SEO Domain Structure: How to Do It Right

Your domain structure can have a dramatic impact on your SEO results.

Your domain is the equivalent to a brick and mortar storefront with one exception. Without a physical storefront, you need to use search engine optimization tactics to ensure people can find your company when they’re looking for the products or services you offer. Your domain name can be part of your SEO efforts, but it’s also important to learn how to use your entire domain structure to ensure you achieve better search engine rankings to ensure your customers can easily find you.

Focus on One Domain

Many companies create a disconnected feel to their domain structure by introducing too many subdomains or choosing several domains on which to host various aspects of their online presence, such as keeping their blog separate from their main website. This can be a serious mistake. You are already trying to outrank your competitors. When you create multiple domains of your own or too many subdomains, all battling for the same set of keywords, you essentially become your own competitor. The SEO rankings for all of your pages will be much weaker than if you focused on one domain.

The Use of Campaign Drivers

Some companies enjoy creating new domains targeted at a specific campaign. For instance, when they create a new product, they may choose to use a domain using that product’s name as the domain. This can be a valuable tool in spreading the word about a new product more quickly. Unfortunately, this puts you in a bad position. You can either let the domain remain active and soak up some of your SEO efforts or you can deactivate the domain, leading to a large number of redirects, which can hurt your search engine rankings. Neither option is a good one. Instead, it’s better to run any campaigns as a landing page associated with your core domain.

Check for Hidden Indexed Content

Depending on how your domain was set up, you could have pages, subdomains and domains indexed of which you were unaware. This can stem from security issues, as well as a number of other factors, such as incorrect settings on a test server. It’s important to get a proper audit to determine if there are any domains or subdomains you weren’t aware of and then find ways to eliminate them. This can help trim down your website so you don’t become your own worst enemy. You want to make sure everything you index with the search engines is exactly the way you want it.

International Businesses

With the increased use of the Internet around the world, more businesses are reaching out internationally to obtain more customers and share their expertise with the world. However, this can create new challenges for companies that need to use different languages to reach each country in which they will do business. There are three ways in which you can organize your domains to ensure the right customers find the information they need in a way they can understand.

1. Separate Folders – Creating a separate folder for each language or country you need to address will place a back slash, followed by the name of the folder. This method is relatively inexpensive, but can make it difficult for individuals to identify the location based on the URL.

2. Subdomains – Another similar option is to create a separate subdomain for each language or country. As long as you aren’t creating a lot of different options, this can still be feasible and affordable. This method would place the abbreviations at the beginning of the domain, followed by a dot and the remainder of the domain name.

3. Country-Coded Domains – The most expensive option is to purchase your domain name in each country, allowing you to have the same website with the proper ending associated with the country in questions. Some country domains are relatively inexpensive, while others are more costly.

In general, Google prefers companies choose to purchase separate country-coded domains. It can also open the possibility of making more mistakes, which can be costly in your SEO efforts. If you don’t have the budget for this option, chances are you can still achieve success with the other options as well.

domain is an important element of your online presence. If you can optimize it for the search engines, it will be more difficult for your customers and prospects to find you. With the right domain structure, however, you can achieve the success you envision for your business online.

If you’re looking for help creating effective content for your domain, contact us. We can help you improve your SEO rankings for the best results.