Monday, June 22, 2015

Page naming conventions for your webpages

“What’s in a name?” Juliet Capulet asked.

Now you may be surprised why I’m opening with a line from Shakespeare here, but I promise that the question is relevant to online marketing. Names, you see, are a big deal even when your goal is to get the best ranking in the search engine results pages.

As a recap, search engines gather information by crawling your website. The key to getting a high rank in the search results is to ensure that your site is crawled properly. While search engine optimisation (SEO) offers a number of strategies to achieve this end, a good start is essentially following the appropriate naming conventions for your webpages.

Search engines assume that the most important elements of your site are in your main navigation area, which is found is virtually any page in your site. As such, their rankings formulas are tuned to grant more weight to the pages that are featured there. You can take advantage of this by placing your primary keywords in the filename or URL for these pages. Search engines place the bulk of their attention on the keywords found in the title text and the content of the page, but keyword mentions in the URL do bear some weight.

As an example, all factors considered, a webpage with the URL “www.abcd.com/macbook-air-review” is likely to have a higher rank for the search term “Macbook Air reviews” than websites with the same content but have URLs like “www.wxyz.com/apple-laptop-review” or “www.wxyz.com/top-10-best-laptops” in the SERPs.

Writing the best webpage names

So how do you make good webpage titles? First, make sure that your URL is not overstuffed with keywords. Search engines are programmed to react negatively to this practice. Keep the title of your entries, as well as the URL of your pages short and descriptive. As mentioned above, mention your keyword if possible. Search engines often rank pages highly when their URL matches with the search terms used by the searchers.

CMS and blogging platforms such as WordPress allow you to use custom URLs that may be different from your entry’s title. In such cases, make sure to create good URLs. You can use the following formula: www.yourURL.com/keywords1/keywords2.php

Here are some great examples:

Title: I do not wish my screensaver to lock my computer, thank you.
URL: disable-screensaver-password

Title: Get your search fix with two videos
URL: free-search-seo-videos

Title: Protect yourself: get a free credit report
URL: free-credit-report

Title: How to back up your Gmail on Linux in four easy steps
URL: backup-gmail-in-linux-with-getmail

Title: How to stop junk mail
URL: stop-junk-mail

Title: I love my pedometer
URL: best-pedometer

Title: Crap. My Ubuntu machine won’t boot
URL: ubuntu-freeze-no-resume

Title: What are the best iPhone applications?
URL: best-iphone-application

While your webpage’s URL may not be the biggest factor in determining search rankings, ensuring that it follows the right conventions makes it easier to organise and retrieve. So what’s in a name? A lot, apparently, but having the right keywords is a good start.