URL Optimization: Don’t Leave Ridiculous Amounts of Traffic on the Table

Having clean, keyword-rich URLs on your site is one of the most important on-page SEO practices you need to implement in order to maximize the amount of organic search engine traffic that you receive each day. One of the most surprising things we see as an agency is the number of large, enterprise- level companies that are leaving hundreds of thousands of visits on the table because their URLs are not optimized for SEO.

Here are two concrete examples of web retailers that could increase traffic by the hundreds of thousands if they were to not only execute database URL re-writes but also 301-redirect all of the old URLs to the new, SEO-friendly URLs.


This women’s fashion retailer gets decent branded search engine traffic; however, it is basically non-existent in the search engines for any of their main product categories.

According to KeywordSpy, Maurices.com ranks for less than 300 total keywords; 90% coming from branded search referrals. What’s interesting is that they are purchasing PPC clicks on over 7,000 keyword combinations.

If they were to implement database re-writes for their URLs, they would begin ranking naturally for several hundred of those keywords right away – and thousands over time.

Here is a quick recommendation for the proposed URL changes:

  • Old Home: http://www.maurices.com/home/index.jsp
  • New Home: http://www.maurices.com/
  • Old Category: http://www.maurices.com/category/index.jsp?categoryId=3677339
  • New Category: http://www.maurices.com/plus-sizes/
  • Old Subcategory: http://www.maurices.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3598620&cp=3677339
  • New Subcategory: http://www.maurices.com/plus-sizes/bottoms/
  • Old Product: http://www.maurices.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4381446
  • New Product: http://www.maurices.com/plus-sizes/bottoms/knit-denim-style-pant/


This toy and juvenile products retailer gets great SEO traffic, ranking for over 160,000 keywords. The interesting thing to note is that even though ToysRUs is a corporation that has a great SEO presence, it doesn’t mean that they would not benefit significantly from a URL optimization.

A clear-cut example of this can be seen if you do a search in Google for the term “Nintendo DS”; ToysRUs currently ranks #8 for that search term. Results 1-4 are Nintento brand URLs; however, in my opinion, ToysRUs should be beating out Walmart (#5), Amazon (#6), and Target (#7).

ToysRUs has more inbound links to their page by almost double the competition. In addition, they have a higher Page Rank than all the other sites with the exception of Amazon, but due to the fact that they have so many more inbound links than Amazon, it shouldn’t matter that Amazon has a higher Page Rank.

The only leg up Walmart, Amazon and Target have on this particular search phrase is that their URLs are optimized for the search engines.

If ToysRUs were to implement database re-writes for their URLs, they would see a boost across the board in rankings. The #8 rankings would become #4 rankings; the #3 rankings would become #1 and so on.

Here is a quick recommendation for the proposed URL changes:

  • Old Home: http://www.toysrus.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=2255956
  • New Home: http://www.toysrus.com/
  • Old Category: http://www.toysrus.com/category/index.jsp?categoryId=3250905
  • New Category: http://www.toysrus.com/audio/
  • Old Subcategory: http://www.toysrus.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3250947
  • New Subcategory: http://www.toysrus.com/audio/mp3-players/
  • Old Product: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4488309
  • New Product: http://www.toysrus.com/audio/mp3-players/apple-ipod-touch-64gb/

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