Due to a very busy day, I don’t really have enough time to post a full length blog entry. So instead i’ll post a quick SEO tip. For most of you who know a thing or two about the subject, this should come as no suprise. However, for the common website owner/operator, this one seems to consistantly fly right over their heads. 99% of sites i review continue to miss this simple thing…
And the SEO tip is: 1 Home page, 1 URL
What does this mean? Well, take a look at your site right now. Yes, right now. Roll over every link to your home page you can find. What URL is being used in these links? Is it the same each time? When i say URL, I don’t mean that it simply mentions ‘yourdomain.com’. Of course it’s going to say that. But what else does it say? Do you see something like /index.html in it?
For instance, here is a list of possible links to a sites homepage, depending on the markup/programming language being used: (ie: in this case we use .html, but if you run a PHP site, the extension would be .php)
Notice that all of these URLs are different, yet they all point to the same content, which is your home page. My point here is… Search Engines view all 4 of these URLs as different pages. By having ‘home page’ links within your site pointing to index.html, you are focusing link power to that URL. However, chances are, you’re not trying to build power to index.html, you are trying to build power to the base url.
If this doesn’t make sense, don’t worry about it. Simply make the change. Choose one version from the above base domains (either yourdomain.com or www.yourdomain.com) and make sure to ALWAYS use that version when linking to your home page. Whether that link is internal (meaning on your site) or external (meaning on someone else’s site)… always link to your home page with whatever version you choose.
What does this accomplish for you? Well first and foremost, you are standardizing your site which makes thing much more clear to the search engines as to what page is what. Second, and most important, is that you are focusing power to one and only one URL. If you know SEO, you know linking is essential. Let’s say you get 10 links from excellent, on-topic sites… 5 of those links are pointing to yourdomain.com the other 5 are pointing to www.yourdomain.com.
What you’ve effectively done there is split the power those links might provide by 1/2.
50% of the link love will help boost yourdomain.com to higher rankings and 50% will help boost www.yourdomain.com. That doesn’t make any sense, does it? Instead, if you choose one version and point all links to it, you will focus 100% of the link love to one URL and therefore take full advatage of your efforts.
Making this simple change will boost the power of your chosen URL to rank higher than it ever could before and the concept holds true for both on-site and off-site links.