Naming Your Website and Webpages

Your site and webpage names are some of the most important decisions you can make as a content owner. They impact site usability, search engine optimization (SEO), and accessibility.

There are three main elements of your site name:

1. URL

Your URL is your web address, and it appears in your browser’s address bar. Campus URLs are based on the CSU, Chico domain and Cascade folder structure: Your homepage will be www.csuchico.edu/siteabbreviation, and each page will be www.csuchico.edu/siteabbreviation/page-title.

Your URL should be simple, meaningful, and easy to read or type into a browser bar. Make sure your site abbreviation

  • Is short

  • Is descriptive

  • Is keyword-rich

  • Is easy to spell

  • Contains lowercase letters only

    • No numbers

    • No capital letters

    • No spaces

    • No special characters except hyphens

    • No words like "a", "and", "or", "the”, etc. unless it they make the URL more readable

  • Uses hyphens to separate words

A good URL will set reader expectations for what appears on the page:

  • Your site abbreviation should be a short version of your department or office name

  • Include important keywords that users may search for

  • Match the site title and page title

    • Remember: Users of search engines and site searches will see both URL and page title in their search results. These two elements should work together give insight into the site content.

2. Site Title

Your site title will appear in your masthead and should have a clear connection to your site abbreviation. For example, a site title of Department of Art & Art History is in the masthead of every site within www.csuchico.edu/art.

If you are using Cascade, you do not need to reiterate the University name in your site title--it will appear in your URL and in the header of your website. It will also appear prominently in search engine results.

3. Page Title

 

Your page title (meta title) will appear in the tab of your browser, at the top of your content area, in your site breadcrumbs, in search engine results, and sometimes in your site navigation menu. While URLs set user expectation for what will appear on a webpage, the page (or site) title will deliver on that expectation.

Your page title should be descriptive, easy to read, and help users find the page browser search:

  • Keep it short so search engine results show the whole title, long enough to be informative (60–70 characters)

  • Use an ampersand (&) instead of “and”

  • Put important keywords/information at the front of your page title

  • Make sure your site title and page title are different on your home to avoid redundancy.

  • Give unique titles to each page within your site.

This is the first interaction your reader has with your website. Think about brand, clarity, and emotional impact.

 

Note About SEO

Siteimprove, our accessibility scanning software, also offers SEO scans for content and user experience issues that content maintainers can fix themselves. You can request Siteimprove Access via a TeamDynamix ticket.

 

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Details

Article ID: 35985
Created
Thu 8/24/17 3:27 PM
Modified
Mon 7/6/20 2:24 PM