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When designing a new URL/folder structure for our website, we faced one interesting problem related to choosing best keywords from SEO perspective. We call it "included search phrases". It will be simple to explain it using the following example.

We develop and sell software development components, and one of them is an ActiveX grid control. We definitely know that "activex grid" and "activex grid control" are two best phrases we should use for SEO. And as you can see, one phrase includes the other one. But the dilemma is the following: what is the best phrase for the home page for the product? I.e.

ourdomain.com/activex-grid

or

ourdomain.com/activex-grid-control?

(sure, we will use the corresponding phrase "AciveX Grid" or "ActiveX Grid Control" in the title/H1)

Can anybody tell us, will it have the same effect for Google ranking when the user searches for "activex grid" if we use "activex grid control" for the product home? In other words, do we dilute the strength of the "activex grid" search phrase when using one more word ("control") at the end?

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One more good example of the problem. Our .NET grid control is a good alternative to the standard DataGridView control. Two best search phrases to promote it from this point of view are "advanced datagridview" and "datagridview alternative", so we think we could publish an article like "Advanced DataGridView Alternative" with the corresponding url like say ourdomain.com/articles/advanced-datagridview-alternative.html. –  TecMan May 6 '13 at 11:15
1  
Normally a bad idea to have an exact same URL/TITLE/H1.. Google likes things natural, and there's nothing natural about the same everything. I'll give my spin on this later if no one else answers. –  bybe May 6 '13 at 11:28

1 Answer 1

You should always put your visitors first over any search engine, so use this logic to make your URLS.

Title Tag

It is believed that keywords at the beginning of the title is given more weight however this can decrease click rates which ultimately is not something you want since a higher click rate can naturally increase your SEO which would gain more rankings in the long run.

Let's pretend we have a page that contains a list about Rabbits why they can't eat meat (Sorry I love bunnies.) So let's take a look at example of titles we could use:

  • BAD TITLE: Rabbits can't eat meat
  • OK TITLE: Rabbits can't eat meant because they are herbivores
  • GOOD TITLE: List of reasons why Rabbits can't eat meat
  • AWESOME TITLE: 97 Reasons why you should never let a Rabbit Eat Meat

The above is just an example but you should describe your page well while informing them exactly what the page has to offer.

H1 Tag

Using the titles above and believe that a good H1 its one that is natural not a direct copy of the title and tells the user what the page is about.... Think of a chapter in a book.

So in the title example we believe that 97 Reasons why you should never feed a rabbit meat is an awesome a also title description to use so what could we use to make it good for rankings but not a direct paste of the title. We first establish what the keywords are that you want to rank for, but only in this example as you should base the title on the keywords that you want prior to this stage.

So the keywords in this example are Rabbit Eat Meat

So an ideal H1 tag would look something like: Reasons Rabbits can't Eat Meat since long headers are ok but as a useability and search engines reasons there's no reason to lengthen the header any more than necessary since they got the page they expected (after clicking) and Google can confirm your keywords are in both title and header.. and looks naturally made.

SEO Friendly URL

These are the least important out of the two other factors since generally they will be informed in the search results as people searching will primary focus on the title and then secondary on the description, but they are good for giving Google more indications what your page is truly about and if your link gets pasted on a rabbit site then its likely going to be more welcomed than say a link which does not look relevant at all.

Now using the same example keywords Rabbit Eat Meat you have few options since its that not important, you should however try to make your URLS as short as possible but using this /rabbits-eat-meat/ doesn't tell your audience what your page is about and implies that they can eat meat which is false indication to your audience, so a good short url would something like these:

/rabbits-cant-eat-meat/ /rabbits-dont-eat-meat/

Can't and Don't are stop words so they are pretty useless for ranking purposes but it tells your audience what the URL is about which is what I wanted to note here.

Please Note: The perfect mixture of these 3 components of making URLS/Headers/Titles is that you cater for your audience, these are mere examples and you should use it as a guide line, in no way does this mean not using these methods you can't rank because many sites including this one (Stack Exchange) use generated Titles, H1, URLS that are based of the question and they rank fine however Google does prefer natural things, some sites have so much authority, off page seo and trust they can pretty much do what they want and they will rank well... All methods listed can help but many more factors come into play.

Some Resources You May Find Useful

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What a beautiful post! I would even do '+1' twice If I could. But it didn't answer the question regarding what I call "included search phrases". As for your example, I even cannot give 2 phrases to consider. "list of reasons" and "rabbits don't eat meat".... Can you decipher your answer for the case "advanced datagridview" and "datagridview alternative"? Sorry if I didn't understood something related to my case from your answer. –  TecMan May 23 '13 at 6:56

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