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Domain Name & URL Structure for SEO: SEO for Beginners Tutorial

Hey this is Sasha and in this video I want to share with you the importance of the domain or the URL structure as you’re looking to do SEO or search engine optimization for your website. Often times search engines are really looking for keywords within the URL and those are the things that also help your website rank higher.

Choose your domain with keywords in mind

This isn’t to say that if you have a keyword within your URL you’re going to automatically be ranked higher or if you don’t have a keyword in your domain or your URL you’re going to be ranked lower, but every little bit helps, so if you’re just new and you’re looking to register a domain name, it’s important to think about the keyword consideration.

On one hand you don’t want to get too specific to the point where you annihilate your possibilities for the future of your website, but on the other hand, you also want to think about with search engines in mind as you’re choosing a keyword.

When you look at let’s just say a website, and I look at my own website, you can see I’ve chosen backstageincome.com. The domain backstageincome.com, income doesn’t always necessarily refer to just making money, income is just growth of something, if you look at the definition of it; it’s really about growing or building a resource. Often times it is used for money, and that is what most people think of it, but for me personally I look at it more in the sense of just growth in general.

As you look at the URL structure, I could’ve done things that are more marketing related, such as backstagemarketing.com, or marketingtwist.com, I could’ve really focused in on a marketing concept, but in that case, if I look at let’s just say my backstage income website, and I go into my blog over here, then probably what I’ve only been able to target or do the content, would have limited me to only marketing related things.

Because now if you look at it, I do book training, I do things regarding book cover designs, writing a book, also about growth, productivity, products and services, tools and equipment reviews, a lot of different things, there’s WordPress related things, and even money and wealth, investing basics, financial basics, retirement, so there’s a lot of additional knowledge and information that goes beyond just marketing.

URL structure will help you rank higher in search engines

If you have something in the URL and we just take a look at let’s say logo design over here, and I search for logo design, you can see the first few are obviously sponsored, but as you look at the URL or the links here, you can see this link right here has the word logo in it, if you look at 99designs, it has the word design in also one of the page logo design.

This one also has logogenie.net has the word logo, so as we continue to scroll through these things, you can see some of these websites, they actually have the full logo design right there, and you can see it’s bolded, and because it’s bolded, it should play a somewhat of a role, it’s not going to be the only thing Google or Yahoo or Bing are checking, but I does help. So of course the more things, the more elements that you have, it will be more helpful.

If you click through, you look through the page, you can see it has right there logodesignlove.com, it has logo design within the domain name. That’s one of the important things with looking at the URL is that it will help rank your search engines higher.

Not having keywords in your URL won’t hurt your website

Fortunately, if you have already a domain, and it doesn’t have your key keyword or your primary keyword in the URL or the domain, then you’re thinking or wondering, isn’t that now a problem? Is it going to hurt my rankings? It’s not that it’s going to hurt your rankings; it just doesn’t benefit you as much.

Keep in mind many websites target many different types of topics, just like if we go to building an online business, and we do a quick search for this, you can see that entrepreneur.com and as we look at this, this has no keyword that has to do with building an online business, there’s nothing there, but it has an article, building an online business right there that’s valuable in the link entrepreneur.com, that company, the domain is worth a lot, there is a lot of external links that come into it.

This really helps build out that page to rank it high, as it continue to scroll, you can see wikihow is more of a wiki website, it does nothing related to business with the exception of articles. Because it’s all about a wiki how, so how do you build an online business? So that’s the article, but in general, it’s more of a how to website, but because it’s a popular website, and it has that page that’s related to building an online business, it allows it to rank higher there.

In either case, if you have a domain with the keywords in there, it will be helpful, but if you don’t have one, don’t stress about it, it’s not going to really penalize you, it just going to give you a few extra bonus points.

URL structure

The other thing you want to look at is the URL structure and if you’re in WordPress and you go to your permalinks, the way that you do this is basically you go to settings and then you go to permalinks, you click this, it’s important to have search engine friendly URLs.

