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17 Apr 2013

Why Are URL Structures Important for SEO? Part 2 [VIDEO]

Q & A Video

Our own Brynna Baldauf concludes her video series with the second part of “Why Are URL Structures Important for SEO?” To avoid some very disruptive errors in your website indexing, follow these few short tips to make sure your URL structure is correct.

Transcription

What are some different kinds of things that make a URL structure good and bad? How we used to have an old dynamic URL is it kind of changes too frequently for the search engines to keep on track of.

The first thing you have is your protocol, or your HTTP. Then you have your subdomain, which would be a www or it could be store. , blog., et cetera. Then you have your domain, which is actually for us at VerticalMeasures. For you, it’s probably your company name or your important keywords you want in there. Then you have your top-level domain, which could be a .com, .co, .co.uk; it’s whatever you use to keep track. Then you have your page, or file name, so .com/blog, or /subfolder. After that you actually have the file extension. It could be .php, .html, whatever you’re using to code that. After that you have your CGI parameters, which could be a pound sign, hashtag or a series of numbers to lock it all down in place.

For a new actual SEO URL you’re going to want to have a lot of the same things, but it’s also going to be a little bit different. You’re going to have your protocol HTTP; your subdomain, your www, your blog., store., etc.. Then your actual domain, so your company name, keyword, for us it’s VerticalMeasures, your top level domain, so your .com, .co; your folders and paths, so /blog, /store; and then your actual page with the keywords in it. So for this it would be URL structures; and then your named anchor, so it’s going to tell you where exactly on the page you go, but instead of using a series of numbers it’s going to actually be a pound sign, and it’s going to say “start at the top”, “start at the middle”, et cetera.

Some things to keep in mind when you’re designing your URL structures for SEO purposes, is when you make a folder or sub-domain, all search engines kind of read them the same now. There used to be some debate about there being a sub-domain blog versus a sub-folder blog. Now it’s all kind of the same, so you don’t need to worry about that too much. It’s kind of whatever your personal preference is and whatever is the cleanest for your users.

The next thing you want to remember is that you need to be wary of length. If something is too long, it’s going to be difficult to copy and paste over, and if you have too many dynamic parameters in there, it’s going to be confusing for people. If it’s also too long, then Google can’t actually get to the inside of that information. It wants to make sure that it’s only indexing things that are useful for people to actually find. If it’s buried under sub-folder after sub-folder, it’s not actually going to index your content, and it’s going to be not appearing in the search engines.

The next thing to make sure is your URL is actually relevant to your page title. When you copy it over, your page title should be, for this an example for this would be URL structures, so when you copy it over onto a forum, an email, et cetera, people can actually see what they’re clicking on to instead of just having a string of dynamic parameters. This also will act as anchor text once you add the piece of code. It will say your whole URL structure, and in there will be your keyword of correct URL structure. When people search “correct URL structure”, it’s that exact match you’re kind of looking for.

The last thing you want to keep in mind is that when you’re adding words into your page title, you need to make sure you’re separating using hyphens or dashes. Otherwise, if you leave it open, browsers and different people can read that differently. It can be filled in with a %20, and then when you copy it over it can’t read it because it’s not what it’s used to seeing. So, just make sure you actually set that space difference as a hyphen or a dash.

That’s all I have for today.