#MarketingTipMonday No. 96

Here’s everything small business owners need to know about File URL Visibility.

What is File URL Visibility?

It’s the accessibility you assign to documents or other files that are uploaded to your website.

Think of a PDF that you’ve downloaded from a website. The website manager has control over who AND what can access that file.

What are the visibility options?

There are three levels:

  1. Public: By default, most website platforms set files to “Public.” This means that all people can access the file and all search engines can crawl it and add it to their SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
  2. Public – noindex: This means that all people can access the file IF they have the direct link to it. But, search engines are not welcome to crawl the page or include it in SERPs.
  3. Private: This means that website visitors need to be logged into your website to access the file. Even someone with the file link would not be able to access the file, until they log in. Just list the “Public – noindex” setting, search engines are not able to crawl the page or include it in SERPs.

Why should I care about File URL Visibility?

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you create a new white paper, which you’ve uploaded to your website and put it behind a form (i.e. gate). You’ll want that document to be marked as “Public – noindex.” If it were marked as “Public,” it’s possible that someone could find the document through a search engine (including the “search” field on your website) without submitting the form!

Another example – say you use the same platform for your emails and website (like HubSpot). If you upload a pricing list to send in an email to a client, you might not want that file public. By changing the File URL Visibility to “Public – noindex,” or even “Private,” you’ll maintain control of who sees your files.

Not sure what action to take?

Reach out to your marketing team to make sure your files are marked property so you’re creating the intended user experience.

If you’re in need of a marketing partner to fix all the issues you didn’t even know existed, let’s talk!