Most of the time I work with web savvy clients, but I’ve been helping a small business get online and I get consistently reminded how much I’ve taken for granted that basic web concepts are understood.
The business is a tax and accountancy firm, and so they deal a lot with various IRS publications and lists. So they sent me a six page list of various medical procedures that can be deducted on your taxes. My assumption was that I would also get a couple of introductory paragraphs (why the reader should care and how they should use the list) and that I would create a page for them with the pdf list as a resource link on the page.
Nope, they were thinking the list *was* the content and that I would just take the pdf and convert it to HTML. Putting the technical considerations aside, I had to step back and think about this. Would site visitors prefer the list in a nice downloadable pdf or would a HTML formatted list be the way to go? Obviously I would have to build in some pagination (as I explained to my clients).
To get my question across, I ended up having to explain the different file formats and user experiences when interacting with the web. How a pdf is really intended as a resource and is usually too long to fit on a web page.
I’m still not sure of the best way to go. It’s a really long list and seems more suitable for a pdf, but on the other hand more HTML content is always good for the search engines.
Kathy Alice Brown is a SEO expert specializing in Technical SEO and Content. In her spare time she loves to get outside.