Why URL Structure Matters in SEO

Services for Real Estate Pros with Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing

URL - you know that stuff that comes after the www. on a website address.  It stands for Uniform Resource Locator, like you really wanted to know that. But regardless of what it means, it tells your computer how to locate the web page or site you want to find. 

Why URL Structure matters in SEOWhen you create a web page, post or site, that URL always begins with your main domain - whatever that may be. On here, it's obviously Activerain.com. But when AR was purchased by Trulia, Activerain became a subdomain of Trulia, Trulia.Activerain.com. We still may be reeling from that conversion and back again. While subdomains can gain the weight of the main domain, nothing matters more than the basic URL structure

This structure is like the old Outline we all used to do in school. The main point, then go down from there. If your website doesn't allow for simple structuring it may be time to consider a different website. URL Structure is extremely important to Google. Google looks closely at the structure to see if it makes sense. We have tested several pages to see how it works and in every instance, proper structure wins over improper structure. 

Let me show you what I mean: 

The basic website address or URL is: www.businessinsuranceusa.com - Keyword rich and pretty much tells Google and everyone else what the site is. While not mandatory, it is beneficial. (Exact match domains to keywords can be a little tricky with Google unless you've been out there a long time.) 

The main URL would be at the top of the figurative outline. All topics and subjects would be under that main topic for the website as such. Each topic has their own subject underneath that.

Business Insurance USAURL structure is vital

           A. General Liability

                        1. Contractors

                        2. Retailers

                        3. Distributors

           B. Business Auto

                        1. Trucks

                        2. Business Vans

                        3. Agricultural 

           C. Workers Comp

                        1. Medical

                        2. Permanent

                        3. Death benefits

This is the basic structure of the site. Each of these pages will have their own URL structure that matches:

http://www.businessinsuranceusa.com - Main URL

           A. http://www.businessinsuranceusa.com/general-liability-insurance - Topic on General Liability

                        1.http://businessinsuranceusa.com/general-liability-insurance/business-insurance-general-contractors - Subject under general liability...

And so forth. Each will add on the URL from the parent page. This site not only does a good job with URL structure but with keeping every topic organized with a custom sidebar (see below)


Here is the same structure for real estate:

http://www.findourpad.com/ is the base URL (you can see it's not really geo-specific, but it still can work)

All other pages fall under that naturally but properly. 

We have a section dedicated to Shoreline. 

http://www.findourpad.com/shoreline-properties/ - Shoreline is one of the main topics on this site. From here all blogs or pages that go with "shoreline properties" should be tacked on to the end of this URL like this: http://www.findourpad.com/shoreline-properties/shoreline-waterfront-homes/ This is the page that only talks about "waterfront homes in Shoreline" 

We narrow the topic down to the keywords we researched and made sure the parent URL was "shoreline properties". Any and all information about Shoreline will fall under the parent URL http://www.findourpad.com/shoreline-properties/

Also, when creating the content, we always link up towards the main parent URL, other topics under that parent URL or the homepage. On this page we're not linking to Green Lake, Ballard or other Seattle neighborhoods, only Shoreline. This solidifies the topic, the URL and content. 

Same goes with any topic. As in the insurance above, if the content talks only about "Workers comp" the page should only link upwards or to other topics that have the parent "workers comp". 

For instance, if you are writing a blog post about workers comp and you have 3 other blogs under that parent URL structure, it's appropriate to link to those other three in the content if it works and is beneficial for your reader. You would not want to link to business auto insurance or another blog topic under any other parent URL except for workers comp. Keep it all under the same URL structure, all leading back to the main topic. 



Custom Side Bar

Another idea if your website can manage it, is to have custom side bars or menus for each topic. Meaning when you're on the "workers comp" page, the side bar only reflects those subjects. You would have to click back to a main topic again to see the side bar that relates to a different topic. So on the workers comp page, the side bar has all the subjects of the main ideas only for workers comp, such as medical care, first aid, temp disability, permanent disability, death benefits, etc..  Each page has been deliberately and intentional set up for each main topic or idea and subjects underneath. This is the ideal URL structure and Google will reward this greatly, especially if you have excellent content and readers find value in the text.

It may be confusing and many websites may just not allow it, but it is a crucial part of SEO. I know many websites out there, some I have to deal with on a daily basis, that still have URL structure like this: http://www.nutshellrealty.com/site/899485 This tells Google nothing about what's actually on the page. This page is about Ulster County NY communities and it should reflect that by being restructured to: http://www.nutshellrealty.com/ulster-county/communities/ 
but until the webhost or manager changes it permanently it can be a real pain to get around. There really isn't a good way around it other than making sure you have excellent content, shared content and great back links.. but that's another blog post.... 


