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I'm currently building a website, and the specifications, which I am asked to look at with a critical eye, say that I should use url like these for a store locator page:

www.mysite.com/store.html <--this page is a store listing www.mysite.com/store/paris.html <-- this is a page for the store in Paris

I think I should drop the ".html" part, but I am less sure about whether I should use plural for the first url (I mean www.mysite.com/stores instead of www.mysite.com/store ). Could you please advise?

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I understand you wanna make friendly URLs. This is good.

My preferred approach is face a website like a directories structure. This gives more semantic, and makes easier to power users to predict listing directories.

In your case:

www.mysite.com/              #root
www.mysite.com/stores/       #stores listing
www.mysite.com/stores/paris  #paris store details

Note the predictable structure. Trailing slash let people and crawlers understand that it threats about a directory root.

Power users that land in paris store for example, can be tempted to just delete "paris" from URL and expect to see the parent list or something like that (they tend to face URLs as breadcrumbs). This is why I think this approach is the more interesting.

It also makes easier to code and make distribution (sitemaps) IMHO.

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While using the extension or not won't really impact SEO per se, dropping it is more clean and user friendly. That, in turn, makes it more likely to be linked from another site or blog - which can provide SEO benefit.

As for the singular or plural, is the /store page a store locator type page? Some keyword research is necessary to determine whether you believe that page is one that should receive substantial keyword traffic and if so, what keywords it should rank for.

Would they search for '[store] locations' or '[store] store locator' or '[store] stores'. If it's entirely a new endeavor, look for a similar site or competitor and look a the search volume for those types of terms. Based on that research you can make a decision on whether to use the single or plural, or rich keyword phrase.

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Yes, it is a store locator, and yes, it is an entirely new endeavor. Thank you for this interesting answer. How can I know the search volume (that is how many people use this keywords, isn't it?)? –  greg0ire Nov 3 '10 at 18:17
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You can research about keywords and volumes here: adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/… –  Dave Nov 3 '10 at 18:37
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