Here are some essential URL SEO tips which can improve your website usability and search engine rankings:
Domain Name Structure Considerations
Try to include the most important keyword in the domain name, e.g. www.lakeside-hotels.com. Although it’s not always possible, you should consider it when re-building the site (just don’t forget to use hyphens to separate words and redirect old to new URLs).
Separate Multiple Keywords In URL Using Hyphens
Using hyphens to split multiple keywords in URL makes it easier for search engines to make sense out of your URL. Hyphens essentially tell search engine robots: “This is the end of one keyword and the beginning of another”.
Re-write Dynamic URL To Static URL
Use mod_rewrite (URL Rewriting Engine) to change the dynamic URL, e.g. www.lakeside-hotels.com/product.php?category=room&price=else to something more readable and accessible for both users and robots, e.g. www.lakeside-hotels.com/balcony-room. Dynamic URLs get indexed slower and reduce clickthroughs from search engines (as they look less relevant in search results).
Include Relevant Keywords In URL
It sounds like a no-brainer (get keywords, use them when re-writing, separate using hyphens). However, it’s important to understand what a relevant keyword is. Usually, keywords in the URL should at least partially correspond to keywords in the page title.
Things to remember:
- Don’t overcook it – don’t bother with more than 10 keywords for each URL
- Keep the most important keywords at the beginning of URL
- There’s no point in using words like ‘and’ ‘of’ ‘in’ ‘our’
Eliminate Duplicate Content
There are at least 4 ways to remove duplicate content:
- Use Google Webmaster Tools or .htaccess file to choose a preferred version of your domain – www vs. non-www.
- Use canonical link element (rel=”canonical”) to clean up duplicate urls and let robots know which URL they should focus on when they found multiple URLs with the same content. Supported by all major search engines now. Read more here.
- Use the parameter handling tool in Google Webmaster tools to tell robots proffered version of the URL. Doesn’t require coding changes but works on Google only.
- Redirect duplicated content to the preferred version of the URL using 301 Permanent redirect rules.
Read more about optimising URLs and SEO Services
Posted by Charlie Hartley – http://www.weareimpression.co.uk