Ok, so I’m going to talk about the importance of using keywords in your URL. We believe that sites with higher domain authority are more trustworthy and better represent what users are looking for. As such, these sites tend to appear further up in the rankings than other sites around them. There are many ways you can increase your site’s domain authority, and one way you can do this is by adding keywords into your URL. So now I’m going to go through each point on why it’s important to use keywords in URLs and how to actually add them correctly.
1) You need a keyword rich title tag because Google will pull out the words from there first before anything else when trying to rank pages in search results. This is the page title tag <title> in HTML
2) Every word you add to your URL is an extra signal that tells Google you “own” this content and thus that it should rank higher for search queries related to those words.
3) The best URLs are made up of two main sections – one of which is a keyword rich domain name (example.com/building-a-dog-kennel) and one of which is your actual page content (buildings for dogs – in this case).
4) You should use keywords in the beginning of your URL as well, because that’s where people are more likely to see it.
5) You should also use keywords in the end of your URL too, because then when a user manually types it in they are more likely to click on it.
6) The best URLs on the web all have something in common – example.com/building-a-dog-kennel produces a page about ‘building a dog kennel’, so if you put the keyword ‘building a dog kennel’ in your URL, it will be consistent with all other pages on your website.
7) Consistency is key when building an authority site – you should always use the same keywords and topics across the whole of it. It’s also important to get your head around this principle because it’s a key factor in maintaining your domain authority over time.
8) URLs work optimally when they’re all different, which is why you want to avoid generic words like “click” and “learn more” and instead try harder with keyword rich alternatives.
9) You should use keywords in your URL to help people find you via popular search engines too.
10) It’s also a good idea to include keywords at the end of your page URL, because some users will type that in and then click it; even though this isn’t ideal from a UX perspective.
11) The best practice is to use your main keyword as often as possible; but always, always make sure you’re not being greedy with those keywords and stuffing them in everywhere.
12) Page URLs are the same as web page titles in that they don’t have a limit, but I wouldn’t recommend using more than 70 characters of your URL into a title tag <title> tag.
13) You can add a brand name at the beginning or end of your URL too, but it’s not essential – and risk over-stuffing your URL if you do use one. Data from Moz suggests that these types of brand URLs actually perform worse than non-branded ones for many sites.
14) Don’t try to be “clever” with your keywords or trick Google by adding in synonyms or misspellings just because it might rank for a different keyword. You don’t have much control over this, so if you’re going to do this then do it carefully and make sure that you don’t destroy something else on your page by doing so.
15) When it comes to keywords in URLs, Google has told us that they don’t want to penalise sites for making the keyword up too many times – but be careful about this because we wouldn’t recommend trying anything funny such as adding 100% of your keyword into a URL 10 times. This might just get you banned.
16) And don’t try using brackets or any other symbols to mask the intent of your URL either because Google is smart enough to know the difference.
17) Definitely don’t put keywords in your URLs which describe a parameter that’s passed into them – as this just confuses users. I’ve seen this done far too many times before and it’s terrible for user experience and usability.
18) As you can tell, I’m not a fan of putting keywords in your URL because it adds loads of extra characters to your URLs which is bad for UX. It also makes them look ugly (you’ll make your site look cheap). However in some cases this might still be necessary if the keyword is the brand name of your business.
19) Ultimately Google has told us that they do not penalise you for having keywords in a URL, even though it’s tricky to achieve well. To sum this all up I’d recommend using ‘building a dog kennel’ and ‘dog kennels’ as your main keywords in your titles tag, header tags and content on the page – but not in the URL.
The SEO team at Alignment Online Marketing are experienced in utilizing keywords and keyword phrases for businesses of all sizes. They specialize in developing an optimized website that includes a domain name with the appropriate words to rank higher on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo! or any others you might be targeting. If you have questions about how to use your title tags, header tags and copywriting techniques when it comes to URL optimization then reach out today- we’re happy to help!