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How To Use PDFs to Improve Your Site’s Ranking(2)?

Did you know that Google can crawl, index, and rank PDFs?

This means local businesses can and should capitalize and create their own to help increase their local ranking!  This is another one of those strategies that you shouldn't miss!

Jamie:    All right, Adam.

Adam:    Hey Jamie.

Jamie:    Oh my gosh. I can't believe we're already back for another episode of local SEO in 10.

Adam:    I know days just fly by. It's great.

Jamie:    I can't believe it's almost October.

Adam:    Yeah, it COVID times, man. Is it, is it October? Just, 2020.

Jamie:    It is still? All right. Well, yeah, six weeks we have an election. That's awesome.

Adam:    Yes. There's a lot of stuff going on. Hopefully everything goes right. That's all

Jamie:    Oh yeah, no more riots.

Adam:    Awesome. Anyway, today I have a weird topic. Actually. This is kind of a weird, really weird one that I don't think a lot of people are aware of. So I thought it'd be interesting just to talk about it, introduce it to our listeners and and to you. Cause I know this one you might not even know either.

Jamie:    Okay. All right.

Adam:    Do you know what a P D F is

Jamie:    A hard copy document? That's a soft copy document.

Adam:    Okay. It's a digital document, right? So you sign PDFs or you download stuff that are PDF documents, right? Well, it used to be that Google didn't wasn't able to read these PDFs, but now actually for the last whatever 10 years or so, they have been able to read those. So this is another Avenue that a savvy business owner should take advantage of in their local SEO strategy. Pdfs, not just your website. That's crazy. Right?

Jamie:    Well, I guess, I mean, you seem shocked every time Google does something that should be ubiquitous. But to me, I'm just like, okay, you know, like you said, has been around for 10 years. How are you not using this

Adam:    Local businesses? I mean, Google has been able to read these for about 10 years, but they didn't really, they didn't publicize it. So this is a great chance for local businesses to start producing them. And most likely within their own business systems, they already have these ready-made documents already made. So by attaching them to a part of your website, like your homepage, you, those documents that you put there have a great chance of being indexed on with, by Google. And then they can become a featured snippet, which we've talked about before. They can become what's really cool is they can become another vehicle to highlight the keywords and services that you do. Okay. So all of those lead to different ways and higher rankings within Google because your competitors, I almost can guarantee they're not doing it. So this is kind of another tactic that I would strongly recommend.

Adam:    You guys take a look at what you have and start producing them. Okay?

Jamie:    Sounds good.

Adam:    All right. So what do you make into a PDF? You know, you could do, if you're a restaurant, you could do a menu. That's easy. I would think you can do, if you're you know, a company you have specification documents for your for your products that's can become, that could be a PDF that acts as a vehicle to increase your rankings. If you have, if you're a consultant of some kind, you have white papers case studies, and of course the ubiquitous ebook if you're, if you have you know, the top 10 ways to save money by going solar or something like that, how to choose a solar company, these, you know, those kinds of how to lists really lend themselves to be made into a PDF.

Jamie:    Okay.

Adam:    Okay. Makes sense. Yep. All right. So now while you're listening, you're like, Hmm, what can I do? What can I do? So think about your own business, what you could offer document wise, and then go through this list of what I'm going to say right now, and then add those to your document. Okay. So to do that, you can make your document, your document in any kind of software, you know, Microsoft word you can go anything, right. Then save it as a PDF. Then you want to open it in Adobe Acrobat. You can also create a PDF online with a service called like Canva. You can make a beautiful PDF when once you do that, you want to download it once again, open it in Adobe Acrobat. And the reason is, is because with Adobe Acrobat, it allows you to really minimize the file size.


Adam:    So there's a, a cool thing that called fast web view when you save it, that will really push down that size because we want to have a really small document. So that way the larger the document, the less likely Google is going to read it. So you want to make it really small file size only use a few fonts, like one or two fonts throughout the whole document. Don't use a lot of crazy you know, font sizes or styles or anything because all of that means a larger file size. Got it. Of course. Yes. Oh, okay. So just like a website, you want to have the fastest document possible. You don't want to have the smallest document possible inside that you want to name it, just like you would name your homepage. So your name should be keyword rich. So not just like home or document or a long line of numbers, you want to have you know, if you're a, a general contractor, you know, home kitchen, bath remodel, your city name, who you serve.

Adam:    So where you serve what you do, those category words that we've talked about before, that's what you want to use to name your document.

Jamie:    Okay.

Adam:    Okay. Everything clear so far?

Jamie:    Seems very straightforward.

