If you’re like many business owners, you may be using PDFs and images to display content on your website. This is a huge mistake that can affect your search engine optimization (SEO) in a negative way. Google doesn’t read the content of these files so they do nothing to help with SEO. When it comes time for google bots to crawl your site, this gives them less information than if they could have scanned the text in an HTML document. If you want more traffic from google searches, then stop using PDFs and images! If you’re a restaurant you should not even consider using a PDF to display your menu.
While you should care about SEO, you NEED to care about user experience and often times the PDF or image you add to your website can not be displayed properly on all device sizes. This can be an issue for users on tablets or smaller screens. The ultimate solution to this is using HTML in your website’s content so that it displays properly and google bots are able make sense of the text.
It may feel easier to create a design and send the PDF to your website manager, but trust us it’s not. If you work with a professional website manager, like Distinct, they will gladly receive the text and create a beautiful design for your website using HTML and CSS to ensure it’s readable by Google, looks great for all users, and can adjust to fit all screen sizes.
With that being said, PDFs can serve a purpose on your website. We often suggest allowing your website visitor to download a PDF in exchange for an email address. It serves a dual purpose of capturing contact information from the visitor for follow up and allowing them to digest more information about your business!