There are several hundred points of concern when it comes to optimizing your website for SEO (search engine optimization) and quality rankings. Some points are major and some are minor.
One of the more major points is URL structure.
The first point of concern in a URL is the domain name, or the website primary address. Our domain name is smartexposuremarketing.com. It is the primary address of our website and the base of our URL structure. Once it is established, it cannot be changed without great consequence.
So if your desired website is not yet build, consider your domain name carefully.
The general rule of thumb is that if you plan to offer a range of products, services or ideas, do a branded domain like mybusinessname.com. It will offer the greatest opportunity to safely expand online. This will be explained in more detail later.
If you offer a particular service or product you might consider using your primary keyword in your domain name. For example, a roofing company might use abcroofing.com it makes the domain a central part of your website’s keyword structure.
Why is all of this important?
The search engines use “intelligent” algorithms to grow and become more accurate over time. They look at the URL structure of a website as the first indicator of what the website is about and how relevant it might be to a given search term. Then it begins to look at page titles, content, images, meta data, and a plethora of other factors.
Since the URL structure is essentially it’s “first impression” it must be good.
There was a time years ago when URL structure wasn’t that important and keyword stuffing (over use of keywords in URL structure and content) was perfectly acceptable. However, since the search algorithms have now adapted to better understand human behavior and search patterns, they take that into account with all of the content (including URL structure) with their final “judgement” of your website relevance.
Basically, URL structure and website content in general must be organized, relevant, and congruent.
A typical url will include the domain name and then be followed by a “/“ and then any number of things including category, tags, page name, post title, or a seemingly random string of characters.
A keyword stuffed URL will include the keyword over and over. Let’s say that a roofing company uses “roofing” in their domain name, but they also use it as a category for their blog and in the headline of most of their blog posts. Their URL’s will look something like this. www.abcroofing.com/roofing/quality-roofing-repair.
When a search engine looks at this it will obviously understand that the site is about roofing, but will usually flag it as potential spam or scam because of the fact that there is no logical need for the exact word “roofing” to be used three times within the URL.
A better composition would have come from keeping in mind that the main keyword is part of the domain, so the category could have been “repair” and the title could have been “quality that lasts.” So the URL would have looked like www.abcroofing.com/repair/quality-that-lasts/.
That will give both the search engine algorithm and the person doing the searching a much better idea of what the article is actually about and therefore give it a higher rating in the search engine and more credibility in the mind of the searcher.
This is why branded domains like mycompany.com vs. mykeywordcompany.com are so important to consider.
A further example: we chose smartexposuremarketing.com because this company will always be about marketing. So we can use the very broad keyword of marketing in our domain, but make use or our brand as well. However we can easily use categories, page titles and post titles to express more detailed keywords thus giving us the opportunity to take advantage of more keywords.
Such as, smartexposuremarketing.com/atlanta-seo/, we all know what SEO marketing is, but in this case there was no need to reiterate the marketing part. We were, however, able to take advantage of the keywords associated with “atlanta seo” for our Atlanta office without having any sort of keyword conflict or stuffing penalty.
Plus, we have the opportunity to utilize numerous marketing related keywords. We can do “atlanta-seo” or “pensacola-website-design” or “florida-seo” or “denver-social-media.” Those are location specific. They aren’t even the big general keywords like “seo experts.”
So if your company is going to be marketing a single service or idea, use that keyword in your domain and then take advantage of the remainder of your URL to be specific.
If your company is going to have multiple offerings you might want to consider more of a branded or broad keyword domain.
The biggest key is to remember that your domain name will not change, but every page, post, category, and media will create URL variations according to your keyword marketing strategy.
What if your website is already up and established?
Make the most of it. That is the short answer.
Basically, if you structure it correctly, your domain can be used to your advantage. Just be sure to take into account the above factors as you set up and continue your keyword ranking strategy.
If for some reason, your website has a very big URL mess going on, there are some things that can be repaired. However, that is way too much to go into in a simple article, so please contact us and we will be happy to let you know what we can do to help remedy the situation.
Otherwise, be sure to plan your keyword strategy and remember to keep everything relevant, logical and organized.
If it’s just too much to handle, contact us, we will be happy to help.