A website’s URL can actually have a dramatic effect on a business. Similar to first impressions on a first date, the URL is the first item a user is familiar with when researching or discovering a company’s online presence. The following are tips on how to turn customers onto your website- not turn them away. In order to establish an effective URL, reference the following guidelines:
- Describe Your Business– The most basic tip of an effective URL is to relate it to your business. If a user already knows what you do just from viewing your business’ website address, then you’ve done your job. EX: “http://www.Garysbagelshop.com” is straightforward and describes the company better than “http://www.deliciousdoughcreations.com“.
- Short and Sweet- The shorter the website address, the better. This makes it easier to copy/paste, read over the phone and print on business cards. Better usability increases the effectiveness of your brand.
- Use Descriptions, Not Numbers- Especially in cases of websites with large shopping carts, it is much easier for the user to comprehend a description versus a bunch of random numbers in the URL.
- Use Keywords- If you’re into SEO, then you will want to include descriptive keywords the various URL addresses of your website. Ensure the chosen keywords make sense and describe the content on the proper pages to avoid search engine penalties.
- Limit Folders- On the backend, limit the number of folders assigned to each unique address. This can complicate site development and hinder the search engines from indexing a site efficiently.
- Use Hyphens- When separating words in a URL, use hyphens. Underscores are also an option, although hyphens are most commonly used.
- Organize Appropriately- Don’t consider making some sections unique on your website. Use the base URL to build off of, and organize your following addresses in a logical manner. Keeping your site organized makes user navigation and search indexing exceptionally simple, and avoids potential user confusion.
- Don’t Be Case Sensitive- URLs can accept both upper and lowercase characters, so don’t EVER user upper-case. To avoid URL errors, it is a good idea to 301 redirect any improper case entries of your website’s URL to the correct lowercase version.