SEO Part 1 – URLs and Domain Names

In this first SEO Introduction tutorial (Search Engine Optimization), you will learn how to:

* Pick the right domain name extension for your website.

Learn what free domains and paid domains are.

* What is a sub domain?

* Using SEO Friendly URLs & Permalinks

Introduction to SEO

Search engine optimization, more commonly known as SEO, is something that everyone who uses the internet or at least runs a website/blog should be aware of. Many webmasters actually know this word but are not truly aware of it as they find it daunting, time consuming and hard to understand. These are just myths, as SEO is very easy to understand given that you have access to the right kind of information.

The main purpose of SEO is to improve a website’s page and keyword rankings on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Since most people use search engines to reach a website, it is very important for a website to rank high in results as many people only click links that appear on the first page and do not check the links on the other pages. As per reports, a website’s 60% traffic comes through search engines. From this, one can have an idea about the importance of search engine optimization.

Selecting the Right URL

 Since this is part 1 of our SEO series, we will start with the very basic that is the website’s URL (www.mywebsite.com). A URL tells visitors and search engines a lot about your website. For example www.thiswebsiteisaboutsongs.com tells visitors that they will find songs and related information on the website. If a user uses search engines to find a song related website then this will end up somewhere in the list.

 

Picking Up an Extension

Since there already are millions of websites, a lot of great URLs have already been taken. Nonetheless, there are still a lot of choices. Firstly, you should decide on your website domain extension. Some very famous ones include:

.com

.net

.org

.gov

.biz

These extensions are very important part of SEO as they tell search engines what a website is related to. For example: If a website is about an organization then it should have the .org extension. This way the search engine and user will know that this website relates to a certain business and will show it in case a related term is searched.

Plus, people also often limit their searches by extensions. For example: If a user is interested in information related to the government then he or she may limit the search to .gov websites. If your website is related to the government (official) but does not have the .gov extension then it will not appear in the list and you will lose a visitor even though you might have the information he or she is interested in.

This clearly highlights the importance of the extension. Additionally, there are local URLs as well, such as .us for American website and .ca for Canadian websites. If your website is related to a certain geographical region then you should use such an extension. For example: If your website is purely related to something in the UK, then it is recommended that you select a co.uk extension so that users looking for that thing in the UK would reach your website.

Since there are so many extensions available it is not difficult anymore to find the right website. If abc.com is not available then you may go for abc.co.uk or abc.net depending on your requirements and the nature of your website.

Free Domains & Paid Domains

On free servers (WordPress etc.) your website’s name may be changed but the main domain will remain the same. It is recommended that you select a paid domain name as these are usually more search engine friendly in a sense that they will be related to your business only and not the main website. You can purchase a unique domain name from many sites on the internet like GoDaddy.com

Sub Domains

You may want a sub domain for your URL. Take the example of www.thiswebsiteisaboutsongs.com, if you have such a website and you want to dedicate a whole page to downloading songs, then you can add a sub domain in the form of www.download.thiswebsiteisaboutsongs.com; in the same way if a certain page is about videos then you may name it www.videos.thiswebsiteisaboutsongs.com. Sub domains are easy to search by search engines and users also get the desired information easily.

SEO Friendly URL Names & Permalinks

Now to learn how to use seo friendly urls for you web pages. Once again, take the example of the same website. Say that you publish lyrics of the latest hit and save the page. Usually, if you are, do not change it manually or use software for this purpose, the name will be saved randomly like www.thiswebsiteisaboutsongs.com/abch754bd8iy. The abch754bd8iy tells nothing to the search engine or the user about the information the website contains. Even if someone is looking for the lyrics the page contains, the person will not be able to reach the page through search engines due to this.

Instead, you can change the name manually to something like www.thiswebsiteisaboutsongs.com/lyrics-abc-song.

This will tell the person that the page is about lyrics of a certain song. This is permalink technique that is available in many software and websites like WordPress. Permalinks basically picks up the first few words of the webpage’s title and save those words as the page’s URL so that search engines easily find the page

Since, in most cases, the title of a page is directly related to the content, there is no need to edit anything manually. For permalinks to work smoothly, it is important that you select the title carefully and have the main idea defined in it. For example: If the page contains the songs of ABC album then the title should be “ABC songs download”. In this way, the page will be saved as http://www.thiswebsiteisaboutsongs.com/abc-songs-download/. Once you have such URLs, anyone who searches for the album’s songs to download will reach your page, resulting in a high CTR.

Conclusion

This sums up the first part of our SEO series and we hope that you have realized the importance of URLs and domains. The importance of these cannot be overstated. It is important that you select a URL carefully that is relevant to your website and easy to remember.

 

You might want to read….

SEO For Beginners Part 5

SEO For Beginners Part 4

SEO For Beginners Part 3

SEO For Beginners Part 2

SEO For Beginners Part 1

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