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Construction Websites Deconstructed: The Catch-up Post

As promised, I will still be doing the Construction Websites Deconstructed series, but I don’t think it makes sense to do it every day because as one person pointed out, “what do you think, I have nothing else to do but read your shit all week!?!” He was kidding, but I thought he made a great point.

Sooooo, while I still will run the series, I will do the posts on Fridays going forward. The entire series will probably run through the rest of the year with the occasional Friday off, but I should wrap up by New Years. As for today, I will be doing a catch-up post from the past few days, so here goes.

Tip #1

Use Hyphens instead of underscores – If you look at the URL of this post (unless you are reading it on the day it was on the front page) you will notice it reads https://darrenslaughtercom.stage.site/construction-websites-deconstruced-the-catch-up-post/. Notice I have hyphens to separate the words instead of underscores. This is a SEO strategy that has its roots back to August 25th, 2005 when Matt Cutts explained that using hyphens will help your content get found easier.

Tip #2

Avoid hyphens in your domain name – Most of the great domain names are gone. Sucked up by domain squatters or legitimate enterprises, it is tough today to get the first or even second or third name you want. So you think getting your first choice with a few hyphens makes sense…it doesn’t.

In the online world, people associate New-Orleans-Plumbing-Contractor.com as spam, and your chances of getting clicked on are pretty low. If you absolutely have to use a hyphen, just use one, and don’t use it with anything else other than a .com extension!

Tip #3

Get a proper email address – If you have your own website, such as bobspainting.com, why the hell are you still using bobthepainter at yahoo.com as a business email address? I can almost promise you a $10k a year raise just by ditching the amateur email address. That goes for aol.com, hotmail.com and even gmail.com. You’re a business, act like it!

Tip #4

Pick an address – In Google world, http://www.yoursite.com and http://yoursite.com are two different sites. And each will rank on their own for keywords and searches. Make it easy for Google to decide which site to use as your primary site by setting the canonical URL to either the www version of your site or the non-www flavor. You do this with a 301 redirect, or by telling Google which version you prefer. You can get more details here.

Tip #5

This one is probably the most important of all the tips so far, because screwing this one up can cost you business. Ready? Make sure your site works in multiple browsers. Just because you are an Internet Explorer fan doesn’t mean your visitors don’t use Firefox or Chrome. Or maybe your viewers are Apple fans and are using Safari. Making sure your site is compatible with all the major browsers will assure a solid user experience. If you are not sure if your site works, check out this tool, then call your web person if you run into any trouble.

And that’s it, some solid info for you to start working on over the weekend. Stay tuned over the weekend as I tackle a question from a reader on what long-tail keywords are and how to use them!

6 responses to “Construction Websites Deconstructed: The Catch-up Post”

  1. Justin Bravo Avatar
    Justin Bravo

    Great Advice!

    1. Darren Avatar

      Thanks Justin…seems to me like you could say a thing or two about the topic, you should guest post here once in a while!


  2. Tess Wittler Avatar
    Tess Wittler

    I especially give a big AMEN to Tip #3. Great advice, Darren!

    1. Darren Avatar

      Thanks Tess!

  3. Shawn Warren Avatar
    Shawn Warren

    If you started out with underscores (some web designer software does this automatically too) and later decided to change to hyphens, one should do 301 redirects to proper page in your htaccess file. Provided you are hosted on an Apache type server OS. Or people, search bots and cached pages would get a 404 error Page not found. This is not good.
    If you have many, this could be quit a task. There is another way that doesn’t require mega lines or 301 redirects in your htaccess file.

    Rather than paste the code here, I’ll point you to a source http://www.htaccesselite.com/rewrite-urls-separated-by-underscores-to-dashes-vt175.html

    Thanks for all you great info Darren

    1. Darren Avatar

      Hey Shawn,

      Thanks for that great tip!!! You are absolutely right. I might add that this get’s a bit technical and might be better left to a pro. Not that someone shouldn’t do it, but when you start messing around with the htaccess file, things can get ugly very fast. And for those of you who don’t know what an htaccess file is, it is kind of like a regulator for your server in how it routes your site. Most site design software allows you to change the URL’s and wordpress (if you have a blog) does 301 redirects automatically if you change permalink structure. But I am getting too techie. Check with your website people!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Shawn, always great to have you!