SEO Tip 4: Naming of pages
Whilst there are some restrictions on the name of a page, try to keep the page name short but at the same time name it appropriate to the content of the page and if possible use the targeted keywords in the page name.
- Where the page name consists of two or more words then separate these words with a hyphen or underscore (for example "employer-engagement.htm").
- Avoid the temptation to simply concatenate these into one word (e.g. "employerengagement.htm") because a search engine is unlikely to identify the individual words. Much better to keep the words separate.
- Don't be tempted to use a space to separate the words in the name. This is because a space in a URL will appear as "%20" when it is displayed in a browser (e.g. "employer%20engagement.htm"). Whilst this probably makes little difference to most search engines, it doesn't look so good for your human readers and it simply looks unprofessional.
- So, by way of example, if you are targeting the phrase “employer engagement”, then consider calling the page “employer_engagement.htm”, "employer-engagement.htm" or something similar such as “helping_with_employer_engagement.htm”.
In the early day's of search engines it used to be recommended that a hyphen was used as a word separator in page names rather than an underscore. This was on the grounds that only a hyphen would be recognised as a separator. This was the case once, but now all the major search engines recognise both an underscore and a hyphen as word separators. So whilst it does not matter which you use (a hyphen or an underscore), this is why hyphens are more commonly used than underscores to separate words.
This tip is part of a series of tips on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The previous tip in the series was Tip 3: What keywords should you be targeting? and the next tip in the series is Tip 5: Keyword Placement.