, the search engine robots will read and index the text like any other web page;

2. Change the Document Title. The title of the PDF file is as important as the title of a normal web page. The PDF title property tells the search engine robots about the type of content. The most important aspect of the title is that Google uses the text in the title field as the link in the search engine result pages. Therefore, the title field should be keyword rich, be relevant and should not contain random text;

3. Alter the document properties. A PDF file contains many document properties in addition to the title field. These include keywords, description, author information and copyright information. All the fields should be completed with relevant information. However, the keyword field should not be just stuffed with keywords or remain empty. It has not been proved that search engines give importance to the keyword field in document properties but if this changes in the future, your PDF file will have an advantage over other web pages that have not altered the keywords field;

4. Link to PDF files from other pages within your sit.: The Search Engine searchbots will not discover and index the PDF file if it is placed too deep within your website. To ensure that the PDF file gets crawled by the search engines, it should be visibly linked from the home page or any other page which is know to be indexed and gets crawled regularly. If your aim is to get the PDF in top search engine result pages, then you have to lead the searchbots to it;

5. Optimise the content in the PDF File. The content of text based PDF files is similar to the content formal web pages. This makes content optimisation an important for PDF files. As always, the content should be relevant to the subject matter. Keywords should be placed in the first few lines of the content. Important text can be highlighted by increasing the font size and utilising the bold and italics features of PDF files. 6. Place Links in PDF Files. I.e. there should be a provision in the file to link back to its original website. This action reduces the efforts of the visitor to search for the main website and a link from the PDF file can be considered as a back link by the search engine.

To summarise, PDF files are very similar to ‘normal’ web pages in many ways. The same level of attention should be given to their optimisation in order to achieve good search engine results.

As example can be found here on the Caversham.Info local website.

Gator Web Design, Reading, UK

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