Did you know your digital marketing assets can be optimized and found online? It’s true—search engines like Bing and Google can search PDFs to give users the information they need. Pretty cool, right? But wait—how can you make sure your digital marketing collateral stands out over a competitor’s?
B2B marketers can optimize a PDF to be found by their target audience. Since digital sales enablement materials are commonly saved as PDFs (well, at least they should be), there are additional measures you can take to make sure they are found by users looking for your information. Let’s get into it.
While many companies use sales enablement assets for networking events and sales meetings, these materials can also be digitized for greater viewership and accessibility. Many B2B businesses integrate marketing collateral into their appointment setting and email marketing efforts, so prospects have them on hand whenever they need it.
Optimized PDF versions of digital marketing assets can also be embedded into a company’s website or posted on their social media platforms. When marketing collateral is posted online, B2B marketers have the opportunity to optimize it for significant SEO value. This can drive more leads to your website and other digital platforms.
While there are many different types of digital marketing collateral in the world, some pieces offer more value to searchers than others. As you think about how to optimize your PDFs for SEO, ask yourself these questions:
- Will users be searching for this information?
- If they are, what keywords will they be searching for?
If users are actively searching for the information in your PDF, your document should be optimized for SEO. Here are the main pieces of digital marketing collateral that should be downloaded as a PDF and optimized for increased SEO value:
Case studies are pieces of digital marketing collateral that allow you to showcase your company’s success. Case studies are commonly presented in a video format for enhanced visibility and user engagement. These pieces of digital marketing collateral can be embedded into your website, attached to a social media post, or uploaded on YouTube for easy accessibility and increased SEO value.
Sell sheets (also known as white papers) are single pieces of digital marketing collateral that offer people insight into a specific product, service, or concept. Sell sheets give a lot of valuable information to intended users, which is why it’s essential to optimize the document for search engines.
Guides are text-heavy pieces of digital marketing collateral that take a single product, service, or concept and thoroughly expand on it. When you create a guide for your business, it’s essential to download it as a PDF file for simplified readership.
B2B companies need to optimize guides for SEO value because users can find all the information they need within this guide. Guides are typically free, downloadable pieces of content that users can receive by inputting their personal information in a submission box. In return, you can integrate these individuals into your sales pipeline.
E-books are a collection of guides or checklists that readers use to learn more about a product, service, or concept. While they are similar to guides, e-books provide a general overview of a broader range of topics.
Since e-books are typically longer than guides, it’s also essential to save them as PDF files so readers can view them easily. Like guides, users can also access your free e-books by submitting their personal information, such as their name, email, and phone number. This integrates them into your sales pipeline and increases your chance of converting them from a lead into a long-term customer.
Annual reports are pieces of digital marketing collateral that represent a company’s impact on the industry, the community, its employees, and its customers. They are full of crucial company data and statistics regarding financial metrics, sales figures, and overall business growth. These pieces of digital marketing collateral are essential to boost the public’s trust in the company.
Annual reports in the form of an SEO-optimized PDF are essential for the public to easily find information about the industry or company. It also gives businesses in the industry the ability to reference your data in thought leadership blogs and articles, making your business a credible industry source.
Optimizing PDFs for SEO value isn’t one quick fix. Many critical components come into play if you want your PDFs to be fully optimized for search engines.
To make your PDFs SEO-friendly, it’s essential to do the following:
To reduce the size of your PDF, you must first make sure that your:
PDF Is Optimized for Web Speed
Checking to see if your PDF is optimized for the web is a simple process:
- Step 1: Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat.
- Step 2: Select “File” in the top left corner.
- Step 3: Select “Properties” under the “File” tab.
- Step 4: Click on the “Descriptions” tab in the pop-up window.
- Step 5: Find “Fast Web View” on the bottom right of the pop-up window. If it reads “No,” the file must be optimized.
PDF Fonts Are Standardized
PDF readers support standardized fonts, including Times New Roman, Helvetica, Courier, Symbol, and Zapf Dingbats. If your PDF uses any other fonts, the fonts must be embedded. As a result, this increases your file size.
In addition to standardized font styles, it’s important to use less of a variety of font styles. The more font styles you have, the greater the size of your PDF file. To keep PDF sizes low, stick to one of the standardized fonts and only use one or two font styles.
PDF Images Are Optimized
When including images in your PDF files, make sure they are vector-based or monochrome bitmap images. Vector-based images are smaller files with high-quality resolution. Regular bitmaps typically have color, so make sure they are monochromatic and as small as possible.
