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How To Get A PDF Indexed By Google?

How would you Search Engine Optimize a document like a PDF?

Hello Everyone

The other day I was asked by a client “How would you Search Engine Optimize a document like a PDF?“.

I thanked him for a great question, and I explained that it’s very smilier to how you would optimise a standard web page.

After some research this seemed to be a common question people were asking, so today I would like to answer “ How To Get A PDF Indexed By Google? “ in 5 simple steps.

Let’s begin.


1. Make Your Content:

The first step to getting a PDF indexed with search engines is to make the content! Sounds silly but it true When making a PDF Files you must remember that they are typically downloaded and stored by users, so they can read them later or share them, online or offline. One-shot content is ideal for PDF Files. One-shot content like lists, guides, reports, journals and case studies. If it any other type of content you’re better off putting the content into a web page and indexing it instead of a PDF File.

Next, take your content and save it as a PDF File. Most word processing programs can save word documents as PDF Files.


2. Optimize PDF File for Google Search

Your Second step to index a PDF File is to optimise it

Its a lot like how you would optimise a standard web page:

Create and set unique metadata:
Create a title with less than 55 characters and a Description with 150 characters in length.

Make sure that there is a higher text to image ratio, in the PDF:
I recommend one image to every 500 words of text, just for an even balance. Like web pages, search engines can index and rank you based on text content, but not on the image content.


3. Upload PDF File to Web Site

Your third step is to publish it live to the world, uploading the file to your website. You can host it anywhere that is available for the public use. (This includes Cloud Services and other hosting options)

Once you’ve published the PDF, copy the address/path to the file on your hosting this is where it is stored. Then try to load it in your browser, if you can’t view the PDF in your browser, ask your hosting provider and get that PDF showing. Search engines will try and load the file in the same way a browser does. This can be a great way to confirm that the search engines can find your PDF.


4. Ensure PDF File is Visible to Google Search Bots

The fourth step log in to Google Search Console (webmaster tools) using your Google Account that is connected to the business, You must have your site verified as a property with Google Search Console to proceed. In the coming weeks I will be publishing an article on how to get performance data (free) for your site from Google’s Search Console, but till then, you can visit their official website.


5. Submit PDF File to Google Search Index

Once in the Google Search Console account for your company, click on the site property and on the left-hand sidebar navigate to the “Crawl >> Fetch as Google” tool. You can use this tool to force Google’s bots to “Crawl” the PDF File immediately. (this saves you waiting around for Google to “naturally” crawl the PDF File).


So that’s “ How to submit a PDF to Google’s Index? ”. It is pretty simple once you get your head around it and now your PDFs will be optimised and show up in Google’s Search Results Pages.

Please leave us a comment if you have any questions or if you have anything to add.

agoogle grant

A Guide To Google Ad Grants For Charities

Search engine online advertising is one of the most effective and most powerful tools out there.

More traditional means of promotion like leaflet and free magazines are often perceived as a nuisance by the very audience it attempts to captivate. However, search engine marketing targets ‘engaged’ users, those who are actively looking for that product or service to solve their problem. It ultimately enhances their online search experience and provides advertisers more data to improve their ads.

Did you know that each Search Engine has its own online advertising platform?

Adwords

AdWords is an ‘online’ advertising platform that is run by Google and it can help you drive people to your website. Adverts appear above, below and to the right of the results when people search on Google.

In a Google campaign you can

• Set keywords (words that describe your charity, the sector you work in or the fundraising activity)
• Create your ads
• Identify actions (i.e. donate, sign up, download)
• The locations in which people will see your ads i.e. a city, country or worldwide
• Then submit your first ad for approval (this can take up to six weeks)

You then bid against other advertisers for spaces on your chosen keywords. This works by bidding an amount you are willing to pay Google out of your budget (grant money) when someone clicks through to your website (a maximum of £1) via each keyword.

If you’re still a bit confused here’s a useful video that gives you further info:

What is Google Grant?

Google grants is an Adwords scheme for charity organisations. Google is currently offering charities a bit help and charities that are accepted receive free AdWords advertising on Google search pages. They can build and manage own their AdWords accounts similar to other advertisers, but participate with restrictions.
For this blog post, I am going to advise on the criteria for UK organisations.

Google are offering £5,890 per month for PPC (pay-per-click) advertising on their platform Adwords. It is available to any charity that fits Google’s criteria and roles, regardless of size. If you are a charity trying to generate more brand awareness it represents the quickest and easiest and the most cost-effective means. Sadly the grants are only offered in $ though, so the exchange rate may affect the month-on-month value of the grant. The charity must fill out an online application to apply for the grant and then get approved.

Your application can take up to 3 to 4 months to process, although some grants have been approved much quicker. Once your application has been reviewed, the email submitted to the application will receive an approval email with set up information on how to create an AdWords account and guidance to help you make the most of your grant.
full list of eligible countries and their Google grants application process can be found here.

