Choosing a new URL for your website has more SEO implications than the average person might think. Most of the debate when choosing a new a URL is; should you use your company name to brand your image or should you use keywords for the service that you provide? Branding can be good for the global companies like Nike or Gucci, but if you are a more localized company looking to drive traffic to your website, it might better suit you to use keyword optimization for your URL. Here a few tips when deciding upon your next URL:
K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid
This tip is to try to stop you from over thinking your URL. At the end of the day, you want to get down to the core of what your company does. Say you were a clothing store like Macy’s, but for this blog’s sake, we’ll call our store “Stacy’s”. Choose a simple domain like www.stacysclothing.com. From this point, you need to build a URL tree that is clear and easy for a use to navigate. For example, you would want the URL for men’s shoes to read like this: www.stacysclothing.com/men/shoes.html. If a user saw an URL like www.stacysclothing.com/web/pages/6389.html, they would have no clue what this page contains until they physically click on the link and go to the page.
Avoid Numbers, Dates and Unnecessary Jargon
There is a common misperception in the SEO world that using numbers, dates and year of publication add authority to pages. This is not true and in fact could hurt your SEO campaign compared to building a clean URL tree. For example, stacysclothing.com/2006/04/16293/web-hosting.html will have relatively less URL value than stacysclothing.com/web-hosting.html because the search engines will have to search through the numbers 2006/04/16293 before getting to the important keywords.
Use Hyphens to Separate Keywords
Hyphens are the best way to separate keywords in your URL. Some sites user underscores (_) or plus signs (+) to separate keywords but search engines seem to respond best to hyphens.
5 Keywords Max
When choosing a domain name, most places will let you choose up to 13 keywords in your URL. However, search engines like Google will only read the first 5 keywords. The goal is actually to use a few keywords as possible in your URL so that Google ranks these keywords higher. The higher the number of keywords, the lower the relative value to Google gives to each word.
www.stacysclothing.com/men-wearables-shorts-spring-collection-fashion-china.html should be renamed www.stacysclothing.com/china-spring-men-fashion.html. The renamed URL is easier to comprehend, and you’re not losing any value because of a long string of characters. Always remember to try to put the most important keyword up front.
The goal for your URL is to get one that describes the intent of the page and is clear, short, and sticks in the user’s head. Exact match URLs are a good but considering the non-availability of exact match domains, don’t worry too much about the name itself. Create a good balance between the structure, permalinks, and the naming convention of the different pages of your site, and you should be in pretty good shape.
If you are interested in more SEO techniques or would like to hire us to manage your reputation online contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 857.526.0096.
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