Recently, a client came to us asking for help with their OpenCart store which they had built elsewhere with another design agency. They needed help with SEO as well as a few website amendments and development changes.
Optimising URL Structure for SEO
We began looking at the URL structure and found it to be in somewhat of a mess, this was severely hindering the website from getting indexed on Google as both search engines and people prefer websites to have consistent, easy-to-use URLs.
So we decided to put together a bit of an article to give you some insight on how to optimise your website’s URLs for search engines and humans alike whilst learning from our clients mistakes.
URLs were inconsistent. Some used capitalisation of words whilst some didn’t. Some used underscore (_) in between words whilst others used hyphens in between words (-).
We changed all of the URLs to make them consistent. We prefer keeping all URLs in lowercase with no capitalisation but if you’re going to use capitals then make sure you do it for all pages including all categories and products.
For large eCommerce stores this can mean a lot of work if you have lots of category & product pages, we created a script so that this could be done in bulk with the use of spreadsheets.
Write URLs for the Customer
URLs were very long and stuffed with keywords eg. http://www.sitename.co.uk/categoryname-nameofcategory-categoriesname/productname-nameofproduct-productsname-productsnames-productsrenamed…etc
We edited the URLs keeping them short and simple. We often see clients using ridiculously long URLs trying to stuff keywords into the URL to improve rankings. However keyword stuffing can result in Google penalising your website. Instead just select the best category name that again helps the customer know what the page is going to be about.
Optimise Your Product URLs for the Product!
Some product page URLs were intersected by the category name e.g http://www.sitename.co.uk/category/productname
We formatted the URLs so that they were relevant to the given page. We removed the category name from product URLs so that the URL was as focussed as possible e.g. http://sitename.co.uk/productname
When creating your URL structure be sure to consider the factors above. Writing clear and concise URLs the customer knows what the page is about and it helps search engines locate your page easily. After all, it is the little things that matter!