As a new home builder, your website is, hypothetically speaking, the model home
of the company. Your website should be well-designed, easy to navigate, and provide all the necessary information that customers need to make an informed decision or allow for an easy transition to becoming a lead. A key element in the well-designed and easy-to-navigate portion is a well-structured URL. This improves the user experience and benefits your SEO for organic Google search results. Building a new website or restructuring a current website is a huge undertaking. Previously, Sarah shared some of the many impacts of a well-structured URL
. Below I have laid out three key elements to include in your website URL path.
Start with the Basics: State, City, and Community
With so many elements to a website, let's focus on the meat and potatoes that shows where your homes are available. The basics include state, city, and community. This helps the user identify the location of your builder and ensures the website appears in local search results as well. For example, if your company operates in Texas, the URL should include /texas/. If your company has properties in Dallas, the URL should be texas/dallas/. If your company has properties in the Happy Acres community of Dallas, the URL should be /texas/dallas/happy-acres/.
One of the most missed opportunities when formatting your website is including new-homes within the URL. Including /new-homes/ in your URL structure also helps with Google search results. Be mindful, this should only apply within the section of your website that features homes and communities. We wouldn’t show the new-homes portion when templating out the design center URL, blog section, financing, promotional items, etc.
Ideally, you would want to have new-homes follow right after your company's domain name. www.builder.com/new-homes, therefore, making the URL similar to:
Working URL Path
Think of your URL path as the digital landscape to your model home (aka, your website). It is the roadmap to a particular webpage or resource within your website. Your working URL path often follows the domain name and is separated by forward slashes (/).
For example, for www.builder.com/blog/article, the working path is blog/article.
A few of the benefits of having a strategic path include:
* User Experience: The working path URL structure allows you to organize your content hierarchically by structuring your URLs with paths that play a role within your organization. This will provide a user-friendly experience for visitors to navigate through the site. Having a well-organized URL path allows the customer to know where they are within a website and reinforce their trust in the content they’re accessing.
* SEO: Search engines place a lot of importance on URLs when determining the relevance of a webpage. Incorporating relevant keywords in the working path gives you the ability to optimize your page for search engine rankings. As a builder or any marketer, your goal should be to try to rank your website on the first page of a Google search.
* Easy Sharing and Bookmarking: When we copy a URL to share with others, insert it in an email template, have our OSCs share it with prospects, etc., we rely on the working path to ensure the prospect lands on the correct page. A well-thought-out URL can also help build confidence in the eyes of the consumer that you are sending content that pertains to them.
* Functioning Landing Pages:Ideally, you want every working path to be a functioning landing page. For example, if the final URL destination is www.builder.com/new-homes/va/happy-acres, the following pages should be live functioning landing pages as well:
If you took the final destination URL and backspaced each section to the forward slash, each page would be a working landing page and not trigger a 404 or oops splash page.
They say having great curb appeal and landscaping can sell a home. Use these URL best practices to make sure your landscaping (aka URL Path) is setting your model home up for success!