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How your URL can have an influence on your e-commerce

by Susann | 06.02.2013
Imagine the following scenario: you have just opened up your own online platform selling shoes, herbal teas, or whatever you are planning to get out to the masses. First, you need to make your website easy to find by your potential customers. For that reason your URL needs to be found easily by search engines. For example, if your URL includes too many folders and parameters, search engines may begin to have crawl issues. If the URL is “build to complex”, this can even prevent search engines from indexing your site, which cuts off the flow of organic search customers.

So what do you do now?

Step 1: Do SEO.

Step 2: If you just had to Google ‘SEO’ because you have no idea what it is, then let me give you a little tip. Pay someone who knows what SEO is and more importantly, knows how to do it properly, to do it for you.

Step 3: Make yourself a cup of tea and sit yourself in front of your computer. It doesn’t matter if you do the SEO yourself or just flick through some ads to find someone to do SEO for you – either way, it needs to be done.

In case you are the one doing it, here are a couple of things you should pay attention to when you want to optimize your URL for search engines.

The optimal URL should be short, static, relevant and unique.

You should always pay attention to the length of your URL. Keep it short and relevant to your brand/product or service. Too many words, numbers, symbols or special characters make it hard for search engines to recognize your whole URL. In particular, special characters should be avoided, because it is possible that Google will only recognise the URL up to the point where the special symbol appears – and everything after that can get  ignored – not good!

So your URL should include the brand and your product. If you have one product in different versions, for example different colours, it could be helpful instead of mentioning the colour as a word to use a number instead. This will also help you to make your URL more unique.

When it comes to the right structure you should stick to lowercase alphanumeric characters like acb123. Make sure you replace spaces, underscores or other word separations with hyphens.  Remove all kinds of special characters like trademark symbols, apostrophes and exclamation points. Also take care with the encoding that represents all the special characters – for example %20, %2C, and make sure you remove them.