One of the basic points for any web site optimization is the necessity to create eye-friendly domain names. Let us review what Friendly URLs are, what their role in the site indexing and rating is and how they can be worked out.
URL address may look very simple but in fact it includes several important parts and each of them strongly affects the readability of the link and its perception by the internet users.
Let us take a simple URL as an example: http://www.domain.com/simple_category/simple_text.html
The base URL structure in this case is as follows:
- Web site domain name. In this case it is www.domain.com
- Web site subdirectory or category where the file is located - /simple_category/
- File name on the site that is being accessed (a link to an article, image, product, etc.) - /simple_text.html
So, we have three elements of the URL and which of them can be configured according to our wish (domain name, subdirectories (categories), file names).
Domain name is your site address on the Internet. This part of the URL must meet specific requirements as it is used for the site representation in the web search results as well as for interactive answers, mailings, etc.
The main rule of all SEO specialists is that the domain name should be easy to remember.
As research shows, the best quantity of letters is 5, but this is not the limit. There are a lot of sites with much longer names but this does not affect their popularity. You must also make sure that your domain name corresponds to the site designation and purpose. Previously, key words were often used in the domain name creation.
Extensions are the letters which follow the site name after a dot (e.g. domain.com). Most frequently they are determined by geographical location (top-level domain extensions, e.g.: .ca, .us, .br, .ru, etc.)
If the web site is not bound to a specific country (e.g. an international store), it may use extensions like .com or .org.
In general the top-level expansions are more expensive and provided only for the national resources.
The expansions such as com, org, net should match the type of the site: commercial – com, the net ones – net, the expansions for the organizations – org, etc.
Does the domain name extension affect SEO? The answer is NO. The extension does not display the quality of a web site, there are a lot of various factors playing the key role in this case.
On the other hand, it is sometimes considered that a domain name with a top-level country extension gains more trust from customers than a common domain extension.
Also check Magento extensions which simplifying different processes on your Magento store.
The most important parameter for subdirectories is their depth.
The depth is the quantity of subfolders in a category path (e.g. kitchen furniture/dressers/hinged – all of them are subdirectories, but ‘hinged’ category is the third level of depth and ‘kitchen furniture’ is the first level). As a rule, this mostly affects the breadcrumbs type of navigation. Remember that, in order to create correct structure from the point of view of SEO, you need to pay special attention to how your products or articles are located. Do not place one product or article into several categories at once.
According to so-called ‘three-click rule’ any folder or product should not be located deeper than within 3 mouse-clicks from the main page, but this is not always reasonable from the point of view of usability.
The other important parameter is width.
Width is the quantity of pages within one category. This parameter does not affect the site rating, you may have as many pages as you need. As long as each page is unique there are no problems.
It is very easy to change the page address, as you only need to correct the product or article name in the editor. When it comes to choosing a good page name, you may use key words or related phrases, e.g. ‘photo’, ‘buy’, ‘cheap’, etc.
You may have noticed that hyphen is mostly used in URLs as a recommended method of separating key words. The URL http://domain.com/black-cat would be much more effective than http://domain.com/blackcat. If possible, avoid using other delimiters like ‘_’ or ‘+’.
Static vs. Dynamic URLs
Dynamic URLs are usually recognized as the ones including specific symbols like question marks or ampersands. These symbols determine various parameters, like the site language or a user identifier. But this also means that one and the same content may have several addresses.
One of the most popular URL myths is that search engines cannot index dynamic URLs. This might be right in the past, but currently Google search engine has gained significant success in that area. Some web masters try to make dynamic URLs look like static ones. This is not necessary, as the page content is scanned by Google regardless of those parameters.
Using well-structured URLs is one of SEO methods which is often neglected. Nevertheless, is can significantly improve your site rating. When it comes to choosing a right URL you should think about the users. Will they be pleased to see such address? Does the address tell them what information they will find on that site?
Please, pay attention to the correct well-structured URLs, which are understandable for any customer:
You look at them and understand at once where you are and what address is.
If you have any questions related to the site optimization, you may contact GoMage specialists. If you know any other methods to improve the site indexing, please leave a comment to this article or on our forum http://magentoforum.com/.