The man behind Nielsen Norman group- Jakob Nielsen- once implied that web content developers who prefer delivering content via pdfs makes the experience 300% worse than that of using HTML. Although he didn’t have statistics to back up his statement, there’s a belief that using pdf is disadvantageous- at least when it comes to websites.
First, users thought that Google couldn’t penetrate pdf content, and thus website owners can’t gain traffic.
But, in 2011, Google said that it could decipher the content from pdfs. In fact, since 2001, several millions of pdf files have been indexed. Furthermore, Google has a specific tag in SERPs to show users that a particular file is pdf.
Indeed, the thought that pdfs perform poorly on a site is a myth. The truth is, if you tap into the right way of optimizing pdf for SEO, your website will do fine. With that said, here is how you can use pdf files to make your website more user-friendly.
User a more descriptive title
Suppose the title of your file is beverage2-2020.pdf. Users will second-guess whether to open the file. While your goal is to make users open or download a file, it’s crucial to ensure the title of the file is more descriptive. That way, a user proceeds to download or using the data because they know what’s within the file. For example, two free beverages recipes 2020.pdf.
Also, ensure the title has more information on the number of pages and size. For example, two free beverages recipes 2020 (pdf, 2pages, 1MB)
Changing the file name rather than using the automatically suggested name considerably impact your page URL.
Include multiple subheadings within your content
Ideally, users should consume web content in less than seven minutes. Why? Considering people have a deteriorating attention span, they need readable content. Fortunately, the use of subheadings makes it easier for readers to scan through your document.
Primarily, ensure each paragraph has three to four sentences. Consider using target search questions as your subheadings.
It’s alright to link to authoritative sites. But, this point applies to link content on your pdf file to another, on the same website. The advantage of this trick is to ensure that search engines recognize the content within a pdf the same way it recognizes other content on your website.
Moreover, since a pdf file is a permanent resource, other websites can link back to the content within your pdf files, and thus rank your site.
Add a clickable table of content from where readers can go to the information they’re looking for. Also, add the back and forward button, and ensure the navigation options on the pdf is similar to the rest of the website.
Use the right pdf converter
Mostly, you have to convert word to pdf. Yet, the type of pdf converter you have makes a difference in that it determines how user-friendly your content will look. Suppose you’re using itextsharp c. it’s undeniably tasking to generate pdf or match the pdf with the other features already existing on your site.
On the other hand, using an iron pdf is easier and allows you to convert HTML to pdf contrary to itextsharp c. so, is IronPDF an itextsharp alternative? Well, for you to choose one and not the other depends on your uses. If you’re targeting students or academic-related readers, choose itextsharp c. However, if your site is commercial, choose an iron pdf.
Using the right pdf converter translates to better accessibility, layout, embedded elements, and proper navigation. In other words, your website becomes more user-friendly because the pdf files are of high quality.
One of the reasons why people thought pdf files are terrible for websites is loading time. Considering loading time is a factor for website ranking, a pdf may take longer to open. However, with the right tool such as SODA pdf, you can compress the mages within your document without leaving visible effects.
Consequently, your web loads faster, and thus readers don’t give up waiting for the page to load and move to the next URL. Necessarily, optimize the images and thus convert to less loading time.
Ensure the writing is good
Don’t ignore the quality of writing because your document is in pdf. If you intend people to print the pdf, ensure the quality of writing is as good as HTML web content. That way, the user can direct more users to your site or keep visiting themselves. Additionally, ensure the font is legible, mainly because not every reader knows how to zoom pdf documents. Moreover, using legible font eliminates the need to convert pdf to word.