Most SEO practitioners are often guilty of overlooking the optimisation of the URL structure of websites. Your URL is usually the first contact point potential customers make with your company, so the importance of optimising it correctly can turn views into engagements.
The URL structure can be broken up into separate elements, where we can take an in depth look at each one, and study the best practices to help improve your website optimisation.
- http:// – The Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. Hypertext is structured text that uses hyperlinks between nodes that contain text and provides the foundation for data communication across the entire World Wide Web.
In terms of optimisation, the http:// is the only element that must remain the same.
- Ecommerce – If your website has pages that you wish to keep separate from the main site, you can set them up as a subdomain. Subdomains allow you to separate a shop, or a blog, for example, from your main website; as they act as individual entities, building their own link profile. Be cautious with subdomains as they will draw links away from your main website, so ensure you have enough content to power both as separate entities.
- Mycompany – This is the domain name of your website. Exact Match Domains (EMDs) used to rank highest on Google; but since 2012’s algorithm update, the best way to give weight to a new website is to use your brand’s related domain name instead of an exact match domain.
- .co.uk – This is your website’s domain extension. .com is the most commonly used extension but if you are developing a local business, such as in our example, then it is recommended you use the country’s specific domain extension. If you are a local business that attracts an international audience (e.g. a hotel) then a .com extension will be more beneficial as it will allow you to add geo location targeting for multilingual audiences.
- Category – This is one of your websites subfolders. To make things accessible for the user you should give clear, descriptive names to all your folders. You can have multiple levels of categories to ensure clear paths to all pages within your website.
- Product – This is the actual page that the user will be viewing. For effective URL optimisation try to ensure they are descriptive and as short as possible, have important keywords placed at the beginning of the URL, have no capital letters, and have no repeated keywords between category and product page names.
Thanks to a properly optimised URL by SEO services, human users can search quickly and easily, and search engine robots can crawl, index, and rank your website pages higher thanks to enhanced optimisation.