Optimizing URLs and Domains
Short domain names are better than longer ones if the website is intended for people typing in the website address. For example a company called ‘Acme Industrial Textiles and Chemicals’ should not have a url www.acme-industrial-textiles-and-chemicals.com , I suggest they use an acronym such as www.aitc.com . If the domain is for a business that mainly wants to be found through searches organically, it is suggested to use a domain that is optimized around keywords for the industry and can be longer such as www.material-manufacturer-dallas.com . In this example the company would have the keyword ‘material manufacturer’ and then the city that the business operates in, is an additional bonus for local based searched and long tailed keyword searches. All this helps tremendously the chances your site coming up on the first page of google for that search term.
When picking a TDL for your domain it is important to decide on two factors:
1. What type of website is it, for example a corporation, a charity, a school etc
2. If you want it location based in a country for example if you only operate in Toronto and all your clients are from there I suggest a .ca domain so as to be ‘local’.
Once that has been decided, which are the best domain TDL’s and which are a waste of time? Here are a few (for a complete list click here on domain TDLs). Also good luck still finding short and beautiful .com domains, these are the most valuable and are the rarest.
From strongest to weakest: .edu, .gov, .com, .org, .net, .co, .mobi (I suggest using a redirect from your main url and not using this TDL), .biz etc
Many people buy a great domain name and then forget that optimization is not all about what the domain is, it’s also about what url the page has. Page urls are becoming increasingly important to search engines in deciding if your page is relevant. Page urls should be optimized around keywords.
Lets take this blog for example built using wordpress. WordPress allows bloggers like myself to have total control over the url string of the page which is then highlighted in results.
Many people also have database driven websites and hence have dynamic urls (which can be noticed easily by seeing a “?” in the url string and then a page ID). Dynamic page url’s are poorly optimized because it is always best to have keywords in the url string rather than strings such as “?articleID=123456”. Sadly EIN News is behind and suffering organically on the web with little traffic from searchers: http://www.einnews.com/news.php?id=305246194
On the other hand, have a look how massive database driven news websites use features available on their servers to load dynamic pages with static urls. This is easily programmed on the server side of things by coding, server or programming experts. Google denies that its crawler has trouble indexing dynamic urls but as can be seen, from the comments in this post, most people, including me do not believe them and suggest using static urls.
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12263671 – (still not so optimized since it should have words not numbers) but it is still a static url
- http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/01/23/israel.flotilla.report/index.html – better optimized with words and not numbers
- http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-23/sara-lee-is-said-to-receive-takeover-offer-from-group-led-by-bain-apollo.html – better optimized with words and not numbers but I think the url is too long
- http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/31-dead-130-hurt-in-suicide-bomb-at-moscow-s-busiest-airport-1.338896 – better optimized with word and they seem to use a number system at the end to relate back to the Article ID in their database
Think how you can build the urls and content of your website pages in a highly optimized way around certain keywords and sit back and watch the traffic increase through these main keywords visiting your site.