Personal SEO ~ Website Marketing and Content Writing: Why URL Structure Matters in SEO

Why URL Structure Matters in SEO

URL - you know that stuff that comes after the www. on a website address.  It stands for Uniform Resource Locator, like you really wanted to know that. But regardless of what it means, it tells your computer how to locate the web page or site you want to find. 

Why URL Structure matters in SEOWhen you create a web page, post or site, that URL always begins with your main domain - whatever that may be. On here, it's obviously Activerain.com. But when AR was purchased by Trulia, Activerain became a subdomain of Trulia, Trulia.Activerain.com. We still may be reeling from that conversion and back again. While subdomains can gain the weight of the main domain, nothing matters more than the basic URL structure

This structure is like the old Outline we all used to do in school. The main point, then go down from there. If your website doesn't allow for simple structuring it may be time to consider a different website. URL Structure is extremely important to Google. Google looks closely at the structure to see if it makes sense. We have tested several pages to see how it works and in every instance, proper structure wins over improper structure. 

Let me show you what I mean: 

The basic website address or URL is: www.businessinsuranceusa.com - Keyword rich and pretty much tells Google and everyone else what the site is. While not mandatory, it is beneficial. (Exact match domains to keywords can be a little tricky with Google unless you've been out there a long time.) 

The main URL would be at the top of the figurative outline. All topics and subjects would be under that main topic for the website as such. Each topic has their own subject underneath that.

Business Insurance USAURL structure is vital

           A. General Liability

                        1. Contractors

                        2. Retailers

                        3. Distributors

           B. Business Auto

                        1. Trucks

                        2. Business Vans

                        3. Agricultural 

           C. Workers Comp

                        1. Medical

                        2. Permanent

                        3. Death benefits

This is the basic structure of the site. Each of these pages will have their own URL structure that matches:

http://www.businessinsuranceusa.com - Main URL

           A. http://www.businessinsuranceusa.com/general-liability-insurance - Topic on General Liability

                        1.http://businessinsuranceusa.com/general-liability-insurance/business-insurance-general-contractors - Subject under general liability...

And so forth. Each will add on the URL from the parent page. This site not only does a good job with URL structure but with keeping every topic organized with a custom sidebar (see below)


 

Here is the same structure for real estate:

http://www.findourpad.com/ is the base URL (you can see it's not really geo-specific, but it still can work)

All other pages fall under that naturally but properly. 

We have a section dedicated to Shoreline. 

http://www.findourpad.com/shoreline-properties/ - Shoreline is one of the main topics on this site. From here all blogs or pages that go with "shoreline properties" should be tacked on to the end of this URL like this: http://www.findourpad.com/shoreline-properties/shoreline-waterfront-homes/ This is the page that only talks about "waterfront homes in Shoreline" 

We narrow the topic down to the keywords we researched and made sure the parent URL was "shoreline properties". Any and all information about Shoreline will fall under the parent URL http://www.findourpad.com/shoreline-properties/

Also, when creating the content, we always link up towards the main parent URL, other topics under that parent URL or the homepage. On this page we're not linking to Green Lake, Ballard or other Seattle neighborhoods, only Shoreline. This solidifies the topic, the URL and content. 

Same goes with any topic. As in the insurance above, if the content talks only about "Workers comp" the page should only link upwards or to other topics that have the parent "workers comp". 

For instance, if you are writing a blog post about workers comp and you have 3 other blogs under that parent URL structure, it's appropriate to link to those other three in the content if it works and is beneficial for your reader. You would not want to link to business auto insurance or another blog topic under any other parent URL except for workers comp. Keep it all under the same URL structure, all leading back to the main topic. 

 


 

Custom Side Bar

Another idea if your website can manage it, is to have custom side bars or menus for each topic. Meaning when you're on the "workers comp" page, the side bar only reflects those subjects. You would have to click back to a main topic again to see the side bar that relates to a different topic. So on the workers comp page, the side bar has all the subjects of the main ideas only for workers comp, such as medical care, first aid, temp disability, permanent disability, death benefits, etc..  Each page has been deliberately and intentional set up for each main topic or idea and subjects underneath. This is the ideal URL structure and Google will reward this greatly, especially if you have excellent content and readers find value in the text.

