The Importance of Properly Developed Website Names & Titles
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Naming Website Category, Menu, & Page Titles
The Importance of Properly Developed Website Names & Titles

Revised March 15, 2017
Originally Published June 23, 2008

Properly developed names for website categories, menu navigation, and page titles are imperative to good website development and search engine optimization.

On the consumer side, proper naming gives customers and prospects an easy way to identify and navigate the website; allowing them to find the information they need without having to search, read every single paragraph, or page of the site.

On the search engine side, proper naming helps optimize a website to receive top ranking in search engines such as Google's search results.

Relative & Concise Word Choice

When it comes to choosing descriptive names for website categories, menu links, and page titles, word choice, brevity, and relevance are the three most important factors.

Search engines as well as the average reader, place a good deal of weight on the name and word choice used for category titles, menu links, and page titles when deciding whether to continue reading on.

The most important factors when naming are:

  • The name or title given should contain at least one of the page or paragraph's keywords or phrases
  • The name or title should be brief and concise consisting of no more than a few words
  • The name or title must be relevant to the page or paragraph content giving an accurate idea of what the content is about

In other words, it is imperative that the naming clearly and accurately relate to what the category, menu or page is about. At a quick glance, one needs to be able to tell exactly what will be found, without confusion.

General Naming Guidelines

While the above three factors are most important, the following are some additional guidelines for anyone regarding, the naming of categories, menus and page titles:

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Three Step Rule in Designing a Site's Navigation

A web site's navigational structure is one of the most important factors to consider when designing a website so that visitors and search engines can easily find the information needed. One very important rule that comes into play in making a site's navigational structure effective is the "Three Step Rule".

The "Three Step Rule" basically states that a visitor should be able to get to any section of a website by following no more than three steps or clicks. For instance, from the Home Page, a visitor looking for Product X should have to make no more than three clicks before getting to the information about Product X. This means that when designing a website, the designer must take a good amount of time to plan how the website is laid out so that nearly any portion of the website can be found within three clicks from the Home Page.

This can sometimes be difficult when dealing with a large amount of information, products or services. A great deal of planning must be put into the website layout in order to achieve the "Three Step Rule". One must take appropriate time to plan out your major categories of information, and then break this down into subcategories with your final destination beneath the subcategories.

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