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In SEO: Search Engine Optimization Getting Started, author Jill Whalen explains the importance of site rankings and why search engine optimization is necessary for increasing web site traffic. The course covers choosing the best keywords, performing keyword research, augmenting keywords with search-friendly site architecture, creating social media networking strategies, and measuring the success of an SEO campaign.
Once you've researched relevant keyword phrases, your next step is to work them into your website. One of the very first places where you may want to consider placing your keyword phrases is within your domain names or your URLs. Your domain name is basically the address of your webpage. I've got the domain name of MyKindleReviews.com. You can type it directly into your browser, as you can see it is right here, and that will take you to the website. You'll notice that my domain name has the keyword phrase of Kindle reviews contained within it. For this site, it makes sense to have chosen a domain name that used those keyword phrases, since that's what this site is all about, Kindle reviews.
For other sites, however, it doesn't always make sense to have a keyword contained within the domain, but that's okay. If you have an existing business that's not just online, it's usually best to use your company name as your domain name, as that's how people who have heard of your company will be looking for you. Don't feel that you need to have a keyword phrase as part of your domain name. You'll also have the opportunity to add keywords to your URLs that go beyond the domain name. The dynamic nature of websites makes it so the URLs for any page of your site can often be named whatever you want to name it.
You may be constrained by whatever CMS your website is using, however. With WordPress, which we're using for MyKindleReviews.com, we have the ability to configure our own URL names. The best use of this is to simply match up your URL with the main keyword phrases for the page. You can see for our accessories page I've got Kindle-accessories as the URL, and for the main book reviews page, I've got book-reviews as the URL. While you could run the words together without a hyphen, it's easier for the search engines to understand that they are separate words if you separate them with a dash.
You'll want to avoid underscores, as the search engines may not parse the words individually. It's definitely not critical to have keywords in your URLs, but it does provide contacts to the search engines as to what each page of your site is about. It can also be a cue to potential visitors to your website when they see your URL in the search results, as Google will bold the search query keywords there. I'll show you what I mean. Let's head over to Google and type in 'my Kindle reviews.' See how they bolded the domain name as well as those in any other parts of the URL? There's Kindle bolded and My Kindle and this other page.
Let's see what they show for 'my Kindle case.' Let's see if we can find our site. Here it is, My Kindle Reviews. So see, they have bolded my Kindle case here and Kindle there as well. So you can see how this can improve the usability as well as the clickability of this site in the search results. When a person sees the exact phrase they were using in their search is in the URL, they are more likely to click the link. Think about these things when you're deciding upon the name of your website as well as when you name each page of it.
Always try to provide the most relevance that you can in your URLs, ideally using a research keyword phrase which best describes the information contained on the page.
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