It may be confusing and many websites may just not allow it, but it is a crucial part of SEO. I know many websites out there, some I have to deal with on a daily basis, that still have URL structure like this: http://www.nutshellrealty.com/site/899485 This tells Google nothing about what's actually on the page. This page is about Ulster County NY communities and it should reflect that by being restructured to: http://www.nutshellrealty.com/ulster-county/communities/ 
but until the webhost or manager changes it permanently it can be a real pain to get around. There really isn't a good way around it other than making sure you have excellent content, shared content and great back links.. but that's another blog post.... 

 

 

ActiveRain and SEOTammy Emineth is an expert in custom content and original articles for blogs, website, press releases and more. Contact me anytime and feel free to subscribe to this blog to stay up to date on my latest blogs and informative information. Email me or contact me for Real Estate Website Marketing and SEO Content Writing.

 Twitter Me  Blogspot Blog  Connect on Linkedin  Google Plus Find me on Facebook   Find cool stuff with me on Pinterest  Fun stuff on my tumblr page

The information contained in this blog is believed to be true and correct and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy for any particular purpose. All information is copy written and the property of Tammy Emineth.  

Comment balloon 40 commentsTammy Emineth • November 04 2015 03:45PM

Comments

You are the best Tammy! Great information!

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) almost 3 years ago

It sure is important, I changed all the URL's on my website earlier in the year and it had a huge impact. Great advice & have a great week!

Posted by Stefan Winter, Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech (Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger) almost 3 years ago

It can really make a difference but also, if you restructure everything you need to make sure you don't have any broken links after the fact. A redirect is your best friend.

Posted by Tammy Emineth, Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer (Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing) almost 3 years ago

Tammy, great information as always. Thank you for sharing your expertise.

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 3 years ago

Tammy - Excellent post on URL structure, and why it matters in SEO.

Posted by Troy Erickson, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Diverse Solutions Realty www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com) almost 3 years ago

Tammy - once I restructured my site and saw much more seo.  Very inormative information

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 3 years ago

Great info, as always, here.  This is something I haven't given much weight to, but since I'm in the process of designing a new site, I'll certainly be paying attention.

Posted by John Meussner, #MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852 (Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA,) almost 3 years ago

This is a very important topic & it's tough to wrap your head around when you set up a site. I did one about a year ago & writing it down like your in 2nd grade really helps with the page sequencing.

A little planning with your site topics helps too. Some people don't know they can change the page/post name.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 3 years ago

Another great post Tammy!  Checking my site, it looks like I'm good.  So important to understand that as a realtor!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) almost 3 years ago

Forgot what URL meant. Thanks for the information. bookmarking your blog.

Posted by Theresa Akin (CORPUS CHRISTI REALTY GROUP) almost 3 years ago

Good evening Tammy Emineth ,

You are the Goddess of SEO! Thank you for the great advice..your post is bookmarked!

Posted by Dorie Dillard, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) almost 3 years ago

Very helpful informaiton about URL structure. Thanks!

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Tammy,

What a great post.  If someone had explained like that to me several years ago I would have understood it then and I am sure it would have made a huge diference. Thanks for the enlightenment!

Posted by Don Taber, REALTOR / BROKER / CRS / GRI (Our Town Properties, Inc., Wilson, NC) almost 3 years ago

Great info Tammy!  Thanks for sharing!  I'm glad I setup my site to display the long titles now instead of the short /p=125 style links (albeit the later is better for twitter).

Posted by Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA, Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties (www.HugginsHomes.com) almost 3 years ago

Tammy   Thanks for this very informative post.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 3 years ago

Tammy.  Thank you for all this detailed information.  I will be bookmarking the page for future reference.  I'm in process of rebuilding a website now and hope this will be a helpful tool to give me higher SEO.  

