Creating Website Category, Menu, & Page Titles
The Importance of Properly Optimized Website Menu Names & Titles
Revised April 11, 2019
Originally Published July 16, 2009
From a visitor's point-of-view 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.
From the search engine's perspective proper naming:
- allows better indexing of website content,
- helps optimize a site 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 choice of words used for category titles, menu links, and page titles when deciding whether to continue reading on.
The most important factors when choosing titles are:
- The title given should contain at least one of the page or paragraph's keywords or phrases
- The title should be brief and concise with no more than a few words
- The title must be relevant to the page or paragraph content providing an accurate idea of what the content is about
It is imperative that titles 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 word choice, brevity, and relevance are most important, the following are some additional guidelines for anyone regarding the creation of category, menu and page titles:
- Consist of no more than one to three words, not a sentence
- Be related to keywords found in the relative 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 should most likely 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 creating titles, 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.
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