Renaming web pages for Search Engine Optimisation

Many people, after first getting into SEO, hare off and rename their key pages (that’s the page web address or URL) to contain better key words.

For example, renaming
www.WebSanity.co.uk/huntingdon
to
www.WebSanity.co.uk/web-design-huntingdon

Some words of advice:

  • Perform some keyword research first to determine the most popular keyword you want to target
  • Separate works with hyphens
  • Drop ‘stopwords’ that Google tends to ignore,
    www.WebSanity.co.uk/web-design-in-huntingdon
    drop the ‘in’
    www.WebSanity.co.uk/web-design-huntingdon
  • Keep things calm,
    www.WebSanity.co.uk/web-design-huntingdon-Cambridgeshire-uk
    might be identified as a spammy url by Google. Keep limited to three hyphens, two if possible
  • Add a structure if it is appropriate,
    www.WebSanity.co.uk/web-design/huntingdon
  • Keep levels under control – anything beyond 4 levels will be looked upon dimly by Google (if at all)
    www.WebSanity.co.uk/web-design/cambridgeshire/huntingdon/pe29/
  • Make sure you redirect the old name to the new name otherwise you’re doing more harm than good! A half decent CMS should do this for you, but a BIG word of warning here for WordPress users. WordPress does this redirect for you but using ‘temporary redirect’ codes which don’t pass the credibility of the old url onto the new url. Use a free plugin such as ‘Redirection‘ (just install it and do no more) to handle this properly for you.

In conclusion, renaming pages is often a starting point in SEO, just make sure that you take the above into account before you set off to avoid doing more harm than good!

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About Gerald Thulbourn

Gerald Thulbourn setup WebSanity in 2004. He has a 1st class honours MEng in Microelectronics & Software Engineering (i.e. he's a techy), 5 A grades at A level (i.e. he works hard) and loves to communicate (i.e. odd for a techy). He hates tech speak, sloppy/badly tested code, and technology for the sake of technology's sake. He loves helping people understand marketing concepts and seeing how their application makes a real difference to their business. In particular he loves training; SEO, Website Analysis, WordPress etc. Read more about us on Google+