On the consumer side, proper naming:
- gives customers and prospects an easy way to identify and navigate the website;
- allows them to find the information they need without having to search,
- provides quick access without reading every single paragraph, or page of the site.
On the search engine side, proper naming:
- allows better indexing of website content,
- 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 creating appropriate 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
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:
- Consist of no more than one to three words, not be a sentence
- Be related to keywords found in the related section
- Be concise and to the point, yet descriptive
- Sum up the content to be found on the corresponding page or following paragraph(s)
- Cover no more than one general topic
- Should not contain any irrelevant information
Additional Rule of Thumb
If a website section cannot be summed up in one to three words, or is a rather large and broad topic, then that category section or page may be split into multiple sections.
Under this premise, one may assign a larger, general category that is then subdivided into smaller, more succinct subcategories. Each subcategory and corresponding page(s) should still follow the above mentioned guidelines.
When it comes to naming title, menus or sections, the overall end goal is an easy to navigate and understand page or website. Anyone, whether human or search engine, should be able to quickly, easily and readily identify what will be found under the corresponding category, menu link or page title.