awyer blogs need to have search engine friendly (SEF) URL’s to perform better in search engine rankings. Not rocket science to do, just another common sense rule that should be incorporated into your blog software. We do it for all our LexBlog customers.
Duncan Riley writes for The Blog Herald that when writing a blog, the last thing many bloggers consider is the use of SEF Blog URL’s. However, he says SEF Blog URL’s are an important tool for driving traffic to your blog utilizing the billions of searches made each day from search engines.
What is a SEF Blog URL?
A SEF Blog URL is the inclusion of the title of the posting in the URL. For example, in my post earlier this week about Business Week saying blogs were big business the URL was https://kevin.lexblog.com/blogs-in-the-news-531-business-week-explosive-growth-of-blogs-means-big-business.html.
In addition SEF URL’s use a hyphen (-) between words as opposed to an underscore (_) or no space at all between the words. The search engines will only use recognize the separate words when using a hyphen. Otherwise the URL looks like one big word to the search engines – not SEF to be sure.
You do not want to use URL’s such as www.yoursite.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=30 &osCsid=5156e8975ce0d4cdbb. The theory goes that the combination of symbols such as ?, =, and & make the URL difficult or unappealing for a search engine to index such URL’s.
Why SEF Blog URL?s
Riley correctly points out:
Your site is competing to be noticed amongst millions of other blogs in the blogosphere, and the tens of millions of general websites on top of that. Clarity in your posts makes your site and its posts easier to index and therefore easier to find. Clarity is not important only in content but also in your URL.
Many folks, like Riley says, will say that they?ve got lots of traffic without SEF Blog URL’s, which is true, but blog promotion takes time and the big blogs not using SEF Blog URL?s are big due to time, links and traffic. Riley argues SEF Blog URL?s is a must for new blogs starting out and for blogs attempting to build traffic and, dependent on the Blog software being used, easy to implement.
Lawyers should not be using blog software without SEF URL’s
Riley says the inability to create SEF Blog URL?s in a blogging tool or software is a deal breaker that should cause you to look elsewhere for your blogging needs.
For example, the following is a URL Riley randomly selected from MSN Spaces http://spaces.msn.com/members/hayley166/Blog/cns!1pOWO3yzc12qWGdZ4DwCKh-g!131.entry. He explains aside from the link from the Blog Herald to the lucky 14 year old in Victoria who’s probably never heard of the Blog Herald nor is interested in the contents, this page is likely to be never found, nor are many of the similar pages on the service.
Riley assesses blogging software by using the Blogging Software Breakdown from Asymptomatic which gives a strong guide on what?s available. Probably too much info for a lawyer or legal marketing professional, unless you have nothing else to do.
Headlines for the search engine spiders?
Riley recommends that even though search engine spiders will be looking at your URL, not to write headlines that are considered to be appealing to search engine users. He feels your ability to be indexed and linked is dependent on a number of factors including the URL, with the quality of your writing being the final arbitrator as to your position on the search engines. Rightfully so he says “[I]ts the quality of your writing that attracts links and interest from other bloggers that further pushes the post up the great search engine list towards position 1.”
I say do take into account your titles. Good blog software will place those titles in html header tags. Text in sich tags is given greater weight by the search engines. Use keywords and key phrases people will search on in those titles for better search engine performance.