There are a variety of ways by which you can generate backlinks to your blog or website. One of the less-known methods, which will be described below, involves converting articles, blog posts, how-to guides, etc. to PDF files and uploading them either to your own or document sharing sites. When done right, this is an efficient way to build authority, links and higher traffic to a site.
Creating PDF files for your site
Adding PDF guides to a site, instead of only adding content as web posts, can give a site more variety and authority. Generally, these take the form of guides or some other in-depth information. As PDF guides tend to be better written, they often are given more weight with search engines. When they are passed around, they can become a form of viral marketing. Therefore, they need to link back to your site and may contain some affiliate links. Link them to the top page or other page that is easily crawled by search engines.
PDF files as incentives
For those more focused on sales or email list building, PDF files can be used as incentives, especially when they are put into book form. For example, a PDF ebook can be offered on a squeeze page in exchange for signing up for an email list or as part of an incentivized CPA offer.
Uploading files to PDF sharing sites
As a form of off-page SEO link building, PDF content can be put on PDF sharing sites. Many of these sites have high page rank and are regularity crawled by search engines. By delivering both links and direct traffic, this is an effective marketing method when used properly.
Top 10 Free PDF sharing sites
To get the best results possible, concentrate on established directories with good page rank. Here is a list of some PDF sharing sites to consider:
- Issuu.com – PR 9
- SlideShare – PR 8
- Scribd – PR 8
- Box – PR 7
- 4Shared – PR 6
- Calameo – PR 6
- Docstoc – PR 6
- KeepandShare – PR 6
- Youblisher – PR 6
- Yudu – PR 6
Converting files to PDF
All Microsoft Office documents and text documents can be converted into PDF files. If you are using Microsoft 2007 or later, you simply open the file you want to convert and save it as a PDF or XPS file. Files saved using OpenOffice can also be converted by exporting your chosen file in the desired format. If using Google Docs, choose the file and go to Download As > PDF.
Another route is to use online converters. While these sites sometimes have technical glitches, they will do the job for free. Some examples include CutePDF, DocuPub, doPDF, Free PDF Convert , PDF Online and Print in PDF.
Some useful tips to consider
- Create your PDF file using text format: Don’t use Photoshop since search engines cannot read image files.
- Use a catchy title: Pique your target readers’ interest by using an attention-grabbing title. Make them want to read the entire document the moment they read the title.
- Dress it up: Include quality photos within the body of your document and give them appropriate alt tags. In addition, be sure to have a good cover image.
- Link it up: Use hyperlinks to link your document back to the specific page you are targeting. Put your footer to good use by including links pointing back to your site.
- Secure your links: To make sure your links are retained by those who want to share your documents elsewhere, make sure you save it as a “read only” PDF file.
- Use a larger font: For easy readability, use a larger font since your file will look a lot smaller when posted online.
- Spin the document: When submitting the same document to a number of sites, try varying the text and keywords.
- Remember the bio: Always include a good bio with links back to your site.
- Embed video: Relevant video is a great way to spice up a PDF file.
- Consider limiting it to a teaser: Instead of uploading an entire document to a PDF sharing site, just upload a teaser that leaves out some important info and calls on the reader to go to your site for the rest.
Optimize for SEO
Whether the PDF file is on your own site or another, it should be optimized with on-page SEO techniques. This will include the use of keywords in the text as well as the title, header and author tags. Use the techniques covered in on-page SEO to make the PDF shine in the eyes of search engines much as those strategies are used for regular posts on a site. In addition, keep the following in mind:
- Make sure the file contains plain text, and the words are not in the form of pictures as search engines will not be able to read them as words if they are saved in picture form.
- Remember not to let the file get too big as anything that is overly heavy hurts site speed and SEO. Check the time required for the file to download and reduce its size if it is taking excessively long.
- It is also wise to avoid duplicate content. Make the content in them unique from what is on your site.
- In addition, keep in mind that many people may not be able to read the file if it is saved in the latest version of Acrobat reader, so it is usually best to save the PDF in an older version.
Automated PDF SEO tools
Document Marketing Robot (http://docmarketingrobot.com/)
This tool was created by Swedish internet marketing guru Steve Hawkins to help him with his content creation tasks. Basically, DMR works by automatically creating accounts in the top document sharing sites and submitting PDF documents to them. Since these sites are not spammed as extensively as forums and article directories, the backlinks generated offer more value.
The tool features an article spinner so you can submit a unique version of your article to each site and promote these documents by automatically pinging and tweeting about them. The Document Marketing Robot comes with a 14-day no question asked, money-back guarantee.
RankWhizz works in basically the same way as DMR. The tool submits to 20 of the top document sharing sites and has three modes of operation to choose from. It can be used for files on your computer or to automatically fetch related articles from the internet, spin them and then submit them all in one go.
The program also features an easy-to-use user interface, a profile manager (to help you create profiles for each of the top document sharing sites), a project scheduler, drip feed capability, proxy support, built-in auto text spinner, a captcha solver and free support and updates for life. The RankWhizz offers a 30-day 100% money back guarantee so you have enough time to see if it really works.