URLs create your website’s taxonomy. Taxonomy is the practice of classifying things or concepts. Remember back in High School Biology when you learned about taxonomy? You had to classify various living organisms into domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. Don’t worry! Website taxonomy isn’t nearly as complicated, but if it isn’t done properly, your SEO could take a hit.
The Structure of a URL
You should structure your website’s URL in a way that helps Google and your site’s users make sense of what they are going to find on the page they are opening.
The first part of the URL is the protocol.
This is the URL for Iceberg Web Design’s SEO Services page. You can see that the website is using HTTPS protocol.
The next part of the URL is the subdomain.
This is the URL for Iceberg Web Design’s E-Commerce Development page.
The third part of the URL is the domain.
Notice that on all of these URLs, the domain is the same. That is because they are all on the same website, listed under the same domain.
The fourth part of the URL is the TLD
This stands for “top-level domain.” The most common is com, but you will also see org, gov, and net, among others.
The fifth part of an optimized URL is the subfolder
All of the URLs we’ve looked at so far have fallen under the services subfolder because they pertain to services offered by Iceberg. Subdomains should be organized by topic rather than by keyword.
But this next one is categorized under a different subfolder- the about subfolder.
Finally, we come to the lowly slug.
It actually isn’t so lowly. The slug is the name of your page or post.
How to Optimize your URLs
Always think about the subfolder and the slug when you name your pages. Put the content into the proper subfolders so Google and your readers can easily find what they are looking for. Avoid using dates and other meaningless information in your URLs because this doesn’t show how pages within your site relate to one another.
Start organizing from the beginning.
It is so much easier to plan your sitemap out from the start than have it evolve. By planning it, you will know how your site will be structured. If it is an evolving process, you will soon have a mess to deal with in your URL structure. Not only will it take a lot of time and effort to clean up, but it will also cost some of your hard-earned SEO as you restructure.
How to make Your plan
The first thing we do when we build a website at Iceberg is to plan the sitemap. We talk about your business goals and how your website can help you achieve that. Even if we aren’t immediately implementing some parts of the site, we still plan for them (for example, a blog that will be added later or a porch page for a home construction company).
As we build your site, we plan for internal links (links that connect two different pages on your website together). Internal linking helps site users naturally discover other pages related to the one they are already reading. This allows pages deeper within the site to rank better over time.
How to Ensure Your URLs are Correct
If you need a new website or SEO services, Iceberg Web Design will have everything in the correct order, optimized for Google and your customers. Contact us today!