When you are designing or developing a website, it is not enough to give your website a classy design with impressive graphics. There are other important factors that you need to look into that will make your website both user friendly and search engine friendly. The point to be underlined here is making a site that is both user friendly and search engine friendly. There are many areas that you can concentrate upon and one of the most important aspects that is on the top of the list is your website’s navigation. Your website’s navigation structure makes it easy for your users to find what they want easy or difficult. Secondly, from the search engine point of view, each page is linked from the home page and to the other pages through URLs. It is a known fact that you do not use too many special characters in your website’s URL. Using too many special characters can throw the search engine bots off balance when they are crawling your website.
When you are assigning your website design work to a web design service provider, it is vital that you tell your web design company what kind of URL structure that you need. If you do not tell and if your website design company happens to have very limited SEO background then they will name your website pages very randomly, which can create a great havoc to your website.
One of the questions that you are likely to have along these lines is whether you should use underscores or hyphens in your website URLs. Quite some time ago, Matt Cutts in one of the webmaster help resources indicated that if you use hyphens or dashes Google separated the words that are connected by the hyphens. On the other hand, if you used underscore, the search engines connected all the words together to form one. He goes ahead to say that but you don’t have to really worry whether you are using underscore or hyphens in the URL because there are other factors that tell the search engine what the page is about.
However, the personal recommendation here would be that you make use of hyphens in the URLs. If you have lengthy URLs using hyphens will at one level look neat for the eyes, your users will be able to remember the URLs more easily and secondly, it will help you achieve the results that you need in terms of retaining the right keywords in the URLs. You do not have any special advantage in using underscores in the URLs and that being the case, why be bothered with underscores when there is nothing to stop you from using hyphens in the URLs? If you are still in doubt or if you are still not clear, get in touch with your SEO service provider before you start the designing process. This will help you create a visually appealing, search engine friendly website that attracts good traffic.