Monthly Archives: October 2017

Google: URL Structure Not So Important For SEO

Several guides exist on the internet teaching you how to optimize your URL for Search Engine Optimization. These guides contain several tips about what to include, what not to include, what the search engine looks for, what kinds of domain and subdomains are best. Most times we dive into these guides and begin to do everything they say even before we ask ourselves the most important question: When Search Engine Optimization is the goal, does the URL structure really matter? Does your URL structure increase your overall traffic or affect your ranking significantly?

Recently, one of Google’s own, John Mueller put out on twitter that URL structure is “not so much important”. This was in reply to someone asking “How important is URL structure flat? This was a surprising answer especially with all the guides that exist targeting the use of URL structure as a Search Engine Optimization tool. A memorable quote from Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable is “The main thing is not how long or deep your URLs appear to be but how quickly GoogleBot can discover those URLs and who is linking to them.”

This may seem like news, but it’s not so surprising if you look at existing data. As far back as 2014, Search Metrics published some very intriguing data. Based on their analysis, having a keyword within a domain name and /or URL is no longer as important as it used to be in search engine rankings. Google had started placing more importance on other search factors.

Google’s nine major ranking factors as published by Link-Assistant contained not even a passing reference to URL structure as a major ranking factor. This gives you a good indication of just how much energy should go into making your URL SEO friendly. It is important to note that your URL acts as a UI for your visitors and certain tricks that make it more search friendly should not be totally ignored. However, the general consensus is that it is definitely smarter to focus more on other ranking factors, just like Google does.

Search Engine Optimization is an industry that is constantly changing. Currently, Google seems to be pushing for richer content, better quality of backlinks, a better mobile experience on websites, and a host of other technical factors such as the use of https encryption, anchor texts, and so on. It is definitely a good idea to optimize your URLs—by making use of the best practices guides floating around the internet, especially as it definitely won’t hurt your rankings.

However, focusing too much of your marketing efforts on URL structure to the detriment of other SEO factors can and will hurt. This is because factors such as content quality, backlinks, mobile usability, and so on will have a greater impact on your rankings than a bad URL structure.

3 Easy Landing Page Updates to Improve Quality Score

If PPC is central to your overall marketing plan, then quality score is a term you must be familiar with.  Actually, a lot of advertisers have heard about quality score and how important it is, except that they’re not so sure how to high rank with it.

For clarity on what quality score is, let’s review how Google explains it: “Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.”

Although not much detail was provided, it is safe to assume QS is mostly about driving traffic to your site landing pages. So, to improve QS, your focus should be on improving the feel, behaviour and content of your landing pages.

Google recently announced some key changes to their QS algorithms to offer website owners a better understanding of how to rank high on the metrics, and then act on the new insights with ease.

Why is that so important? The truth is that except your site and contents rank well on Google, you won’t achieve much success with your organic traffic flow, customer conversion and brand awareness goals.

Optimise for keywords: Include them in the titles and in the article in the right density

The first and most important factor in your SEO and quality score objective is to make sure you use the right keywords and in just the right density.  But what keywords should you rank for? You may need to do some SEO experiments to be specific about them and make sure you track updates, so you can keep improving on them.

Your relevant keywords must be properly distributed in your contents. Make sure to include it the headings, in the first one or two paragraphs and a few more times in articles. But be careful to avoid keyword stuffing. Ensure you’re writing for humans, not computers; so, include your keywords in a natural way.

Improve your site speed

Experienced internet marketers know how important the load time of website is to customer traffic and conversion. No one will hang around forever waiting for a website to load; which is why improving your site speed must always be a priority. Don’t forget too that when determining QS, AdWords always reviews the load time of the landing pages; and a slow website is a big fail.

Ensure easy navigation

It’s not enough to drive traffic to your site; you need to also ensure they can easily find what they’re looking for on your landing pages without having to spend too much time and energy groping around. Just like slow load time, if website users sense a landing page does not have easy navigation, they will bail in a blink of an eye and go somewhere else for the information they’re seeking.