Having a keyword-rich domain name and creating a sound information architecture can put you on the fast track for search engine optimization success.

The domain – Your domain name is like your address, the place where you live. If you live at a keyword-rich domain, you have an SEO advantage. For most of us, though, we’re bound by time, money and other limitations. We simply have to work with what we’ve been given.

Your information architecture – Search engines prefer when you use sound information structure. Users do too. The less clutter the better. Take the Corvette example. Which of the following URLs is going to be best perceived by users and search engines alike?

  1. www.chevrolet.com/8675309.php
  2. www.chevrolet.com/car-14.html
  3. www.chevrolet.com/corvette-family

The first URL is dynamically generated. It tells the user nothing. It tells the search engine nothing. The second URL is somewhat descriptive, but nowhere near as descriptive as the third URL, which is our clear winner.

The lesson? Keywords are the answer. and you can create sound information architecture – and search-engine friendly URLs – by comparing your business categories to your keyword research.

As you create your structure, make it a goal to stay within three folders of your domain name. Chevrolet has done a great job with its Corvette brand. In fact, its directory structure remains just one folder deep no matter which variation of Corvette you choose to view.

www.chevrolet.com/corvette-sports-cars – This URL gets you to all Corvette sports cars.
www.chevrolet.com/corvette-427-convertible-sports-car – This URL takes you to the Grand Sports Coupe model.

All of the other model URLs are similarly structured.

When you create sound information architecture, you’re showing search engines what you consider the most important categories on your site. You also are showing the association of these category pages with their parent category theme. If you do it correctly, it also adds keywords to the top-level folders (and the URLs) on your site.