Posted by Diana Dahlberg, Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563 (1 MONTH REALTY) almost 3 years ago

tough to win the url game but I too agree.. I picked forsalehomeseach for mine trying to get a lot of re kws in it.. so far I like the response I get

Posted by Mark Loewenberg, KW 561-214-0370 (KW of the Palm Beaches) almost 3 years ago

Well I have a new project to check this out on my site.  I'm completely happy with my basic key word rich url, but I got some checking to do.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 3 years ago

Hmmm - I suppose changing the URLs on a site that's been up for a long time would be a major undertaking - since there are links "out there" all over the place. 

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) almost 3 years ago

Tammy Emineth I guess, somewhere I heard that Permalink can help. Not a webmaster, however, having the real details about what we do is very important for SEO to know - who will eventually help us to reach the top.

That's why we see the blog posts on AR with the complete title in it, I guess.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 3 years ago

Tammy, as always, this is valuable advice. I am also bookmarking this page to refer to frequently.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) almost 3 years ago

This is great information, Tammy

No frills domain will get the traffic. 

Thanks

Sam Shueh

Posted by Sam Shueh, mba, cdpe, reopro, pe ( (408) 425-1601) almost 3 years ago

This is an excellent post with great reminders on setting up a website. Thanks for breaking down the URL structure. 

Posted by Sandra Graves, Realtor (Keller Williams Realty) almost 3 years ago

Tammy Emineth - Your post is very timely. I'm in the process of setting up a new website and have been conducting my own research for several weeks.  Your blog post is well written, concise, and just what I needed.

Posted by Richard L. Sanderson, helping improve local property tax systems (Richard L. Sanderson Consulting) almost 3 years ago

Thanks for this information - it's coming at the perfect time for me, and I'm bookmarking so I can find it again.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) almost 3 years ago

URL talk used to fly over my head at first. Now, its like a pet in the house

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 3 years ago

I like the idea of mapping it out.  I'm a visual person and this step will be very helpful.  Thanks!

Posted by Kim Boekholder Utah Real Estate, Broker, Results Real Estate (Results Real Estate 801.580.5624) almost 3 years ago

Having a good URL domain is just one more important part of the SEO process. Thanks for the detailed information. 

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) almost 3 years ago

Why I like WordPress. Does a lot of this automatically.

Posted by The Derrick Team - Indy Metro Realtors, Your Pet Friendly Realtors (Carpenter Realtors) almost 3 years ago

This is amazing information - My SEO guy was just telling me about this the other day!  Great blog! 

Posted by Darren Copeland, Darren Copeland (Leader One Financial) almost 3 years ago

I knew that it was important, but thank you for making it easy to understand. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) almost 3 years ago

Thanks for the great explanation Tammy.

Posted by M.C. Dwyer, Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist (Century 21 Showcase REALTORs) almost 3 years ago

Excellent primer, Tammy!  Was just recently trying to understand the differences between subdirectories and subdomains.  Perhaps you can spin off this article and discuss subdirectories and subdomains as well.

Posted by Marie Haydock, Simplifying Real Estate (Evergreen Global Real Estate | RSVP Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Wow! I finally got it. Thank you for a  simple explanation Tammy. 

Posted by Olesa Islamova (Royal LePage Your Community Realty) almost 3 years ago

Tammy, with all things being the same would a .com index higher than a .info?

Posted by Mike Frazier, Northwest Tennessee Realtor (Carousel Realty of Dyer County) almost 3 years ago

Fabulous information that really clarifies a lot for me. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Tina Parker, CNE, REDM, SRES, CSP Home Staging REALTOR, Halifax (Royal LePage Atlantic) almost 3 years ago

Can't wait for Tim to finish my website. Hope you both are doing okay.

Posted by Olga Simoncelli, CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management (Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Bookmarked!

You just helped me to finally understand the URL language! Whew, I feel SO much better.  Finally, I'm not frazzled when I hear the term "URL"! 

Posted by Christi Farrington, ~ Your representative in Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate - Norwalk, CT) almost 3 years ago

I think my web sites do that, but I will check them.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Thanks for the reminder on this, I remember Bob Stewart talking about this back when we added trulia to our url.  I do need to pay more attention to what I put in those titles.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities) over 2 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments