Yes, I owe you an apology. I had a hellacious two weeks, and had NO time to write. That is good! It means lots of new clients and I certainly love that. But when I get a bunch of new clients at once, I have match the right people for the client’s jobs’ and making sure everything is running smoothly takes a lot of time. The good news is that everything seems to be in place for now, so, I hope to be back on a more normal writing schedule this week. Mea culpa. I really, really miss writing, though. It’s my Zen place. 🙂
Today, I’d like to speak to you about URLS. You know what I mean, right? URLs are the addresses you type into the a browser’s address bar to get to a particular web page. URLs (or some are calling them URIs… I’m old school.) start with http://www and end with a domain and depending on the depth of the page in the website, more stuff behind that.
So, let me ask you? How much thought have you put into a) choosing your domain and b) creating pages for your sites?
Let’s start with your domain
It used to be that your domain should match what your site is about. So, for example, my blog at http://www.theSEONewsBlog.com is about what? What? Come on… I can’t hear you!
That was so the way to go before last year. Having an exact match domain or EMD was the best thing you could do to help search engines know what your site is about.
But that’s over.
Sites with EMDs, including my own, which is most definitely NOT spam and heavily content laden, suffered. The change was meant to kill off sites that Google considers to be Web spam, and still, perfectly valid sites like mine were injured and have not recovered yet.
Yes, yes… Google does employ human evaluators, but with the 9 gazillion pages on the Web, getting someone to say, “Hey, this is good stuff and not Web spam!” could take more than a decade.
What’s a good domain?
These days, it’s better to have a domain that is your brand. Ergo, MagnaSites.com. That’s my company, my brand, and really, what I want to promote. So, at the end of 2012, I switched over from my EMD site to enterprise.
Aside from your domain being your brand, it should be built with your visitor in mind. It should be as short as possible, easy to type in to a browser address bar, and easy to remember.
Your domain shouldn’t have numbers in it, or if it does, you should also buy “four” and “for” for the number 4, as an example. Your domain shouldn’t have hyphens in it, like “JiffyDog-Grooming.” People don’t remember those, won’t type them in and land on another website. So, here’s the deal: If you’re in business, your domain should be ALL about your potential customer and not about search engines. However, there are some things you can do to make them more search friendly at the very same time.
Same goes for pages
The same rules for creating easy-to-remember and easy-to-type into the address bar domains apply to your Web pages, too. (Some goes for blog posts, too, since every post you make is really another page on your website.)
Page URLs need to be a bit longer, but don’t get carried away. Here’s what I mean:
If you’re selling women’s handbags and your domain is RoyalHandbags.com, having a page title such as “RoyalHandbags.com/clutches” would be ideal. It’s short, sweet, and gets your customer where they want to be rather quickly.
To follow that down to the next page, the address should be “RoyalHandbags.com/clutches/zippered.” And the last page “RoyalHandbags/clutches/zippered/red” is perfect. Don’t go any farther down from there or you’re breaking the “three click” rule of thumb, which says that no page on your site should be more than three clicks away from the home page.
Keeping things simple is better for you, better for search, and most importantly, better for your visitor. Nobody can remember a long URL like “BestLosAngelesRestaurantintheWorld.com” anyway.
KISS. Keep it simple, superstar!