URL Optimization, What the Heck is That?
So, you want to know what we’re talking about when we say URL optimization. Maybe you’re one of our clients and you heard me mention it during a consult. Or maybe you’re here checking us out to see if we even know what we’re talking about. Either way, for some crazy reason you’re still reading. You chose to dig into a highly technical aspect of online marketing and learn something new. For that, we salute you! So, what is SEO URL Optimization? Let’s learn more about on-page SEO services.
Just What is SEO URL Optimization?
First let’s back up, take a breath and realize that there is a TON of jargon in the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). So, we need to start by explaining, belatedly, the first acronym I threw at you: The URL. Give me a minute, I have to dust off a few cobwebs. I first learned this one sometime around 1999-2000 in college. It means Uniform Resource Locator. See, back in the Triassic era someone got the idea to take two of these Costco-sized computers they had and link them together. Shortly after that they had the idea to host information on one of those beasts, and serve it up to people using other computers. As they added machines, someone figured out that there needed to be some form of addressing system. And that’s really all a URL is. It’s what you commonly hear referred to as a web address. Before search engines, you had to KNOW the site you were looking for by name. Now the search engine figures that out for us.
How Do Search Engines Look for Sites
Search engines use a program called a crawler to find and rank websites. The search engine’s job is to act as the postmaster. It routes letters (website URL’s) to the appropriate zip code (search result). So, it stands to reason that a web address (URL) that included the words a person was searching for would get routed to that search result. Of course that all depends on the other SEO ranking factors as well. Here’s a practical example:
Great Scott! The Keyword and the URL Match!
And not only that, it took this page 1.43 seconds to load. 1.43 is .22 seconds longer than 1.21…….SECONDS. What? Did you think I was going to say something besides seconds? Sorry, not sorry. I spent most of my adult life studying electronics, computers, radio frequency, programming, etc. In all those years, I never once ran across a flux capacitor.
Talk about disappointing! Anyway, back to the URL. The top search result is matching our keyword exactly. Pretty cool huh? Google uses the URL title as one of many ranking factors. Those ranking factors help Google serve up the most relevant content for us humans. But this is not actually what we normally refer to as URL optimization. We’re usually only working on inner pages like About, Store, Our Work, Blog, etc. As an SEO, we don’t often get the luxury of consulting with our clients on an SEO-friendly URL. Y’all usually have one picked out before we talk. But you can purchase an SEO friendly URL for your homepage.
Purchasing an SEO-friendly Domain Name
If you didn’t purchase a URL that matches your keyword, it’s not the end of the world. For one thing, it isn’t that big of a ranking factor. Content and backlinks. That’s what matters most to Google. And it’s not going to change anytime soon. Another thing to consider is that you can always purchase a 2nd URL and redirect it to your primary. If you’re still at the point of thinking about a website, it’s a great opportunity to figure out a URL that works for SEO.
Local SEO is where this can really benefit you. What’s your market? Find the biggest city nearby and include it into your web address. For most of my clients that’s going to be Birmingham, AL. So, you’d go for URL’s like the ones listed below that will get noticed by people searching for local services:
- https://www.birminghamplumber.com – This is actually available at the time of writing!
- https://www.birmighamroofing.com – Same here!
I know, some of those are a mouthful! So, invest the extra $15 a year on a human-friendly URL to put on your business cards.
URL Optimization of Inner Pages
This is really what you need to focus your SEO efforts on instead of worrying about your homepage URL. But first, a word of caution. Changing your URL’s around can cause you to lose any inbound links going to the old URL’s. This is one of the many reasons you should do on-page SEO before link building. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at how to go about optimizing your URL’s for Google and Bing.
Start with your Keyword List
I’m going to share some practical examples from this website. At the time of writing, we are still doing on-page SEO for Webology. So, I have a keyword list sitting in front of me. Find the pages that relates the best to your long-tail keyword. Make sure the content is properly optimized and add the keywords to your URL for that page. Here’s what I mean:
Original URL: https://www.webology.technology/birmingham/
SEO Optimized URL: https://www.webology.technology/birmingham-seo-search-engine-optimization-agency/
All we did there was to give Google more information. That way the search engine knows what the page is all about. We use long-tail keywords (4-6 words) to help us rank for phrase-match and phrase-related keywords as well. That’s URL optimization in a nutshell. You use your keyword research to optimize each inner page to a relevant keyword. You must do keyword research first to find out if your phrases are actually getting any traffic and conversions. After all, you can be on page #1, but it doesn’t matter one bit if no one is searching for that phrase. That’s one of the reasons URL optimization is best handled by a professional SEO agency during on-page work. A good SEO consultant is methodical in their work. You have to be, unless you want to miss steps or repeat work. If you’d like some help getting your links optimized for local search results, just give me a call at 205-636-8612. You can also fill out the form below. We’re here to help you grow your business with local SEO.