To promote my free SEO e-book on on-page search engine optimization, called "We Have a Web site, Now What?", I am providing some SEO tips. This week’s installment is  about URLs. (URL defined). Below are four things to keep in mind before and after setting up a Web site.

  1. Domain names are important. If you want to rank well for a keyword, having it in the domain name provides a big advantage. If all other factors (content, page titles, links, etc.) were equal, the site with the keyword in the domain would rank better than a site with generic company name in the domain.
  2. Search engines take into account the names of directories and files in each URL where there is content. Thus, keywords should appear in the directory names and file names for individual pages.
    • Try to have a dedicated page, permalink, for each word or phrase. This helps with on-page and off-page SEO. I will discuss this in greater detail in my second e-book to be released in April, 2008.
  3. Static URLs rank better than dynamic URLs.
  4. If you’re going to use multiple words when naming a file or directory, use a hyphen, not an underscore between the two words. Google tends to ignore underscores, but views hyphens as dividing two distinct words.

Remember, search engines try to link searchers to information that is directly related to the search query that is entered. Therefore, having keywords in the domain name and file name are important because it shows search engines that you’re catering your content to that micro-audience of searchers.