Friday, 6 June 2014

Should you PDF website content?

1. Difficult to find – because most PDFs start life as a Word document, it is unlikely that they have been optimised so that the content can be found by search engines.

PDFs tend to be long and text heavy, making it improbable that they are optimised using keywords the intended audience will be searching for.

2. Difficult to open - your audience is less likely to be able to access PDF content because, for example, they cannot open the PDF format you have saved using the software on their device.

If users do have the right software (such as Adobe Acrobat), they will have to wait for it to open before they can read the content – interrupting their flow and causing unnecessary frustration.

3. Difficult to navigating - browser commands do not work because the content of a PDF is within its own sub-environment, and is not being viewed via the internet.

By opening a PFD users have now moved away from your website and because a PDF does not typically contain the website navigation, they will find it difficult to get back to their original location.

4. Difficult to read – PDF is designed to be printed on paper, not read on a computer screen. With an increasing number of users accessing content via smart devices (with smaller screens), the font will probably be too small to read (unless it is printed onto paper).

5. Difficult to search – the search facility in PDF readers is primitive and relies on an exact text string match. So, unless your users know the exact phrase they are searching for (in your long, text heavy PDF), they are unlikely to find it.

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