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Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)

Using keywords in domain names and URLs


From:

Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)

with Jill Whalen

Video: Using keywords in domain names and URLs

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.
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  1. 1m 33s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      29s
  2. 6m 20s
    1. Understanding how search engines work
      3m 50s
    2. What is SEO?
      2m 30s
  3. 25m 3s
    1. Introducing keyword phrases
      1m 21s
    2. The keyword research process
      4m 42s
    3. Performing keyword research
      4m 43s
    4. Winnowing out ineffective keyword phrases
      1m 58s
    5. Performing additional keyword research
      2m 44s
    6. Determining competitiveness of keyword phrases
      5m 42s
    7. Finding keyword gems
      3m 53s
  4. 12m 49s
    1. What site architecture means to SEO
      2m 1s
    2. Brainstorming main categories and subcategories for the web site
      4m 4s
    3. Creating a keyword phrase-to-page map
      3m 33s
    4. Using keywords in domain names and URLs
      3m 11s
  5. 18m 10s
    1. SEO in HTML tags
      1m 57s
    2. Title tags
      1m 56s
    3. Meta descriptions
      1m 33s
    4. Header tags
      1m 12s
    5. Anchor text
      1m 43s
    6. Alt tags
      1m 36s
    7. Writing effective title tags
      4m 42s
    8. Writing meta-description tags
      3m 31s
  6. 11m 44s
    1. What good content is and why it's needed
      1m 27s
    2. The different types of content pages
      3m 47s
    3. Using keywords in existing content
      1m 53s
    4. Writing new content for users and search engines
      4m 37s
  7. 16m 37s
    1. Understanding link popularity and why it's important
      2m 43s
    2. Introducing Google's PageRank
      2m 38s
    3. Knowing the best way to get links
      3m 12s
    4. Content creation and promotion as "link bait"
      3m 34s
    5. Real-world link bait ideas
      4m 30s
  8. 12m 7s
    1. Introducing social media marketing
      4m 3s
    2. Getting started with social media marketing
      2m 25s
    3. Participating in social media communities
      5m 39s
  9. 26m 31s
    1. Why rankings are a poor measure of success
      3m 13s
    2. Determining conversions and setting up goals in Google Analytics
      5m 37s
    3. Measuring search engine traffic
      11m 5s
    4. Measuring success beyond the search engines
      6m 36s
  10. 9m 19s
    1. Reviewing top techniques for SEO success
      1m 58s
    2. Additional resources
      4m 19s
    3. The future of SEO
      3m 2s

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Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)
2h 20m Beginner Mar 31, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how search engines work
  • Researching and selecting keywords
  • Adding keywords to web pages, URLs, and HTML markup
  • Writing web page content based on selected keywords
  • Link building
  • Social media marketing without spamming
  • Setting up Google Analytics to track conversions
  • Measuring search engine traffic
Subjects:
Business Online Marketing Web SEO
Author:
Jill Whalen

Using keywords in domain names and URLs

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010).


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Q: In the “Determining competitiveness of keyword phrases” tutorial in the SEO: Search Engine Optimization Getting Started course, the author details the use of the “allintitle” advanced search operator in Google.  While the operator works in the example given in the tutorial, Google will not allow usage of the “allintitle” operator for more than two keywords at a time.  Is there any workaround to this problem?
A: Google’s policy on the “allintitle” operator has become a major problem in trying to do some competitive keyword research. There is a workaround, although it makes searching slower. Follow these steps:
1) Click on Google's Advanced Search link, then add the desired keyword phrase to the Find web pages that have... "this exact wording or phrase." Then click the "+Date, usage rights, numeric range, and more" link.
2) In the "Where your keywords show up:" dropdown menu, change "anywhere on page" to "in the title of the page."
This should allow the use of the “allintitle” search without Google thinking the user is a robot. To do the next one more quickly, just hit the back button of the browser and change to the next keyword phrase.


Q: Allintitle searches on Google seem to yield wildly inconsistent results. How does the author handle such inconsistent data when looking for good keywords? Are these results a recent phenomenon? Can can allintitle searches still be used reliably?
A: Unfortunately, Google has recently made it difficult to do the allintitle searches. It is still useful to a certain extent, but only because there currently isn’t anything better out there to judge the competition of a site.
Q: As a result of Google changing the "select previous interface" function, the methods in used for the Keyword Tool in the tutorials no longer work. Is there a method that can be used with the new keyword search tool that will produce the same results as shown in the training course?
A: Unfortunately, Google switched to the new Keyword Tool and also removed many keywords that aren't "commercially viable" from the database, so the methods in this title will not work exactly as described. You can still change from broad match to exact, but it is, unfortunately, harder to find. Right now, there does not appear to be a more effective way to do keyword research. Unfortunately, the other vendors that provide keyword research tools for a monthly fee are no better than Google's free one. The best advice for now would be to not focus too much on the keywords and just pick those that seem to be the most relevant for your site.
Q: Google AdWords looks different on my Mac than it does in these tutorials. Can you help me find the option for "How would you like to generate keyword ideas" (either  "descriptive words or phrases" vs. "website content") that you show in the video on using the Keyword Tool?
A: The Keyword Tool has changed slightly in appearance since this course was published, but the functionality is essentially the same. Under the "Find keywords, Based on one or more of the following", you can choose to enter keywords, have them restricted to suggestions based on a certain website, or even based on a category, such as Apparel. You can use one or more of these options.
Q: Where can I learn more about internet marketing?
A: Discover more on this topic by visiting internet marketing on lynda.com.
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