Organisations NOT eligible for Grants:

● Governmental organisations
● Hospitals
● Medical groups
● Schools,
● childcare centres
● academic institutions
● universities

If you’re a school in a similar need, Google has programmes for educational institutions. Visit Google Education section here

To be eligible you must:

● Hold current and valid charity status,
● Acknowledge and agree to the application’s required certifications regarding non-discrimination and donation receipt and use.
● A functioning website with substantial content

 

Google Ad Grants programme guidelines for staying eligible:

• Daily budget set to $329
• Maximum CPC limit of $2.00
• Your ads must only link to the 1 non-profit website URL (this would be approved in the application.)
• You are required to be actively managing the AdWords account by logging in monthly.
• Ads must reflect the mission of the approved non-profit organisation and your keywords must be relevant.
• Strictly commercial advertising is not allowed through this programme. If you intend to promote products or services, 100% of the sales and/or proceeds must support your programme.
• Ads cannot link to pages that primarily link to other websites. (redirect)
• Ads offering financial products or those requesting car, boat or property donations are not allowed.
• You cannot display Google AdSense ads or affiliate advertising links while participating in Google Ad Grants.

Why you may need an Account Manager in place

You can run your Google Ad Grants account internally but I would recommend employing a specialist or a Digital Marketing Agency.

 

Raising the profile of your organisation via Ad Grants requires:
● Strategy
● Planning
● expertise (experience)

And that’s where a PPC Ad Agency or a Digital Marketing Agency (like us!) comes into play. The agency would ultimately be responsible for the continued optimisation of the account, Ads and increasing ROI.

Another benefit is that not only will they adhere to the guidelines and restrictions but they will also keep your account optimised for new updates by Google. Ensuring that your Ad Grant is not rescinded.

Like a lot of people, you are probably thinking “Ad Agencies are expensive”. You have to weigh it up. If the agency provides you with a positive ROI, then it’s more of an investment for your marketing. You will have a dedicated highly experienced Adwords account manager and be able to see the results immediately plus you can stop any time.

Do remember though – if you are a charity then the Ad Grant provides you with £5,890 of FREE advertising per month.

How do you apply?

Just visit this link and click on ‘Apply Now.

Tip:

To make the most of your campaign try linking your AdWords account to Google Analytics so you can focus on what it is delivering and data coming from your visitors

Conclusion:

If you really care for and nurture your campaigns you can really make the most out of Adwords. Before long you’ll be using up your monthly budget so be smart with it and don’t waste budget. It might still sound too good to be true but Google Grants is real and is working for many charities out there. If you don’t have one but meet the requirements my advice is to apply.

If you love the sound of the Google Grants Program but you’re just not too confident with Adwords or the work involved, MPH offers a PPC management service and if you meet the requirements for the grant we can apply for you, making it a lot easier to focus on your business. Why not get in touch and enquire about it today?

Website slow-CPU 100% capacity- (1)

Website slow? CPU at 100%? Resolve the problem now!

About 2 years ago MPH Creative were recommended to a new client that was experiencing very poor website performance. The site was slow when navigating or updating and was continually crashing, more often than not the site would not load at all and time out.

The Problem

The web agency they had in place appeared to be clueless and didn’t know how to solve the problem and communications eventually broke down completely. It was a risk for us to get involved considering the previous agency had built the custom WordPress site as well as hosted it and still didn’t know how to resolve the problem. The company was in desperate need of a trustworthy agency and so with reservation, we agreed to help. Sometimes, diagnosing a website that we haven’t built ourselves can be like finding a needle in a very large haystack.

The first task was to move the hosting away from the web agency. Once the site had moved, all appeared to operate normally, speed was good, we had no crashes and the client was happy – but surely it couldn’t be that simple?

After a month or two, the site was still running well and the problems were ultimately put down to poor hosting… but did we speak too soon?

Another month later and the old problems started to resurface, the site slowed and performance dropped rapidly which eventually led to the site being down more than up.

The client and hosting company came back to us reporting the issues, so we went through the process of ensuring all the obvious things were updated. But again, other than a load of ridiculously large images uploaded to the system nothing major jumped out. All the plugins, WordPress version and theme were updated and all operated as they should.

We advised the hosting company to increase the specification of the server as the site did appear to have a decent level of traffic but nothing out of the norm. This appeared to do the job for another month or so, until we received a panicked call from the client that the site had once again gone down and showed an ‘error establishing database connection’.

The hosting company was less than helpful, and we were sure the site didn’t have any fundamental problems that would reoccur sporadically. If a site doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, very rarely a site will keep developing issues for no apparent issue. Once again, we did all we thought possible on our side and the client eventually lost patience with the lack of assistance from the hosting company who just kept pointing the finger at us and reiterating the same query that the CPU was at 100% capacity.