The normal WordPress setup that we have when you install WordPress is something like this, it uses ?/p=123. In either case, this is the normal URL structure that WordPress sets up by default, and this is just to manage your content, it’s your content id.

You’ve probably noticed some URLs meaning as you go through pages, they might be something like this, where it’s year, then month and then its day and then the title of the post, so this is another way to really look and structure your post. Others have month and name, if you have just month and name, then you have that year, month and then the name.

And some of them just do archives or numeral based, and then others do post names, so they don’t even have the year, they just simply put slash post name.

Avoid URL conflict between posts

The way you do it is totally up to you, normally in the past, the ?p=123 didn’t work really well for man search engines, now they’ve gotten so much better, they can pick things up.

Ultimately if you’re doing a lot of postings on the internet, and you’re doing frequent postings, you might want to do something like day and name. For example, you have year, month, day and then a post.

Because if you’re doing 20 postings a day, that post may not be as unique, because the whole goal is to make it unique enough, because if you have overlapping links or URLs, the names and titles, they can actually conflict, so that’s the problem.

URLs help keep posts organized

If you’re only posting once a week, or for general blogs, I would say something like a month and name is just fine. For us, we use a year and post name, we use a custom one, so we basically have a year and then the post name. So we don’t even do a month, because it’s either 2016, 2017, 2018 and then simply a post name. And that just kind of helps organize some things.

Because as you start adding additional slashes and directors, it just makes things a little confusing, so for us, as you go to this link right here, and you just go and look at an article, so let’s say we’re looking at this article, you can see right here as far as the bread crumbs, this is where the categories are within the website, but if we zoom in and you look at the URL at the top, you can see it’s simply just the year and then just /8-tips-create-ebook-cover-that-sells/, which is basically hyphenated and I’m not sure if you can really see that as you look into it, but it’s basically just that year and that phrase for that page.

Importance of the body text

And again, if I use any of those keywords within that phrase for 8 tips to create an eBook cover that sells, that helps rank me higher, so if I do a search for that, you might be able to see, well, there is my video that comes up, of course it’s going to come from YouTube, simply because YouTube is a higher ranked website, and if you try and find my website, it’s probably not even ranked here yet, because I don’t think I even have the text for it, and that’s why it’s important for you to constantly put the text under it, so you can see this is an empty post, there is no text under it, it’s just embedding a video.

Where instead if I have some other posts or articles that actually have content under it, like here, let’s just see if I type this in exactly as it is, you might be able to see this one somewhere down the line, this one is still YouTube based, and we’ll see if it picks it up, because the site is still fairly fresh, so we’ll just take a quick peak, and no, it’s not up there yet either, that’s why it’s important to really put on a good amount of content, because you can see that even this one, which has some content under it that has it transcribed, it’s not even listed, it’s nowhere near to be found, and it’s my own website and I’m looking for it.

Make your website search engine friendly

Imagine if it’s somebody else looking through a list of all these websites, they’re not going to be able to find my website, at least not that page specifically.

What you want to do is create good quality content, have great links that are really friendly for the search engines to pick up, and as you go through this process and continue to build out your website, build out links, build out content, structure the URLs as you can see even on this page to making them friendly for search engines. That’s what you want to do.

And then over time you back test thee things, you’ll see what works, you’ll make adjustments, and you’ll see this one got ranked, so you can see this one got ranked may 17th 2016, I have my YouTube video right there, and then I also have the article post right there that you can see and they’re doing just fine.

But obviously, I typed in the exact search, which also means if people are mixing and matching searches, it’ll probably show up as well.

But you can see that right there when I click it or go to it, you can see how the URL or the structure, they structure it based on categories, so you can see, it’s in money and wealth. It really builds things, and you can see this URL structure, again, slashes and wealth building, and then how to wealth build and then the article name.

Every website uses a different structure, what’s really important is that you simply build a structure that’s easy for search engines, and matches your website within the amount of postings that you do, and also if you can use those keywords without getting too spammy within the URL or within the pages, makes it much more beneficial.

Resource List:

WordPress
Google AdWords

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