SEO Opinion

Optimizing Your PDF File Downloads

If you’ve ever wanted to know whether Google crawls the content within your PDF files the answer is yes.

Google has discovered that many PDF’s contain high qaulity content.

At the moment they seem to be indexing more PDF’s and video’s than previously, based on my daily experience in Google SERPS.

However, they’ll only crawl and index your PDF content if they have access.

The best way to allow the search search engines to access your PDF is by direct linking to it on your homepage or widget areas like sidebar and footer unless its already indexed.

You should also optimize the file name and properties of your PDF’s and create the content using a Word Doc or some other text/html editor.

PDF File Properties

If you click the PDF and open the properties you’ll find 5 tabs.

You should only be concerned with 3 of these.

  • General – Use a descriptive name with relevant keywords
  • PDF – Enter a relevant Title, Author Name, Subject and keywords
  • Security –
  • Details – Name, Folder path to your server, Owner.
  • Previous Versions

PDF File Optimization for SEO

PDF Content

The content of your PDF’s should be optimized the same way your optimize your websites content.

You should include links to related content, video’s and images within the content area of your PDF pages.

Here’s an excellent SEO starters guide for beginners available in PDF format.


Some versions of Adobe Acrobat allow you to use tags and alt text.

Otherwise, you could create the content using your WordPress editor and paste it into your Word Doc before you save it in PDF format.

This way you can optimize all your content within the PDF like a web page:

  • Titles
  • Images
  • Sub headings

Optimizing your PDF’s files using a Word doc or Adobe Acrobat Pro is a great way to rank your content higher in the search results.

SEO MS Word Document Properties

You can add descriptive content inclduing keywords to a MS Word Doc before you save it a as  PDF

  1. Click where you want to add a property control in your document.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, click Quick Parts.
  3. Click Document Property, and click the control that you want.
Once you’ve saved your eBook as a PDF, click the PDF properties and check to see that you have optimized your file correctly.
MS Word Doc Properties

PDF Plugin

You could also install a WordPress plugin which converts content to PDF format.

2 replies on “Optimizing Your PDF File Downloads”

Hi Brad,

Thank you very, very much for all this great information and guidance you share. Being a newbie and struggling everyday trying to figure out what to do and not to do, and how to do it. This type of information really, really helps.

Thanks again its much appreciated,


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