URL structure is simple and straightforward, yet so many websites are still using a proper URL structure.
This is blog post on URL structure, we’ll quickly teach you everything you need to know about URL structure.
Why is URL Structure Important?
URL structure is important because this is the most basic way to organize the content of your website.
The graphic below should clarify this for you if you didn’t quite understand.
Your homepage is your website’s headquarters. All of the other pages on your website should have content specific to what that page is about.
Having an organized URL structure that makes sense offers your users a better experience as they browse your website. Some users may not even realize this because they are just navigating your site using the menu options and any links found on the pages.
More importantly to us, having a well-thought-out structure will make it much easier for the search engines to understand the content on your website and how each page correlates to the others.
Basic URL Structure For a Local Service Business
The graphic above shows the URL structure we recommend for any local service business. Honestly, we feel this is the minimum number of pages your website should have, with the expectation that you may not offer 6 services. Your site would be complete with a page for each service you offer. If you offer more services, you should add more pages.
This is what we recommend any small business serious about attracting new customers online should have as their 1st website. And, it should be a starting point in the long run!
The website pictured above contains roughly 15 pages. This is what we call our ‘flagship’ website.
Does the number of pages on my website matter?
We do work with several small businesses like the owner still has a full-time job small! That is why we do still offer a smaller starter website but we do not recommend it. Or, at least we recommend they add more pages as quickly as possible. The starter website simply wouldn’t have any service pages or would have 1 page that would contain all of their services on it.
The bottom line is, search engines rank web pages, not websites. So, the more pages your website has, the better chance your website as a whole has to be shown in the search results.
Advanced URL Structure For a Local Service Business
The graphic below is what a website should begin to look like over time. We still have the initial core website from the basic URL structure graphic, but there are several additional pages. Once again, search engines rank web pages, not websites.
What’s the point of all of these pages?
Your website is representing your business online. Online is where more people will find your business than anywhere else! It would be a great idea to make sure you have a robust and encompassing website so you don’t miss out on reaching your ideal clients.
Let’s quickly brief you on what the purpose of each page should be.
Assume this will be the only page the person views while on your site. Make sure it contains everything they would need to know about your business and a clear Call-To-Action. It’s very important your phone number and a contact form are easy to find on this page.
About Us Page
About us pages are often very popular pages on small, local business websites. We highly recommend you put some thought into the page. Don’t forget to always focus on how you benefit your customers and show your face!
Service pages are pretty straightforward, clearly describe your service and make sure how to sign up or request a quote is very easy to find.
FAQ pages serve 2 purposes, answer questions for the people on your site AND for the search engines!
Review pages are credibility builders. We recommend embedding your reviews instead of copy and pasting them.
Service Areas Page
Your service area page always you to clearly tell your audience and search engines where your company offers their services. If you want to really dial into local areas, create a specific page for those cities with all of the content specific to that city.
Contact Us Page
Make sure all of your contact options on quickly and easily found on your contact page.
Free Estimate/Request Callback Page
This is a Call-To-Action type page where you want a form and your phone number at a minimum. Possibly include your email.
Thank You Page
A thank you page lets you tell someone who submits a form on your website that you did receive it and what to expect next. We also use this page for tracking form submissions in our client’s analytics.
Every website should have a policy page. Just grab a template and quickly customize as needed.
Company Information Page
We’ve seen SEO value in having a page that simply states company information. Unlike your about page, on the company information page simply provide all pertinent details about your business
Creating a blog on your website allows you to go after long-tail keywords and attract people to your website you may have otherwise missed if your website only had the core pages.
If you are willing to share your pricing, do it! The #1 thing people want to know on a local service website is what is this going to cost.
If you do great work, show it off here by posting all of your beautiful photos in a gallery! The same can be done with videos if you have them.
COVID-19 Update Page
Yeah…unfortunately, your website should have this page or have this mentioned on the homepage at least.
Before we wrap up this article on URL structure, let’s cover the parts of a URL in case you were wondering.
http:// or https://
This portion of the URL is called the scheme or the protocol. You want https:// because http:// means your website is not secure. Having an SSL certificate is a must in 2021 and beyond.
www. or (nothing)
This portion of the URL is part of the scheme or protocol. The www. is not needed so we recommend you do not use it. It simply makes your URL longer for no reason.
.com or .net or .org and many more
These are top-level domains. We recommend you try to stick with .com but all of the others are acceptable these days. .org should only be used appropriately. You can’t get a .gov or .edu without going through a strict verification process. New TLDs such as .co and so many others can be used if you can’t get a solid short URL to represent your business using .com.
yourwebsite or something.yourwebsite
This is your domain name. It’s called the second-level domain since the top-level domain is always .com or another TLD. If you see another domain before the second-level domain, this is a subdomain. Most small businesses don’t need to worry about subdomains.
After the .com/ or after any TLD
This is called the subdirectory or path. The pages, or subdirectories is what this URL structure blog post was really all about!
Since the search engines know most ‘great’ .com domain names have been taken by now, they say it doesn’t matter much for SEO what comes before the .com. What comes after the .com/ does matter for SEO!
This is why you want to do your keyword research before you go naming pages! Your URL path should most often be very similar to the page title and H1 tag on that page. And, then all of the content on that page should be related to that subject.
Hopefully that all makes sense!
URL structure is a pretty simple concept but can get complex as a website gets larger over time. Although it is simple, we believe it is a vital element of local SEO.