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Are Short URLs Important to Your Web Site?

To answer this question, I would definitely say yes. My years of experience have shown that short URLs outperform the long URLs in almost every way. There are various reasons that web sites may require long URLs, such as proprietary software that is licensed, but there still may be work-arounds for most of your important pages. Most web sites, however, can have the URLs shortened relatively easily.

Let’s start with the basics. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. The URL is your web address that you see in the Address Bar of your browser. It usually begins with HTTP, but may begin with HTTPS for SSL secure pages.

Usually your home page URL will look something like this: http://www.example.com

The problem with long URLs isn’t usually on the home page, but on the rest of the pages, and especially shopping cart pages. Take a close look through your web site to see if you have any URLs that look like this:


http://www.example.com/catalog/bin/scripts/cart.php?prod_id=3935837&n=1&b=9

Did you find some long URLs? If you didn’t, you are in good shape. However, if you did, you may want to read further

.

Shortening most or all of your URLs to the length below would make it easy for your web site visitors to understand the topic of the page from the page name, plus help the search engines with proper indexing of your web site.


http://www.example.com/widgets/blue.html

There are many possible issues that long URLs may cause. One issue might be that your visitors may not be able to email a working link of your site to a co-worker or family member. The links may take up two lines in the email, and may break after the (&) ampersand or (?) question mark, therefore, it cannot be properly clicked.

Many search engines may have an easier time navigating and indexing your web site correctly if the URL simply matches the name of the actual product or subject on the page. I am in no way suggesting that you stuff the URL with spam techniques such as:


http://www.example.com/keyword-widgets-keyword/keyword-blue-keyword.html

Just add the name of the product or subject of the page to the URL, but do not go overboard. Going overboard, such as the above keyword example, could cause your site to be penalized by search engines.



The simplified readability of short URLs can help your click through ratio on the search engines. When looking for a particular item in the search results of a search engine, do certain web sites stand out clearer, simply because they are easier to read? Did seeing the items name in the URL catch your eye? Let’s assume that two web sites ranked equally on your favorite search engine, and both web sites carry the exact same product. If you had to choose one web site first to click, which result below would you most likely click?

Example Company Blue Widgets
http://www.example.com/catalog/bin/scripts/cart.php?prod_id=3935837&n=1&b=9
or
Example Company Blue Widgets
http://www.example.com/widgets/blue.html How do you to fix the long URL problem?

What caused the problem? Was the long URL caused by a web site design program, a web design company you hired, or the shopping cart software you used?

Sometimes, scripts can be written that can solve the problem. See our quick and easy short URL script. Other resolutions can be found by buying different web design software, hiring a different web design company, or have a custom-made shopping cart built. An important thing to consider when changing to short URLs is 301 redirects. 301 redirects move your search engine traffic from the old long URLs of the web pages, to the new short URLs of the web pages. If you don’t use 301 redirects, your visitors may see broken pages, or you may have duplicate content penalties if both versions of the page remain live. If you are using any pay-per-click search campaigns, remember to also update your URLs there, so you don’t pay for misdirected traffic. Careful planning is important in avoiding complications.

Do You Just Need a Short Easy URL Script?

This is a very easy script if you just need a quick fix for any of these situations below:

  • Shortening long web addresses so you can email them.
  • Need to make easy links to your listings on popular auction sites.
  • Ability to update your URL's daily or as needed.
  • Cleaning up or hiding long and messy looking affiliate links.
  • Masking the real web address with your URL of your choice.
  • Needing web addresses that you can easily explain over the phone.
  • This script creates real static web pages.
  • Easy 5 Minute installation.
  • You just need to be able to use php and set permissions to 777.
  • We can install it for you, if you don't understand something.
  • Online Demo and Purchase Here: Short URLs Script

What us to make your web site URL’s made easy to read? Let us give you a free quote. 
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