Today, I want you to think about how a set of search engine optimization recommendations may be perfect for one website while lacking or wrong for another. I want you to think about strategic decision making.

strategic SEO assets

We know there is more to Internet marketing than search engine optimization and there’s a lot more bells and whistles to choose from these days. How can you combine SEO knowledge with CMS features, design and technology?

Time to don your thinking cap.

For example, imagine that you sell a sole style of cut-off jean shorts, but in several colors. Is it better to combine authority onto one product page or create separate URLs for each color?

A domain with high authority may be capable of presenting search engines with a single page for Cut-Off Jean Shorts whereas a site with lower authority may be served better with separate pages for each color: Blue Cut-Off Jean Shorts, Purple Cut-Off Jean Shorts, Green Cut-Off Jean Shorts, etc.

  • If your site  is a major brand and enjoys a top-flight external link profile, one URL may be your best choice.

Strategic SEO Assets

  • If your product pages get significant off-site links, showing the different color options on one URL can combine link authority. That combined authority can enhance the probability that your jean shorts will rank for color specific searches, provided you optimize it properly for multiple keywords and colors.

Strategic SEO Assets

  • If you plan a promotional campaign for your product or have a strong social media presence, using a single URL will ensure that all the links and authority go to the same page.
  • Alternatively, should you lack the above authority advantages, then optimizing separate pages and URLs for each color probably makes more sense. Each page can be made highly relevant for single colors.

Do You Lead With Authority Or With Relevance?

If you select the single URL, you combine authority to generate greater presence. I’ll re-stress, you also need to optimize your default content for multiple colors and keywords. Instead of showing just one color option you could show all of them with separate images and descriptions.

The advantage of creating separate URLs is that it gives you the ability to focus on and enhance relevance. You can add each color to the title and H1 tag. You can customize product descriptions for each color. If you lag behind your competitors in authority, separate pages with higher relevance may be a better option.

What if you are unsure? You consider both options but don’t know which one to choose?

In such cases, you might select two similar products and test. Use a single URL for one product. Use multiple URLs for the other. See which method works best for your website, within your competitive space

The greater message is this: Don’t just complacently optimize your company’s website for a set of search queries or keywords. Get involved with how your website operates. Seek creative ways to present content, ways that will use your website’s assets and abilities.

The SEO team at our major-brand jeans maker will share how all those links and authority create a competitive asset. They will suggest new ways to use their authority to grow rankings, traffic and sales. They will devise tests and learn from the results. More importantly, they will not accept without question the way their shopping cart is already set-up.

What advantages does your company have? What changes can your website make? How will you develop and utilize those strengths?

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO

Sponsored


About The Author: is a longtime Internet marketing analyst and consultant specializing in inbound marketing, social media and SEO. He enjoys helping enterprise brands organize their Web presence and grow search engine and referral traffic. Tom began Internet marketing in 1996. You can read more of Tom's musings at http://inboundbound.com.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • chaselsu

    Good stuff. I don’t know a lot about writing code so I’m confused about the “You can add each color to the title and H1 tag” part a little bit. You can’t do separate H1 tags for single URLs? Is it just as simple as that?

  • http://twitter.com/TomSchmitz Thomas M. Schmitz

    Yes, with multiple URLs you can have Green Cut-Off Jeans Shorts, Blue Cut-Off Jeans Shorts, and Purple Cut-Off Jeans Shorts as the titles and H1 tags of separate pages. With on page or URL you have to optimize for all those keywords. The question is, which way will work best? The answer is, it depends, largely on the quantity and distribution of your site and page authority. My point is, if you are doing it one way, don’t simply optimize your page or pages for the content on hand. Consider optimizing the site the other way. Think big. Look for larger SEO opportunities. Apply strategic thinking to your optimization plan.

  • http://fobusiness.info/ Focus On Business

    There’s always the option of linking your url’s to an eventual authority site. You are most likely going to have build free blogs and back links for your url’s to rank, so linking those increased valued url’s to your eventual authority site may get you off to a better start.

  • http://twitter.com/TomSchmitz Thomas M. Schmitz

    Linking to other sites does not help a website rank. Getting links helps. And, if you want to kill your rankings, building free blogs with back links is a good way to harvest a nasty Penguin penalty. You’ve written the type of advice that makes people distrust SEO and makes legitimate optimization professionals face-palm. The point of my article is that real SEO and effective SEO requires leadership, not complacency and definitely not trickery. 

  • http://twitter.com/moxby_design Martin Oxby

    Learning to think wider than just the ‘on page keywords’ is something we have come across in our own client base. SEO is not the be-all-and-end-all, what matters is making profit, whether online or offline. Learning how to compete in a market with long-established players does take time, and planning and yes, strategy.
    My only thought with your particular example is that you would have to plan your content carefully so that ‘blue cut off jeans shorts’ and ‘red cut off jeans shorts’ etc were not mentioned very often because it could look ‘shoe-horned’ in and maybe a little bit unnatural.

    But in principle, highly agree with what you’ve said and definitely recommend trying things out to see what works for your business.

  • http://twitter.com/mgtarheels Michael Grant

    That’s incorrect. There’s a direct correlation between linking out, authority, and rankings.

  • http://twitter.com/SEObryan Bryan Krause

    Why should you have to chose between authority and relevance? If you have a high authority site, that doesn’t mean you should only create one URL simply because you can get away with it, if anything I’d say it’s the opposite. If you don’t have a high authority site, you should only create one URL so there’s cumulative value. My recommendation is make the page as relevant/specific as possible (as long as you’re able to manage them). 

  • http://twitter.com/Intellectsolve Intellectsolve

     it means the color name will be stored in database and by iterating a loop you can fetch color info and you can display each color in H1 TAG.

 

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide