Skip to main content

Naming PDF files

Your PDF file name matters 

File names might seem like a meaningless admin detail, but they are visible, functional content elements that need to be optimized.

1. The Analytics team can only provide a specific PDF download report if you include your team's acronym in the file name. 

2. Readers can plainly see your messy PDF file names.

3. Search engines include keywords in your PDF file name in their algorithms. 

Strong file names:

  1. Start with “SEI”
  2. Contain 2 to 4 searchable keywords about your topic
  3. Use hyphens between (not spaces or underscores)
  4. Dates or regional abbreviations—at the end, if needed
  5. Include your BU or team abbreviation near to or at the end, for housekeeping purposes.

 Get rid of everything else. No version numbers, production notes, etc. (Your readers don't need to know that their downloaded file is version 2)


  • SEI-Gender-Pay-Report-2021-crp.pdf
  • SEI-tax-planning-checklist-2021-IAS-3651207.pdf
  • SEI-Master-Trust-INS.pdf
  • SEI-Private-Market-Liquidity-WhitePaper-2021-IMS-US.pdf
  • SEI-Monthly-Market-Commentary-MAY-2021-IMU-UK.pdf

​The Analytics team uses the following abbreviations: 

IAS = Advisor, ITS = Sphere, PB = Private Banks, IMS = IMS, PWM = Private Wealth, INS = Institutional, VEN = Ventures, AMD = Asset Management Distribution, CRP = Corporate, IMU = IMU.  If you wish to get reporting on another team, contact Barb Wing. 

Your file name is visible to all

  1. Google uses your file name in its algorithm.
  2. Whenever a reader downloads your PDF file to their device, or opens it in their browser, they’re looking at your file name.
  3. Jumbled file names with version numbers look unprofessional and don’t inspire confidence.
  4. Users may need to recognize the file name on their device if they downloaded it to read later.

Example: The reader can see your file name in three places: the browser tab, the URL, and possibly at the top of the content area too. 

Keep reading: Learn how to optimize PDF files for SEO