It was previously believed that Google cannot scan PDFs, as they are in non-HTML format. Hence they cannot get ranked. However, this misconception was busted by Google in 2011. Google is capable of crawling, indexing and ranking a document. 

But, the process of optimizing an SEO for PDF files is a little bit different. PDFs often contain very high-quality content. This makes them a good platform for campaigns related to SEO. PDFs contains a particular kind of contents, and you should keep that in mind while optimizing the documents.

Steps To Improve SEO For PDF Files

Optimizing SEO for PDF files is the topic that has not been discussed very much. But, it is very important to know about it as PDFs has some good content, and with the correct optimization, you can get a good ranking on the Google page. 

1. Select A Good Name For Your File

The first step to make your PDF into the universally transportable format is to choose the correct name for the file. It is better to name the file as the subject of the PDF normally suggests, and not be influenced by the SEO. 

If you receive any documents as an SEO, you must first perform an analysis for the competitor and the keywords. When you see that the keywords are correctly placed, you then dont have to make any changes to the name. Renaming the file name must be the last thing you do to optimize the PDF file. Also, make sure that the first letter of all the words is capitalized. 

2. Internally Link Your PDF

Including a PDF in the internal linking of the website can be difficult. The PDFs are generally of high-values, and their use is very specific. For this reason, they are not used as much as the product pages. Hence, they end up sitting alone within the website.

If you provide links to your PDFs, then Google will understand that these are the documents that you will like to get indexed. This will help you to get the PDF files ranked. Although it does not serves as a great factor for ranking, optimization of your anchor text, which indicated the documents will help to some extent.

3. Write SEO PDFs

It is not very diverse from web content which has been SEO optimized. Research your keywords, and use the most appropriate keywords in the PDF’s content. Make use of headers so that the content can be scanned easily. 

Adding links to your website with the PDF will improve the authority of your page throughout the site. 

4. Make Your PDFs Optimized For The Web

Similar to the webpages, including a hugh-resolution image can increase the size of your PDF files. This will result in the slowing down of the loading time of your page. Hence, it will badly affect the user experience and in the process also the conversion rates. 

To remedy this, use images that are properly web optimized. This will reduce your file size and make the loading time faster. Also, it is very important to make sure that you do not end up saving your PDF file as an image file. You must always save it as a PDF file. 

You should make sure of this process when you are dealing with infographics. This is because, infographics have the default setting of saving them as images. If you end up saving your PDF file as an image, then then it will become difficult for the search engines to recognize the text in it. This will affect the indexing of the file, and it will be inaccessible to the readers on screen. 

5. Make Use Of The Applicable Metadata

PDF document supports a huge variety of metadata apart from the title and the descriptions. And it will be to your advantage if you can make use of these metadata. Although these will not prove a great effect on your SEO as your title and your description, it will help the document to get contextualized for the search engines. This will, in turn, help you with your ranking. 

You should also make sure to fill all the alt tags of your images which are being used in your PDF files, the same as your normal website. 


Improving the SEO for PDF files is important. This will eventually help you in improving your ranking and the authority of your page. To make these changes effective, you must definitely follow the steps discussed in the article.