SEO comprises of many techniques that ensure good ranking of your website in search results. Naming your files appropriately is also one of the simplest methods to improve your search engine optimization. Before writing this post, I did a lot of research on file-names and found that search engines like Google give too much importance to file names too. You should think what you want put in your web page and then give a relevant file name to that page. Using Keywords in file names is a good practice. Don’t call your webpages names like ‘about.html’ or ‘equipment.html’ actually use your keywords.
Here is an example.
Let’s say you sell cricket bats online and you have three brands available, BTM, Wimbledon and Wilson and your webstore is at www.cricketbats.com.
A mistake would be when you call your sales page something like this:
This type of naming just tells search engines that you sell products! What you suppose to do is use the keywords for the main search terms you want that page to rank up for in search engines. Something like this would be better.
Note that it would also be a good idea to have a cricket bats homepage that links to all those pages but focuses on the keyword cricket bats only. Something like:
Just try giving any keyword in Google search engine and you will find file names highlighted with the keyword you have given. It proves that your file name should have appropriate keywords.
File Naming Style
- The URL name should preferably be short and descriptive.
- It is always a good practice to use same keywords in a filename as well as in page title.
- Do not use filenames such as product.htm or repair.htm as they are generic. Use actual service name in your file name such as apply-online.htm.
- Never use more than 3-4 words in file names.
- Separate the keywords with hyphens and not with underscores.
- Try to use 2 keywords if more aren’t required.
File Name Example
Notice that the keywords are separated by hyphens rather than underscores. Google only finds good filenames as follows:
seo-relevant-filename as seo relevant filename(good)
Filenames with underscores are not a good option.
seo_relevant_filename as seorelevantfilename (not good)
You should always notice that .html, .htm, .php and any other extension do NOTHING for your visitors, and they are simply a means of offloading some of the work of configuring your webserver properly onto your visitor's. In effect, you are asking your site visitors to tell your webserver HOW to produce the page, not which one?
Many Web masters think that it is a good idea to use filename without using extension. It may help you, but not a whole lot.
URL Sub-Directory Name
From Search Engine Optimization point of view, URL sub-directory name doesn’t matter much. You can try giving any keyword in the search, and you will never find any sub-directory name matching with your keywords. But from the user's point of view, you should keep an abbreviated sub-directory name.
Keep the following points in mind before naming your files:
- Always keep the web page filename short, simple, descriptive, and relevant to the page content.
- Try to use a max of 3-4 keywords in your filename, and these keywords should appear on your web page title as well.
- Separate all keywords with hyphen rather than underscore.
- Try to keep your sub-directories name as short as possible.
- Always restrict the file size to less than 101K because Google chops almost everything above that.