Almost everything you do on your site, right down to how you name your files, can influence your ranking. Remember that Google ranks each page of your website separately, rather than evaluating the site as whole, and since your file and folder names are the first thing Google encounters on each page, you need to think carefully about naming them.

Get started with SEO friendly filenames

Google likes short, descriptive file names. A file named ‘page145.html’ doesn’t offer any information about the contents of the page, whereas ‘van-insurance.html’ gets right to the point. The real trick is to try to get keywords into all your file and folder names. Not only are you helping Google, but it also makes for great anchor text when your URL is used as a link to your site. You’ve also got to consider that some people do actually scan URLs in the search results. It’s a small point but one that makes for a more thorough SEO campaign.

Best practice tips for URL Optimization

And here’s how it’s done using ‘mortgages’ as an example:

  • Folders should be named to broadly reflect the top level categories (for example: mortgages).
  • Sub pages should be named with keywords specific to each page (for example: ‘interest-only’ ‘buy-to-let’ or ‘best-deals’).
  • Keep the length of URL length short by saving all relevant files within one top level folder. Google has already been through the ‘mortgages’ folder and knows all the subsequent pages are mortgage-related. You don’t need to keep repeating the main keyword.
  • Separate keywords using a hyphen rather than an underscore; Google doesn’t recognise underscores as separators.
  • If you are working with dynamic URLs it’s a good idea to rewrite and shorten them to include category/ keyword information.
  • It’s worth noting that some servers are case sensitive (including Unix and Linux) so avoid possible problems by always using the lower case.
  • Using numbers can also further complicate the picture and is of no SEO value
Poorly named URLs More useful version of the same URL 
www.mytravelsite.com/haw/0012.htm www.mytravelsite.com/hawaii/hotels.htm
www.mytravelsite.com/Hawaii/Cheap_Flight.htm www.mytravelsite.com/hawaii/cheap-flight.htm
www.mytravelsite.com/results.asp?loc=21&cat=12 www.mytravelsite.com/hawaii/accommodation.htm
www.mytravelsite.com/find_cheap_hotels_in_hawaii_online.htm www.mytravelsite.com/hawaii-hotels.htm

If you are interested in URL structure we have just written an article on Sub Directories Vs Sub Domains

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