Let’s talk about iFrames.
An iFrame is an HTML element (like a form, video, or PDF) that you can embed inside of another HTML element (typically a web page).
Today you’ll see these powerful tools most commonly used to embed videos that are actually stored on another site (like a vimeo video embeded via iFrame on a wordpress site).
Ten years ago, it was very common for companies to use an iFrame to embed a PDF reader into a website page. These iFrame PDF readers made it easy for visitors to download/print the PDF and made it easy for website developers to build out the webpage.
Don’t use an iFrame to embed PDFs on your website. Here’s why:
- iFrame PDFs aren’t mobile responsive. With an increasing number of website visitors viewing your site on their phone, make it easy for visitors to consume your content without panning or zooming.
- iFrame PDFs are terrible for search. All those words that are on the PDF document ARE NOT crawled by the robots — meaning that Google and other search engines don’t know what content is on the page or how a page should rank for an organic search. To summarize, by embedding your content as a PDF via iFrame, your page has no keywords.
- It’s an outdated practice for people to download and print a PDF and share it with their colleagues. When was the last time you did that? People are comfortable with sharing links.
Build out your PDF content on a mobile responsive site to create a better use experience and better search rankings.