A trend that’s continuing to grow with my clients is putting resources on their sites without forcing the prospect to register to download them. PDFs specifically – including white papers, sales sheets, case studies, use cases, guides, etc. As an example, our partners and prospects often request that we send them sales sheets to distribute the package offerings we have. A recent example is our Salesforce CRM Optimization service.
Some sites offer PDFs via download buttons that visitors can click to download and open a PDF. There are a few disadvantages to this:
- PDF Software – In order to download and open a PDF, your users must have a software package installed and configured on their mobile or desktop.
- PDF Versions – PDFs that companies design often have versions and updates. If your clients save the link to an older PDF, they may have an out-of-date publication.
- Analytics – A PDF is a file on the site and doesn’t have any web page associated with it to capture any analytics data on the visitor.
The answer is to embed your PDF in a web page and distribute that link instead. If we embed the PDF in a PDF reader within the web page, the visitor can view the PDF, download the PDF (if enabled) and we could track the pageviews just like any other page within Google Analytics.
WordPress PDF Plugin
If you install the PDF Embed Plugin for WordPress, you can easily accomplish all of this. We actually have an example on our marketing campaign checklist. The PDF Embedder plugin offers both a shortcode that you can utilize or you can use their Gutenberg element for the default WordPress editor.
[pdf-embedder url="https://martech.zone/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/2022-Marketing-Campaign-Checklist-compressed.pdf" title="Marketing Campaign Checklist"]
Here’s what the result looks like on the page:
There’s actually a family of plugins that offer a few features:
- A secure feature that disables downloading.
- Moving the pagination and optional download button to the top or bottom of the PDF.
- Displaying the PDF menu on hover or visible at all times.
- A full-screen button.
- A PDF thumbnail plugin.
- Mobile responsive viewing and downloading.
- Active links within the PDF.
- No need to code anything, when you embed a PDF, it automatically displays within the shortcode!
I’ve used this plugin on multiple sites and it works flawlessly. Their licensing is perpetual, so I’ve actually purchased the full license that enables me to use it on as many sites as I want. At $50, that’s a great deal.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate for PDF Plugins (and also a customer).