Posted by


ActiveRain and SEOTammy Emineth is an expert in custom content and original articles for blogs, website, press releases and more. Contact me anytime and feel free to subscribe to this blog to stay up to date on my latest blogs and informative information. Email me or contact me for Real Estate Website Marketing and SEO Content Writing.

 Twitter Me  Blogspot Blog  Connect on Linkedin  Google Plus Find me on Facebook   Find cool stuff with me on Pinterest  Fun stuff on my tumblr page

The information contained in this blog is believed to be true and correct and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy for any particular purpose. All information is copy written and the property of Tammy Emineth.  


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Praful Thakkar 12/18/2015 10:13 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Active Rain Newbies
Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day
SEO for Realtors
Getting Visible on Google. How To's
content marketing
great seo

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Tammy, as always, this is valuable advice. I am also bookmarking this page to refer to frequently.

Nov 05, 2015 02:37 PM #21
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

This is great information, Tammy

No frills domain will get the traffic. 


Sam Shueh

Nov 05, 2015 02:47 PM #22
Sandra Graves
Keller Williams Realty - Folsom, CA

This is an excellent post with great reminders on setting up a website. Thanks for breaking down the URL structure. 

Nov 05, 2015 03:14 PM #23
Richard L. Sanderson
Richard L. Sanderson Consulting - Portland, OR
helping improve local property tax systems

Tammy Emineth - Your post is very timely. I'm in the process of setting up a new website and have been conducting my own research for several weeks.  Your blog post is well written, concise, and just what I needed.

Nov 05, 2015 05:38 PM #24
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Thanks for this information - it's coming at the perfect time for me, and I'm bookmarking so I can find it again.

Nov 05, 2015 07:35 PM #25
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

URL talk used to fly over my head at first. Now, its like a pet in the house

Nov 05, 2015 10:30 PM #26
Kim Boekholder Utah Real Estate
Results Real Estate 801.580.5624 - Draper, UT
Broker, Results Real Estate

I like the idea of mapping it out.  I'm a visual person and this step will be very helpful.  Thanks!

Nov 05, 2015 11:07 PM #27
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Having a good URL domain is just one more important part of the SEO process. Thanks for the detailed information. 

Nov 05, 2015 11:22 PM #28
The Derrick Team - Indy Metro Realtors
Carpenter Realtors - Avon, IN
Your Pet Friendly Realtors

Why I like WordPress. Does a lot of this automatically.

Nov 05, 2015 11:51 PM #29
Darren Copeland
Leader One Financial - Lee's Summit, MO
Darren Copeland

This is amazing information - My SEO guy was just telling me about this the other day!  Great blog! 

Nov 06, 2015 12:13 AM #30
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I knew that it was important, but thank you for making it easy to understand. 

Nov 06, 2015 01:24 AM #31
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Thanks for the great explanation Tammy.

Nov 06, 2015 02:23 AM #32
Marie Haydock
Evergreen Global Homes & Land | RSVP Real Estate - Redmond, WA
Simplifying Real Estate

Excellent primer, Tammy!  Was just recently trying to understand the differences between subdirectories and subdomains.  Perhaps you can spin off this article and discuss subdirectories and subdomains as well.

Nov 06, 2015 04:30 AM #33
Olesa Islamova
Royal LePage Your Community Realty - Toronto, ON

Wow! I finally got it. Thank you for a  simple explanation Tammy. 

Nov 06, 2015 05:03 AM #34
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Tammy, with all things being the same would a .com index higher than a .info?

Nov 06, 2015 05:04 AM #35
Tina Parker
Keller Williams Select Realty - Bedford, NS
CNE, REDM, SRES, CSP Home Staging REALTOR, Halifax

Fabulous information that really clarifies a lot for me. Thanks for sharing!

Nov 06, 2015 12:13 PM #36
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Can't wait for Tim to finish my website. Hope you both are doing okay.

Nov 07, 2015 11:13 AM #37
Christi Farrington
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
~ Your representative in Fairfield County, CT


You just helped me to finally understand the URL language! Whew, I feel SO much better.  Finally, I'm not frazzled when I hear the term "URL"! 

Nov 11, 2015 04:17 AM #38
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I think my web sites do that, but I will check them.

Nov 17, 2015 01:35 PM #39
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks for the reminder on this, I remember Bob Stewart talking about this back when we added trulia to our url.  I do need to pay more attention to what I put in those titles.

Dec 18, 2015 10:40 AM #40
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Tammy Emineth

Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer
Have a Website or SEO Question?
Spam prevention

Additional Information