Are PDFs Optimal For SEO? The Pros and Cons

PDF files can easily be indexed by Google and other search engines too. But you must know being index able doesn’t means that it is ideal to add PDF on your site. If you are wondering whether PDF files are good for your site or not then you need to read on this post. In this post we are going to discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of using PDF on your site. You can make a decision as for why you should use a PDF file or not after reading this three minute draft.

What are the pros of using PDF on website?

Don’t convert PDF to word to add content in docx format on your site before reading the pros of using PDF.

PDFs are easy to create

One of the biggest pro of using PDF on your site is that they can be created without any hassle. Usually marketers who have fewer resources and smaller teams can add PDF as it is on their pages instead of embedding content in the web code. You don’t have to worry about creating a PDF file if you are using MS Word 2010 and upper versions. Once you have created a word file you can easily save it in PDF format. If for some reason you are unable to save the word file in PDF then you can easily use online tools to change word to PDF. Adding PDF is no doubt a fast way to publish web content.

PDF contains Meta Data

A big advantage of using PDF is that they contain metadata. You can add Meta title, description, and even keywords in the PDF files. You can add all the Meta data of the PDF files by using Adobe Acrobat. Adobe allows you to edit the document properties. In the properties you can rename the file, add title, description, provide information about author and can also highlight keywords. You can also add copyright notice to the PDF file from the document properties. The Meta data might not have much impact on the seo score of the page but you must surely know that they can provide compelling information to the visitor.

PDFs have Indexable content

An attractive pro of using PDF file on your webpage is that it contains content which is readable. The content of the PDF files is not only readable but it can also be indexed by the search engine. Now you must know that this feature of PDF is only enjoyable if you create the file in textual format. If you are converting an image having text on it to PDF then it is not going to be indexed by the search engine.

What are the cons of using PDF on websites?

Now that you know about the pros of using PDF, it is now time that you know about the drawbacks of it.

PDF lacks in navigation

One of the biggest cons of using PDF as website content is that they lack in site navigation. In simple words, when a user lands on the PDF page of your site, they wouldn’t have access to reach to navigate to other webpages of the website. There is no simple way of navigating from the PDF page which is why most webmasters don’t prefer PDF. This con of PDFs is a big turn off for the search engine and visitors.

PDF have a large size problem

A very big problem that you can face with PDF files is that of their size. If the size of the PDF file is large then it is going to make your site heavy. If the site gets heavier then it is going to increase the load time. Once the load time of your site increases more than three seconds, your website would start sinking in the search results. If you want to see your site on the top search results then you need to use a format other than PDF or you would have to compress the PDF file. Today you have access to online PDF compressor tools that might help you with this problem.

PDF has a lack of code editing capability

Another big con of PDF is that it cannot be edited. The reason most webmasters use HTML and other code formats is that they can easily be edited in case an update is needed. But there is no way you can edit a PDF file until and unless you remove it from the web page itself. You would have to remove the PDF file, edit it and save it again for publishing. This ruins the ranking of the PDF page and the authority of the overall site.

These are some of the top pros and cons of using PDF files on your website! So decide responsibly.



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