Best way to NAME PAGES and POSTS for SEO

 

This page is going to show you how to name your website or blog page and posts for best search engine optimization and increases the chances your page or post will show up closer to the #1 spot in search engine results.

Page/Post Names and SEO History

Back in the early days of the internet, prior to 2006, most webmasters would not consider the relevance or importance of the names they save their web pages as and would simply save a web page as 324234.htm or something like that.

Shortly after that, webmasters found out that by including the keyword phrase they wanted to rank that page for in the name of the page had a dramatic effect on where that web page ended up in search results.

For example, if you had two web pages that were exactly identical, on websites that were exactly identical, the only difference being that website A named a page containing the target keyword phrase and website B named the page randomly, i.e, wer23rj.htm, website A would show up much higher in the search results.

Diagram showing the proper way to name pages and posts for best SEO practices.
Diagram showing the proper way to name pages and posts for best SEO practices.

Page/Post Names and SEO Today

Ever since the major, spam squashing, search engine algorithm updates during 2010 – 2013, including the main, targeted keyword phrase in the page or post name is nowhere near as critical or influential as it was from 2005 – 2011, but proper page/post name convention is still important for a few reasons.

  • Including your main keyword phrase in the page name does still have some impact regarding search position placement.
  • Naming your page to include the main, target, keyword phrase makes it more clear to people who may visit your web page what that web page is about.
  • Google search results bold the words people type in the search box that appears in the search results which means your page url will be bold to make it stand out more.
Diagram showing how Google makes words bold in search results that match what the searcher typed into Google.
Notice how Google makes words bold in search results that match what the searcher typed into Google.

Three Ways to Name your Pages Posts for Best SEO

There are three main ways webmasters name their pages and posts today. Lets pretend you are creating a page about how to name website or blog pages and posts and you are focusing on the long tail keyword phrase best way to name pages and posts for seo that you want to show up on the first page of search results for.

You can save the page name one of three ways:

  1. Run all the words together with no spaces, i.e., bestwaytonamepagesandpostsforseo.
  2. Separate each word of the keyword phrase with a hyphen, i.e., best-way-to-name-pages-and-posts-for-seo.
  3. Separate each word of the keyword phrase with an underscore, i.e., best_way_to_name_pages_and_posts_for_seo.
Of those three ways to name a web page or blog post, separating each of the words that make up the page name with hyphens  is the best way and the way Google prefers.

Google actually sees #1 and #3 as being identical, meaning, when Google sees a page name with underscores, Google doesn’t see the underscores so in Googles mind, if you name a page with underscores _ between the words Google sees all the words that make up the page name as being run together with no spaces.

Matt Cutts of Google on Naming Pages and Posts for SEO

This one minute video features head SEO man of Google, Matt Cutts, and his recommendations for page naming conventions for SEO.

In a nutshell, Matt Cutts says you want to name pages with a hyphen or dash between the words and not an underscore or all the words run together, but Matt says that today, the overall impact name paging has on search engine placement and results is of lower importance so if you already have a site with pages named with underscore between the words, don’t sweat it, it is not going to have a major impact on your site BUT, if you are starting with a fresh brand new website make sure you name pages and posts with a hyphen between the words.