Myth Busting: We DO Offer Customized URLs

Myth Busting: We DO Offer Customized URLs

There are several myths out there regarding Volusion’s SEO-friendly capabilities, and the fact is, our platform offers a number of powerful tools that can help you customize and optimize the various categories and products on your site. A common misconception we hear is that Volusion doesn’t offer customizable URLs. We’re here to set the record straight: you can customize your URLs to your heart’s content.

The Importance of Customizable URLs

Why do we need a customizable URL functionality? Search engines look at a huge number of factors when they decide which website is the best result to return to users. One of those factors includes a URL that describes what’s on the page. This is one of the many ways Google and other search engines figure out just what a page is all about.

How to Customize Your URLs

Volusion stores come pre-configured with generic URLs so you can make them anything you want. Let’s go over some best practices.

1. Turn on automatic 301 redirects

This one is crucial for SEO – it ensures that both users and search engines will be able to find the new, SEO-friendly URLs when you change them. And it’s as easy as the click of a button! From your store admin, click Settings > Config Variables and it’ll be the first option in the chart. Make sure to hit Save once you’ve ticked the box!

2. Where to find the section for changing the URL text

This option lives in each category and product page. Simply navigate to the page you want, click “Advanced Info” > “Search Engine Optimization” and you’ll see a box named “Category/Product URL Text”. Make sure to put only numbers and letters in this field. We also suggest using all lowercase letters, as this is more pleasing to the eye when looking at a URL.

3. Enter customized text into the URL field

Make it short, sweet and concise. The text should describe what’s on the page without extra words or fluff. For example, if you sell boxes of cookies and you have a category for each flavor, then put “chocolate chip cookies”, “peanut butter”, etc for the URL text. Don’t put “delicious chocolate chip cookies that you will love” because your URL will end up looking like this:

www.mydomain.com/delicious_chocolate_chip_cookies_that_you_will_love_s/33.htm

Instead, it should look like this:

www.mydomain.com/chocolate_chip_cookies_s/33.htm

See how long the first option is compared to the second one? Users are more likely to share and click on short URLs that tell them what they can expect to see. The “_s” part of the URL near the end of the URL designates a category page. This will be replaced by a “_p” for product pages and a “_a” for article pages.

Also make sure to enable SEO Friendly URLs for your site by going to Marketing>SEO, and then scrolling down to the Search Engine Friendly URLs section. Check the box next to “Enable Search Engine Friendly URLs (Recommended)”.

If you have more questions about SEO-friendly URLs and how to use them, feel free to check out this Knowledge Base article or leave us a comment below!

6 Responses to “Myth Busting: We DO Offer Customized URLs”

  1. Jeff C.

    When editing URLs, is a redirect necessary? From your example, if I were to change the page “www.mydomain.com/delicious_chocolate_chip_cookies_that_you_will_love_s/33.htm” to “www.mydomain.com/chocolate-chip-cookies-s/33.htm” to be more SEO friendly do I need to do a redirect. For a long time, we didn’t think it necessary and then decided maybe we should look into it. After some testing, it seems that if the “/33.htm” portion of the URL is not changed then a redirect is not even possible because while the name of the URL is changed, the page is not actually deleted. Is this a safe assumption going forward? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Anjuli Desai

      Hi Jeff – Thanks for your question! A redirect is necessary, but luckily Volusion has this built into the software so you won’t need to create a redirect every time you change the URL. From your admin area, go to Settings > Config Variables. The very first option should be “301 Redirect to SEOFriendly URLs” – make sure this is checked. If it is, then you’re good to go; a redirect will be automatically created to your new, SEO friendly URL. If it’s not checked, go ahead and check it; this will automatically make redirects and you won’t need to create them on your own. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  2. Roberto

    The custom URL’s only work on volusion’s product and product category pages. In other words, any other content you have your website can not be customized with a custom URL title. So forget about google finding any other content you may have your page, like a blog for example

    Reply
    • Anjuli Desai

      Hi Roberto, Thanks for your comment! If you’re referring to articles, we’ve got a great knowledge base article that explains how to use an SEO-friendly URL: https://support.volusion.com/hc/en-us/articles/209376658. Many of our merchants set up additional content, such as a resource library, as a category page. Category pages don’t need to have products on them, so you can display your content and get the full customization benefits. Also, just in case there’s any misconception: if you don’t fill out a custom URL, this doesn’t mean Google can’t find your content! A custom URL is simply one of hundreds of factors Google looks at when deciding a page’s relevancy. It can also enhance user experience. Good luck!

      Reply
  3. Chris Gilcrest

    I have read a lot of people crying over this or that on the Volusion platform. I have used V for different sites since 2007 and just can’t see what all the tears are over. Yes the monthly gig fees can be much higher than other platforms, but customer service from V rocks and the platform itself is always improving.
    I just started building a new site http://www.earthstonerock.com about the last week in April and by using the adaptable URL features and all that I have learned from V staff, MOZ and other SEO experts I am owning the outdoor masonry market place. I am constantly researching how people search for each category and product and then creating URL’s that are kicking ass. I have more first page and top 5 organic pages that any company in the hardscape industry as a result of V’s platform and editor control over the URL’s…… Look forward to more features and maybe a little monthly data billing cost control………

    Reply
    • Anjuli Desai

      Thanks for reading, Chris! Great to hear that we’ve been able to help you improve your sites :)

      Reply

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