Adam:    Right? When your career, I think so too, but this is another Avenue it's, it's, it's really interesting. Local businesses never do this. So it's really rare that you would see that. And so that means this is a great chance for you to step above your competition pretty easily. Okay. So the other thing is when you're creating that document, you want to make sure that you're using clear headings. That means you're heading structure. You should have an H one and then, you know, your S your subjects under that should be an H two and H two and H two, you know, follow that layout. So that way Google can read that. So include a lot of bullet points, numbered lists, and really importantly is short paragraphs. So short paragraphs means one or two or three sentences. Okay.

Jamie:    Yeah. I have a question.

Adam:    Yes, go ahead. I like it.

Jamie:    Yep. What should you not include other than like numbers and home?

Adam:    Well, so a lot of times when you're saving a, a, a document it'll default to some crazy I see here, you're clicking. All right. Sorry. I see Jamie's crooked. A lot of times what you want to do is make sure that you're fixing a lot of stuff. So the, the PDF that you create on one or one program might include a lot of weird information. So using Adobe Acrobat, you'll be able to go in and look for those kinds of strange information. So you can, with Adobe Acrobat, you can go in and change those properties, add a description. These are all metadata that Google needs. And so when you do this properly, just like when you make a webpage properly, Google is able to understand it. And, you know, it could make a featured snippet, which is awesome.

Adam:    So when you have a featured snippet that, that means a you're going to rise above your competition anyway. All right. Last one. This is what I think is kind of like the local juice, the really, really important stuff. And that is add some local content about your business and your city to that document. So it could be at the front it could be at the bottom, wherever it is. If you have it it's as if it's a menu, you know, you have your final page of the menu. It should have a paragraph or two about your business and your city in that paragraph. You want to have some links. You want to link to your Google, my business listing, and you want to link to your website. So at least those two things at a minimum have those two things, because what you're doing is signaling to Google, again, that you're local and that you're relevant. So both of those that's super important. And it's just like you would do on your homepage in that PDF. You should totally do it.

Jamie:    All right. That sounds fine. Should you have links or pictures back to like a city monument or a city hall or something?


Adam:    If you have taken them yourself, you can think about it. Okay. Yeah. if you get them off of Wikipedia, then you have to you can do that. Yes. and Google does love that because it's already, it recognizes that photo. So you just have to give an attribution to that and that's yeah. No big deal. Yeah. That's a great, great tip, Jamie. Good. Hey, look at that. Hey,


Jamie:    Finally, I'm positive. Go ahead.


Adam:    Last, when you're saving it. You want to make sure that you save it as an older PDF version. So just, we want to make sure that when your customers download it, it's not all crazy and they don't get that message of you don't have the latest version of whatever.


Jamie:    All right. That sounds good. And when you, here's my favorite thing about Googling and then you get a PDF result. Yes. It's that Google, Google doesn't really let you know until you've clicked on the link 20 times that it's an actual PDF.


Adam:    It does. It just says PDF really small. Yeah.


Jamie:    Hey, here's a suggestion. Make it bigger. How about that? All right, because I have like 30 PDFs of the same file. I'm sure it would have been nice. Cause you're clicking on it. It's nothing's happening. Nothing's happening. Oh, great. I filled up my hard drive with you. There you go. Awesome.

Adam:    For the possible curmudgeons in your customer base, you should name it. Whatever, whatever PDF how's that.


Jamie:    Nope, sure. To have a much bigger PDF. It gets me half the time. It's time. All right.

Adam:    Well that is actually for your local businesses. That could be actually a good thing because you know, all of those clicks, you know, that can help that business. So thank you, James.

Jamie:    Well, I know, I think I know what I'll do. I'll just have a default to my Google drive and then fill up Google servers with their PDFs until they fix it.

Adam:     Problem solved there. I love it. All right.

Jamie:    Snake eating it's table.

Adam:    Next up climate change. Okay. Jamie, take it. All right. That's all I got for today. So make sure when you do this you know, you have to think about your business, how you can, you know, how you can what you in your business you can already have. It's basically a PDF file and upload it to your website, link to it on your homepage. And yeah. Watch that you know, the analytics for it. Watch it grow. It's pretty cool.

Jamie:    Nice. Very good. Well, great to suggestions as always, if you do have a question, please send it to us on our Facebook page, local SEO, 10. It's also on LinkedIn as well. And then make sure to share this podcast with anyone that you know, that is having maybe a hard time in this COVID time, especially restaurants, they are just getting brutalized during a shelter in place. So anything we can do to help them get the word out and make it easier on them, the better make sure to rate and review our podcast. And that way it helps our rankings and it gets us out to more people.

Adam:    Yes. Great point. See you later, everybody.