Although it’s certainly not the sexiest item on your marketing to-do list, cleaning up your URLs can do wonders for your website’s usability, user-friendliness, and shareability. Unfortunately, many URLs by default consist of seemingly random strings of letters and numbers that can not only look visually unappealing, but downright unprofessional. For ETF issuers and financial services companies more broadly, it’s essential that URLs are human-readable and easy to understand, so website visitors can, at a glance, understand where they are within a website’s hierarchy.
The importance of URL structuring
URL structuring provides a sort of mental map for website visitors, enabling them to more properly orient themselves within a website’s hierarchy. Well-structured website URLs also can help provide a schematic for more thoroughly optimized marketing efforts across your entire web presence. Moreover, with a logically-titled URL, website visitors’ user experience is significantly improved—the URL is self-explanatory and allows users to decide whether they wish to proceed if they arrive at the URL through a search query.
Learn about other Big Mistakes ETF Issuers Make on Launch Day
Good URLs mean improved SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
When determining what URL to designate for your page, be sure to include keywords that reflect the contents of the page in question. This lets search engines know that the page contains information relevant to those keywords. It can also help boost a page’s ranking. By including keywords related to your brand and the content within the page’s URL, you stand a good chance of your website visitors understanding what to expect when they land on the page.
Good URLs are memorable and easy-to-share
A long, alphanumeric string of letters and numbers, or even a slightly less easy-to-parse title can have a seriously detrimental effect on whether it’s easy to share your webpage with others or not. By keeping your URL titles semantically sensible and ensuring that they correspond to the content found within the webpage, you’ll be rendering the URL much more memorable and easier to share. For example, if you’d rather point someone to a specific portion of your website rather than the homepage, you should be able to tell them something like “Just visit mywebsite.com/topic.” It’s easier for you to remember and mention in conversation, and likewise it’s easier for the recipient to jot down or type into a web browser.
Good URLs are visually appealing and professional
A good rule-of-thumb is, if you can’t say the URL in conversation because it is so lengthy or difficult-to-pronounce, then it probably needs to be simplified or re-structured. This isn’t to say that some hierarchies won’t be necessary in organizing your links, but it helps provide a framing device for how to begin thinking about URL naming.
The Bottom Line
Ensuring that your website URLs are sensibly named (and that they contain the important contextual keywords to let your audience know what to expect when they visit the page) may not be anywhere near the top of your marketing “to-do” list, but it can be very important when it comes to SEO, user experience, and overall website professionalism. When it comes to URLs, it’s best to err on the side of readability. Marketers who ignore this advice do so at their peril.