Technology

Published: Sep 20, 2022 | Updated at: Sep 20, 2022

Did you know there are almost two billion websites online? If you want people to find your site using the "search Google or type a URL" bar, you need to use a good URL structure.

That way, your website will be memorable and easy to locate. Visitors won't have to remember a string of numbers, so you can get more website traffic.

Read on to learn what goes into structuring URLs and why it matters.

Scheme

The first part of a URL you'll see is the scheme, and that tells your computer what protocol to use to access a site. Most websites use "https://" for the scheme.

These websites feature an SSL certificate to make the website secure. Other sites that aren't secure will use the scheme "http://" instead, and that was more common in the past.

However, a secure site is becoming more and more important. It helps get your audience to trust you, and it can even help you rank higher in Google searches.

Subdomain

A subdomain is the next section of the basic URL structure. On many web pages, this is the typical "www," but it can be anything, from "shop" to "blog."

As long as it precedes the main part of your domain, it's a subdomain. Subdomains are quite common among free blogs on Blogger/Blogspot since the default blog URL is "yourblog.blogspot.com."

However, you can set up subdomains on your website to help categorize the different parts of your content. That helps search engines know that you have a variety of pages on your website.

While you can categorize pages with other parts of the URL, this is a nice option. It can keep your URL from getting too long and thus harder for website visitors to remember.

Second-Level Domain

The second-level domain (SLD) is the first part of the domain name you choose for your website. For example, "Google" is the second-level domain for "www.google.com."

Website visitors can reference the SLD to determine what website they're on. This part won't change as you navigate throughout one website, but it will change when you leave that site.

If you haven't chosen a domain yet, make sure you select one that's simple. Make it easy to spell and say so that people can navigate directly to it with the "search Google or type a URL" feature in their browser.

Top-Level Domain

The top-level domain (TLD) is the part of a URL that comes after your chosen name. However, you also get to decide on the TLD to use when registering your domain.

Common examples of TLDs include:

  • .com (commercial/business)
  • .org (non-profit organization)
  • .gov (government)
  • .edu (educational institution)

You can also find TLDs based on countries, such as .us for the United States or .ca for Canada. The TLD can also differentiate websites with the same SLD since one could end in .com and the other in .net, for example.

If you're deciding what TLD to use, stick to the more common ones. They'll be easier for your website visitors to remember, so they can get to your site instead of an error page.

Subdirectory

After the TLD, you'll find the subdirectory, which is similar to the subdomain. You can use subdirectories to further organize your website, such as grouping all blog posts under "www.yourwebsite.com/blog" or something similar.

Within the subdirectory, you can find the article permalink for a blog post or page. The entire URL might read like "www.yourwebsite.com/blog/best-recipes-for-busy-weeknights" where "blog/best-recipes-for-busy-weeknights" is the subdirectory and article permalink.

If your website operates in multiple languages, the subdirectory is where you'll differentiate that. Many websites will use "en" to signal that the website is in English.

You can also do this with geographical regions where the subdirectory starts with "us" or "uk." That way, you can help visitors reach the pages they need to so that they can buy from you or book your services.

Why URL Structure Matters

If you want people to go directly to your website, you need to use a good URL structure. That way, they can go straight to the "search Google or type a URL" section of their browser.

Another benefit of proper URL structure is that you can get more traffic from search results. You can include keywords in the subdomain and subdirectory on your website.

Then, search engines can help index your content more efficiently. The algorithm will know when to show certain pages to users based on what they're looking for.

Meanwhile, if your URL structure is messy or unclear, it can make things harder for users and search engines. People won't remember the page they want to visit, so they could go to your home page, or they might go somewhere else.

Search engines won't be able to index your website as quickly. So while you might eventually get search traffic, it can take longer than necessary.

"Search Google or Type a URL"

When you have all of the necessary URL parts, you and others can go straight to your website. The "search Google or type a URL" bar simplifies your browser experience.

You don't have to go to Google to search for something, which can save time. Similarly, you can start typing in a website, and it can auto-fill with options it thinks you're looking for.

Google Chrome uses the exact wording regarding searches and URLs. Other browsers may use slightly different phrases, but many of them do the same thing.

For example, Safari says "search or enter website name" in the top bar. No matter which browser you use, you should know what that bar does and how it works when typing a URL or doing a Google search.

URL Structures Made Easy

The "search Google or type a URL" bar is a place where you start your browsing session. If you want others to type your URL, you need to use a good URL structure.

That way, your site will be easy for people to find so that you can get more website traffic. Be sure to plan out your URL structures and choose a good domain name if you haven't already.

Do you need a place for structuring URLs and planning other website-related things? Sign up for Halsell today.

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