Topic: SEO/SEM

Use Subfolder Or Create New, Descriptive Url?

Posted by scott on 250 Points
One of our clients is in financial services. Its URL is its name, e.g., (not its real name). The client has three distinct services that must be identified separately for compliance. Also, only one of its three services gets promoted, also for compliance reasons. Let’s call that service “Achieve100.”

When we launched a new website, for compliance reasons we created a portal page through which you can reach each of the three services. Two of the three have separate URLs.

But Achieve100, the service we promote, is treated as a subfolder: Is this the best route? I think my two options are A) do what we did, and B) create a new descriptive URL, e.g.,

I’m posing this question because a colleague suggested that we are muting our SEO opportunities with, as it does not contain common keyword terms for this client and industry. Achieve100 is a name the client loves, but it's not a name indicative of the industry and/or what the service offers.

It seems to me that if we do a good job with site content, we shouldn't have to worry about the URL.
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  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    What I would suggest is a completely different domain name for the promoted business -- perhaps with the "Achieve 100" name in there. (e.g.,, etc.)

    You might also consider a targeted high-conversion landing page for Achieve100 that lays out the benefit and encourages an immediate response. (Examples: "Call now to schedule a meeting" or "View short video" etc.)

    There is no need to confuse prospective clients with the different brand names and positioning benefits. Let each [important] brand stand on its own. If the company is well known, you can always add "A SmithJones Company" as an additional tagline.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    Is there any compliance reason why "Achieve100" can't have its own URL?

    Is your goal to improve SEO (perhaps challenging since the keywords are not the "usual" ones prospective clients may choose) or improve the user experience of visiting the site?

    Before you take any action, look at your analytics to give you baseline information about search traffic especially for "Achieve100".
  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Accepted
    What terms are most searched for and which positions in search results could you rank for?

    Of the options you've laid out, my gut says to create a descriptive URL based on search criteria, NOT on what the client likes about their name.

    The client needs to wrap their heads around the fact that in truth, no one cares about them or their name, people care about the results the client offers, provides, promises, or guarantees.
  • Posted by scott on Author
    Thanks for the feedback. Everyone is essentially hitting on the same theme: change the URL. I'm going to think through this and propose a change to our client. Thank again!

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