This is a continuation of a series of website marketing checklists. Check out all Web Marketing Checklists in this series.
What this is about: This checklist covers various aspects of the domain and site URL structure, how they should be used and how to ensure proper site and browser functionality.
Why this is important: The domain name is part of the identity of your business. The URL chosen can have a significant impact on brand identity and in a lesser extent, keyword ranking performance. However, how your site domain name and page URLs function can have significant impact on the crawlability of the site as well as overall visitor and traffic performance.
What to look for:
- Short and memorable: Keep primary domain name short and, if possible, something easy to remember.
- Uses Keywords: Use targeted keywords in your business name, and therefore domain name.
- Used in email addresses: Don't use free email accounts for business, rather use your business domain name for all business communications.
- Uses Favicon: Make sure your favicon shows in the address bar (create one if you must.)
- Site.com redirect to www. version: Set a canonical URL and be sure the other version 301 redirects.
site.com redirects to www.site.com or vice versa
- Alternate Domain redirects: Make sure all alternate domain names 301 redirect to the primary domain to prevent potential duplicate site issues.
batteryfreaks.com redirects to batterystuff.com
- Home page redirects to root: Your Home Page should be accessible from the domain root only, not the page file name.
www.site.com/index.html redirects to www.site.com
- No underscores in filenames: Don't use underscores in filenames, go with hyphens instead.
- Keywords in directory names: Use keywords in directory names wherever applicable.
- Multiple pages per directory: Don't create directories for a single page but organize directories so multiple pages fit in a single directory.
No: honda-chargers/honda-chargers.html, yamaha-chargers/yamaha-chargers.html
Yes: chargers/honda.html, chargers/yamaha.html
- Registered for 5+ years: Keep your domain name registered for 5-10 years at a time, rather than renewing year to year.
- Multiple versions: Purchase multiple versions of your domain name, including .com, .org, .net, .biz, hyphenations between words, common misspellings. Also purchase alternate domain names such as product names, brand names and any other keywords that might be typed in randomly.
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.