The client changed hosting companies yet again and on changing, like magic, all appeared calm and the site went back to normal, leaving us to believe this was again a hosting issue. I’m not a lover of hosting companies at the best of times and have the opinion that many people do on broadband and mobile phone companies. They promise you the world but once you’ve signed on the dotted line and have your money they couldn’t care less.

Following the third change in hosting company, we had even less time than before when the site crashed and was almost inoperable.

We were sure the site itself wasn’t the cause, so we did some in-depth research online to see if others were having similar problems. We were amazed to see that this is a global problem with hundreds of discussions, forums and cries for help from website owners and the issues were exactly the same:

  • High CPU usage at 100% capacity
  • Site extremely slow
  • Site timing out
  • Unable to access WordPress admin
  • Hosting company providing no advice or help
  • Hosting company blaming the site build and to check plugins

After reading many posts and applying possible solutions – none of which worked, we then focused on outside influences. According to Google Analytics, traffic was steady with nothing alarming that would pull the site down, especially as the site was on a dedicated high spec server. There was a fair bit of referral traffic pinging the site that reflected quite a high bounce rate so we blocked these IP addresses in the site code. This halved the GA results but still the site was extremely slow.

 

DDoS-Attacker-CPU-chart

DDoS Attack and How it works

 

The next step was to test to see if the site was being attacked through more hidden, malicious methods. Accessing the site database, we applied a query code to reveal all traffic hitting the site. In an instant, it was black and white what was causing the trouble. The site was being massively hit by a sustained automated DDoS attack. Over just a few hours, the site had been hit over 45,000 times which was crippling CPU and causing the 100% overload pulling the site down.

 

Why does this not show in Google Analytics?

The attack avoids being tracked by Google libraries as Google relies on javascript to perform it’s tracking; since this would not have been run by these requests it did not show up in the GA metrics.

 

The Solution

From here we isolated the IP addresses that hit the site almost every second or more and applied a short piece of code to block these IP addresses. And wham, bam thank you, mam, the site was back and fully operational.

Now that we’d unearthed the problem, a concern dawned on us. Every time we’d changed hosting the automated attack lost the IP address of our client’s site and the attacked ceased, but within months the attackers had relocated the site and the attacks started again.

This was obviously a malicious and targeted attack put in place to bring our clients website down. For what reason we do not know, they provide a positive and worthwhile service so to attack such a company simply makes no sense.

If you want to check to see if your site is being targeted by DDoS attacks you can follow these steps:


 

Step 1

Via FTP connect to your website and locate the functions.php file. This is usually in wp-content/themes/*YOUR THEME NAME*/

Add the following code to the top of the functions page:
$wpdb->query( $wpdb->prepare("INSERT INTO temp_log
(user_agent, their_address, they_requested)
VALUES (%s, %s, %s)
",array($_SERVER ['HTTP_USER_AGENT'],$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'],$_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'] )) );

Then save and re-upload.


 

Step 2

We then made some changes to log the traffic, and left it for this log to build up enough information to provide a useful profile. We then ran a query to extract anomalous traffic.

Access the database, if you don’t have direct access, alternatives like phpMyAdmin are usually available. Once you’ve done that click on the tab at the top that says “SQL” and create the following table:

 

CREATE TABLE ‘temp_log’.’temp_log’ (
`id` INT NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
`they_requested` VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL,
`user_agent` VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL,
`when_they_visited` TIMESTAMP NOT NULL,
`their_address` VARCHAR(50) NOT NULL,
PRIMARY KEY (`id`) );

 


 

Step 3

Next, click the “Query” tab and input the following:
SELECT *FROM temp_log ORDER BY id desc


 

Step 4

A list will appear presenting the IP address and times they hit the site
If you are being heavily attacked there will be a clear culprit as the IP will appear multiple times, possibly every second or so.

 


 

Step 5

If the page is being visited by one of the suspect IPs we have identified, we need to halt execution. We want to do this fairly early on, so we add the following code to the top of the wp-config.php file:
if (in_array($_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'], [IP ADDRESS 1, IP ADDRESS 2])) {
header("HTTP/1.1 503");
die();
}

The IPs take the form of a comma separated list, with each IP surrounded by quotes. The header is to inform the visitor of the nature of the response; theoretically, any code could be supplied, but 503 seemed appropriate. We then have the “die” since the program execution is terminating abnormally.


 

Result:

CPU usage should have dramatically reduced and site performance vastly increased.

What if the DDoS attack starts again?
Apply the same process to block the attackers and consider using a third partly buffer like Cloudflare (www.cloudflare.com) to block DDoS attacks. The first level package is free so well worth giving this a go.

 

 

 

If you’re not sure how to apply the above steps, but you think this might be the problem with your site, feel free to get in touch and we will do our best to help.