SEO Tip: Importance of the URL

I have been building and managing websites for over 10 years now and one thing that holds true when it comes to SEO is that the URL is extremely important! In […]

I have been building and managing websites for over 10 years now and one thing that holds true when it comes to SEO is that the URL is extremely important! In a perfect world, if you want to have a website that is all about cars, your best chance of SEO success is to acquire the domain name cars.com and you will immediately rank in the top for the keyword cars.

However, life on the internet is not that easy anymore, there are over 250 Million domains registered today, which means chances are slim that you can get the domain you desire, well for a reasonable price.

The good news is that you can still have SEO success without an expensive simple domain name.  There are a few tips you can follow:

  1. When creating your topic pages, the search term should ideally be part of the URL.  For example, for the search term “tuna and marshmallow salad” you should create something like this: www.AwesomeTuna.com/recipes/tuna-and-marshmallow-salad. It does not guarantee that you will get relevant search traffic, but it is a great start. Also, it is far superior than the default URL that your blog sofware or CMS probably produces (www.awesometuna.com/recipe.aspx?id=23).  If your current CMS does not provide you with that control, you should rebuild on a new platform.
  2. Separate keywords by hyphens, avoid using other characters such as underscores (_). Search engines may read the underscore as a character not a space. Additionally, avoid using too many keywords in your URL, keep the number of words and hyphens to a reasonable amount. On topic pages, I suggest short and sweet, no more than 3 hyphens. One note of caution is that you should avoid hyphens in the actual domain, keep them at the topic page level.

Take a look at the SEO Cheat Sheet, Anatomy of a URL from seomoz.org.

Anatomy of a URL

I find this cheat sheet very useful when designing an SEO friendly website.

 

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