Tag Archives: SEO specialist

Improve Your URLs for Better SEO

19 May

• Include a few important keywords in your URLs.

A keyword-infused URL can:

 Help visitors see that the page they’re on is really what they’re looking for. Would you rather seeexample.com/blog/219058 or example.com/blog/cute-puppies? People will see your URL in search results, at the top of their web browser while they’re on your page, and any place where they may save the URL for themselves – like in bookmarks, or an email.

Give search engines one more indication of what your page is about, and what queries it should rank for. A URL without keywords won’t hurt you, but it’s a missed opportunity. A competitor who’s placed relevant keywords in his URLs may rank higher than you for those keywords.

“If you have got a three, four or five words in your URL, that can be perfectly normal. As it gets a little longer, then it starts to look a little worse. Now, our algorithms typically will just weight those words less and just not give you as much credit.” –Matt Cutts of Google

• Keep your URLs to fewer than 115 characters.

 Research shows that people click on short URLs in search results twice as often as long ones. Shorter URLs are also easier to share on social sites like Twitter and StumbleUpon.

 Long URLs can look like spam. As the URL gets longer, the ranking weight given to each word in the URL gets spread thin, and becomes less valuable for any specific word.

You can manually check the character count of all your URLs to make sure they’re not too long. TheAboutUs Site Report can do it automatically, and point out any URLs that are longer than 115 characters.

• Don’t use more than a few query parameters in your URLs.

In a URL, a ? or & indicates that a parameter (like id=1234) will follow.

Here’s an example of an okay URL (the kind you use to track your marketing in Google Analytics with 1 query parameter: http://www.example.com/page?source=facebook

Bad URL with too many query parameters: http://www.example.com/product?id=1234567&foo=abc123def&color=yellow&sort=price

Too many query parameters can cause search engine robots to enter a loop and keep crawling the same pages over and over again. You could end up with search engines failing to index some of your most important pages.

• Use hyphens instead of underscores in your URLs.

Search engines see underscores as a character. This means that your keywords will be seen as a single long keyword, and you’ll lose any SEO benefit they could have incurred. A hyphen, however, is seen as a space that separates words. Hyphens are better for SEO because they allow search engines to interpret your web page as relevant for more keyword phrases. That said, Wikipedia’s links have underscores, and they seem to be doing okay in search results 🙂

Also, people can’t see underscores in a URL when the link is underlined, as many links on the Web are. So hyphens are friendlier for people, and make your site more usable.

So… example.com/adorable-kitten-pics is better than example.com/adorable_kitten_pics

• Keep all of your important content less than 3 subfolders deep.

A subfolder is a folder that is visible in a URL between two slashes. For example, in http://www.example.com/articles/name-of-page, articles is a subfolder and name-of-page is an article in that subfolder.

When it comes to subfolders, search engines assume that content living many folders away from the root domain (like example.com) is less important. So it’s best to organize all of your important content so each URL has no more than two subfolders.

Here’s another way to think about it: Make sure your URLs have 3 or fewer slashes (/) after the domain name. Here is an example URL that is a web page that is two subfolders deep: http://www.example.com/articles/foo/page-name.htm

Bonus: Using subfolders allows you to use “content drilldown” in Google Analytics to easily view data for all the pages in a given subfolder.

• Don’t have too many subdomains.

A subdomain, or directory, is something that comes before the domain name in a URL. For example: http://blog.example.com. Technically speaking, www. is actually a subdomain.

Too many subdomains can cause problems for search engine optimization. For more information, read Multiple Subdomains: Classic SEO Mistake.

How to Change Your URLs

Ideally, you’d set up a search-friendly URL structure when you first create your website. Then it just works for you without having to lift another finger.

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Build Your Personal Online Brand with SEO

11 May

If you work in any kind of consulting position, regardless of industry, you know that you are basically selling yourself- your experience, you skills, your knowledge and your reputation. All of those factors contribute to your value as a consultant and are what are going to convince a company to hire you, either on a project-by-project basis or place you on retainer. Let SEO help build your personal online brand!

Here are some SEO basics that you can adapt for marketing your online brand:

Optimize Your Consulting Page
Not just for [industry] consultant, your consulting page has to include variations of keywords that someone might use to search for a consultant in your field. This includes phrases like “expert,” “consulting,” “consulting services,” “specialist,” “professional” and more. You also have to include variations of your industry. For instance, as an SEO consultant , I target “SEO,” “SEM,” “Internet marketing,” “online marketing” and more. Keyword research can help you determine what keywords you should be targeting for your industry.

Video Marketing
Let’s say you are a tax professional looking to promote your services. Consider creating a series of basic “how-to” videos that address the most common questions people have when it comes to filing your taxes. This helps establish yourself as an expert and can promote you as the go-to tax professional in your area.

If you run a small auto body shop, why not create a video explaining how to change a tire or check on a car’s oil? A lot of informational searches are phrased as questions, so if you can include those phrases in your video descriptions, they can rank on their own in the search engines.

Online Biographies
Every online profile you have is a chance to go after targeted keywords and incorporate links. All your online profiles should be filled out as completely as they allow. Include full contact information, videos, links to other sites, local keywords and more. This is especially important if you have a common name. The more details you can provide about yourself, the more likely someone who is intentionally looking for you (or someone with similar qualifications/search criteria) will find you.

Q/A Forum Commenting

Question and answer forums are a great place to incorporate links and establish yourself as an industry expert. Lots of people post questions online about every topic imaginable so chances are there are pages of questions that you know the answers to! You never know what kind of connections can be forged, so you may end up answering the right person’s question and landing a new client because of it.

These are just a few basic SEO activities that don’t just apply to website or company branding. They can also be adapted for a one-man consulting show. The trick with branding yourself is that anything with your name attached to it, including private profiles and online activity, can reflect on you as a brand. Make sure that the two aren’t in conflict with each other.

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