PDF File Is Compressed With Adobe Acrobat
PDFs should be compressed with Adobe Acrobat. Here are the steps to compress your PDF:
- Step 1: Open your PDF in Acrobat.
- Step 2: Select “File” in the top left corner.
- Step 3: Select “Compress File.”
Once you click “Compress File,” you have a variety of options of how you want the PDF compressed. Compression options range from standard mode to mobile mode. If desired, the compression presets can be customized to fit your individual needs.
As you name your PDF files, treat them as you would a URL slug. When naming PDFs, make them relevant, intent-focused, and search-friendly. Here are a few best practices to follow when naming PDF files:
- Keep the name between 50-60 characters.
- When possible, match the URL with the PDF file name.
- Remove punctuation and stop words, including “the,” “and,” “or,” etc.).
- Write the file name in all lowercase.
- To separate words, use hyphens or an underscore between words.
A common misconception about PDFs is that they’re strictly image-based. However, this isn’t always the case. Each PDF is different; some have more images than text, and others have more text than images.
But how do you know if your PDF is text- or image-based? If you can copy and paste the text from the PDF seamlessly into a document, it is in a text-based format.
When writing copy for a PDF, consider following these best practices:
- Write short paragraphs; ideally, three to four sentences long. This allows readers to easily digest content and stay engaged.
- Integrate bulleted and numbered lists to break down content.
- Use bolded headings to separate different ideas.
Since PDFs contain a lot of specific information, content should be broken up and organized with subheadings. When you break up content with subheadings, you increase the chances of keeping the reader’s attention because the amount of content to read seems less overwhelming.
As you create subheadings for your PDF files, ensure that you’re following these best practices:
- An H1 should serve as the headline of the page. For subcategories within the H1, make them H2s, H3s, and H4s.
- Subheadings should be concise and contain about 100 characters.
- All headings and subheadings should include the target keyword, so intended users can easily find the information they need.
Search engines can find optimized PDF documents online when they have alt text for images. Alt text is the copy that’s presented in place of an image in case the image doesn’t load on the webpage. Alt text is essential for SEO-friendly PDFs because it allows search engines to crawl and rank your website. When writing alt text for images, make sure the description is thorough and keyword-rich without keyword stuffing.
PDF property descriptions are adjacent to a webpage’s metadata. The title of your PDF file should be approached the same way you approach the title of your digital marketing collateral.
When crafting title tags, it’s essential to follow these best practices:
- Insert the most important keyword of the piece toward the beginning.
- Avoid lengthy title tags; aim for 55-70 characters.
- Include your brand or website name at the end of the title tag.
- Make sure that the title tag matches the intent of the PDF.
- Avoid keyword cannibalization by focusing on different keywords for each PDF.
Like a webpage, meta descriptions provide digital marketing collateral insight into what the PDF entails. Here are some basic guidelines on meta description best practices:
- Aim for descriptions between 140-155 characters, approximately one to three sentences.
- Start meta descriptions with action-focused words, including “learn,” “discover,” “explore,” and so on.
- When possible, work in primary and secondary keywords.
Like any other blog or webpage, a PDF should include links to other areas on your website. When internally linking your PDF, make sure the anchor text is unique, relevant to the page you’re linking to, and keyword-rich.
While internally linking from your PDF to other pages of your site is crucial, so is linking other web pages to the PDF. For example, if you write a blog that includes statistics related to your industry, consider linking one statistic to a PDF version of your annual company report. This shows your business as a reliable source and encourages readers to learn about other statistics your company gathered.
Since so much content is consumed on smartphones these days, it’s essential that your digital marketing collateral is mobile-friendly. If a PDF is not mobile-friendly, you risk losing readers and increasing bounce rates. As you optimize your PDF for SEO value, consider following these best practices:
- Align text on the left so users can read your PDF quicker.
- Use bullet points for enhanced readability.
- Input images when they make sense; too many images increase file size.
- Divide content with subheadings so readers can find what they’re looking for easily.
- Write shorter paragraphs, so content is less overwhelming to the reader.
Lastly, as you optimize your digital marketing collateral for SEO value, it’s vital to track the number of PDF downloads. This allows you to see how users and potential customers find your document. When you track downloads, you can analyze your digital marketing strategy to learn about your target audience and discover how users interact with your marketing collateral.
When digital marketing collateral is optimized for SEO value, you drive users to your website and position yourself as an industry leader. These assets are essential pieces of your sales and marketing strategy, so it’d be a shame not to see them used to their full potential.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we collaborate with B2B companies across the nation to help them create meaningful digital marketing collateral and optimize them for increased SEO value. If you’re ready for your sales enablement materials to rank highly on search engines, connect with one of our sales reps!