Let’s cut to the chase by just admitting that URL’s are an important part of proper SEO. Changes have been made in search engine algorithms (namely Google) and it’s no secret that changes will continue to be made in an on-going attempt to improve the end-user experience. It’s almost like a constant game of cat & mouse where we as webmasters, blog owners, and content marketers are always having to play catch-up in an attempt to not only gain that coveted 1st place position but keep it… or at least get our sites on the first page of the search results.
So, how do we get our websites to the top of the lists, or at least as close as we can manage?
Let’s talk details for a moment:
A Single Domain
We’ll start with the most ambiguous of them all. Though it’s been suggested that keeping your URL confined within a single domain name such as powerhouseaffiliate.com just as an example is a great idea, there is evidence to the contrary in some instances. For instance, the use of proper sub-domains has been shown to lend it’s power to aid in search rankings when the sub-domain and domain are closely related in their respective search terms.
Just to give another example.
Let’s say you have a domain for a website and you want to create a blog for it. If you were to create a sub-domain that looked something like blog.websitename.com then you may stand a better chance of being found by anyone looking for blogs in your related niche.
It used to be the case that we’d be able to go with a long-tail URL name that was keyword rich and we would stand a better chance of ranking higher in the SERP’s. With ranking algorithms being updated on a very regular basis this simply isn’t the case anymore. There is now a much stronger emphasis on a clean & easy to understand domain name. Yes, using keywords does still have some impact and if it’s possible to get a domain name which features keywords you’re after then by all means get it. But the good news for us who are looking to register new domains we don’t have to rely on this outdated strategy anymore.
Keep URL Parameters Short
In case you’re not sure what a URL parameter is, a brief example is anything that can be set within the URL dynamically through the web host servers or database. If you’ve ever used a website with a shopping cart you’ve seen URL’s with parameters. They are used for instances where there are multiple search requests in a single URL.
One of the main issues with a URL which has a long string of parameters is the fact it’s just ugly. Though it’s not really been shown that eliminating URL parameters will do much to help your placement in the search engines it’s usually good practice to only commit to these parameters when absolutely necessary. You want to try to keep them off of any page you’re intentionally trying to rank higher in search engines wherever possible.
Short URL’s Are Better
Gone are the days of exact-match-domains so it serves you best to pick a domain name which is short, punchy, and easy to remember wherever possible. Though getting targeted keywords inside of your URL is always a good idea, it is not necessary to overdo it. In fact, in many cases if you’re stuffing your URL’s with too many keywords you might wind up penalized with the dreaded Google Slap and all that hard work will wind up down the drain. Keep your URL’s short and easy to remember if possible.
Keep Redirects To A Minimum
If you’re not keeping your webpage redirects to two or fewer then you’re probably leaving those with slower connections behind and they may just decide to abandon your site. This is something search engines keep in mind when ranking your sites. User engagement is important these days and if people are leaving your pages after only a few seconds it may not look good to the search engines.
Redirects are okay to use, just do your best to keep them to a minimum and only use them as needed.
There are a number of more vital points to keep in mind when picking a domain name and keeping your URL’s as SEO friendly as possible. To get more info on this subject feel free to head over to Powerhouse Affiliate where you can learn about this and so much more.