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Introduction

What is the importance of having keywords in your nice formed url, also the position of the keywords in the url.

Example

I am working on a site which contains multiple branches in 2 countries. After doing some research I found that many people search on:

keyword belgium
keyword brugges

What will be the best way to perform my site structure?

1:

http://www.example.com/nl/keyword    
http://www.example.com/nl/keyword/belgium
http://www.example.com/nl/keyword/belgium/brugges

Menu structure

keyword
    belgium
        brugges
    netherlands
        rotterdam

Looks weird to do it like this, normally you place branches and their contact details under a contact top level or branches top level.

2:

http://www.example.com/nl/keyword
http://www.example.com/nl/branches 
http://www.example.com/nl/branches/keyword-belgium
http://www.example.com/nl/branches/keyword-belgium/brugges

Menu structure

branches
    belgium
        brugges
    netherlands
        rotterdam

Looks better but now the keyword is used in 2 levels.

2

You're falling in to the common trap of over-thinking it...

The only points you should consider when constructing your URL's is:-

  1. Make them SEF friendly (i.e. use actual words rather than URL parameters/strings).
  2. Make them relevant and useful to your website visitors.

The importance of using exact match keywords in your URL's has diminished over the years, search engines have much more robust measures in place to determine the context and topic of web pages. They should however, use relevant words that will quickly inform visitors to your website what the page offers.

There will be many factors to consider in determining what scenario works best for specific scenario including the language used to search and the location in which they are searching from (including the search engine TLD they use) - if either of these factors are in play, you wouldn't go far wrong to consider the usage of hreflang to serve particular content based on this criteria.

If however, you choose to cater for the same audience regardless of location/language on the same web page on the same website, then simply the following would suffice:-

http://www.example.com/keyword-belgium
http://www.example.com/keyword-netherlands

This gives you the opportunity of using a different page to explain the service you offer in the different countries you provide it and the URL is short and clear to the website visitor meaning they don't have to dig deeper to find out whether you can help them.

There would be no harm in using the likes of:-

http://www.example.com/branches/netherlands/keyword
http://www.example.com/branches/belgium/keyword

Or even:-

http://www.example.com/nl/branches/keyword
http://www.example.com/be/branches/keyword

But you have to ask yourself is it necessary. Just how relevant is to your target audience that you have different branches, in two countries, serving the same/differing service?

Keep your URL's short, concise and relevant without giving you too much work to take on in creating unique content and handling the parent directories on your website. Hreflang above, should really be the way to go if you want to serve different pages which contains the same service but just in a different location/language as pointed out above.

Hope that helps.

  • The language is the same, its all in dutch. The company has multiple locations in both countries, the Netherlands and Belgium, that way I want to create a page for every country ( showing a list of the branches for that country ) and for every city ( showing contact details, contact form, ... ) using a combination of a keyword and the country or city ( because of the high search volume it comes with it ). All other pages like services, projects etc. will be the same for both countries. – Mivaweb Mar 27 '15 at 8:36
  • Sure, show a directory page for each country listing all your branches then but you don't need to create a service page for each city in the country + keyword. That isn't necessary and runs the risk of looking spammy. And even more so if you have a parent hierarchy of /country/branch/keyword and then using the country/city in the keyword URI as well (like: /country/branch/keyword-country). – zigojacko Mar 27 '15 at 8:43
  • Yes I know it was only for one keyword and country or city combination that i was intened to use it. All other service pages and others are created the normal way without mentioning the country or city. I only needed to know what would be the best practice to create my site structure. – Mivaweb Mar 27 '15 at 8:47
  • 1
    I especially like the first line!! ;-) – closetnoc Mar 27 '15 at 15:24

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