What have Supermarkets and URL structures in common? Well, at first glance, the issues are miles apart. On the one hand the retail trade with full shelves, on the other hand, the structure of a digital company presence.
But if you take a closer look, then there are some overlaps. Finally, for supermarkets as well as for the URL structure, topics such as user guidance, organization, and order are of great importance.
We even go so far as to say: If you base your URL structure on the supermarket principle, you will build a meaningful website for users and search engines. We will explain to you why this is so and what this principle looks like.
What is the URL structure?
The URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address of your website (e.g. www.URL.com). Most URLs on a website consist of several elements.
Because very few websites are OnePagers. Instead, there are various subpages that are also shown in the URL itself, e.g. B. www.URL.com/site.
Now it is possible that further subpages are sorted under the respective subpages. In our example, a conceivable URL could be e.g. B. www.URL.com/site/theme.
Depending on the complexity of the website, this concatenation of page names can continue for several levels.
The URL structure ensures that your website is sorted and structured in a meaningful way is. If it is well created, this has various positive effects:
- Simplification of the customer journey: Users can move around your website in a playful way
- Intuitive usability: The logic of a URL structure enables convenient Navigation and constant overview
- Easy readability for search engines: Google & Co. can better understand and understand your topics
Overall, the URL structure forms an important basis for building a logically functioning website.
What supermarkets have to do with the URL structure…
Supermarkets are a great everyday example when it comes to organization and structuring. After all, the entire building aims only to provide the smoothest and most appealing shopping experience possible.
Many supermarkets have a similar structure: There is an area for fruit and vegetables, the refrigerated counter with sausages and dairy products, an area for canned goods, a drinks area, possibly a deli counter, the freezers with frozen pizza & Co. …
Of course, they differ in detail. But this clear structure ensures that we find what we are looking for faster when shopping. Therefore, all supermarkets are similar in this system. If I’m looking for milk, I go to the refrigerated counter. If I want an apple, I go to fruit & vegetables. Very simple and logical.
This simple clarity with a focus on usability—combined with a knack for targeting impulse purchases—is what you can learn from supermarkets for your URL structures. Let’s go into more detail…
3 lessons for your URL structure from the supermarket
1 . They need clearly separated departments
Supermarkets work in such a way that there are certain product groups that are thematically bundled in departments. These departments are often identified by signs hanging from the ceiling and, depending on the size of the store, have dedicated employees.
Now if you look at your website: What can be compared with the departments? That’s right, the main navigation. This is also presented to the target group in a very striking way and provides a good overview.
Here you must pay special attention to the Labels and categorizations set. After all, there is already a clear assignment here. The main navigation is the beginning of the user journey through your website, which is why it should be as clear and unambiguous as possible.
Make sure that you include the departments in your URL structure cut off precisely. Create meaningful clusters, which can be bundled thematically in a department. Users will only be able to find their way around the aisles of your website if you design this rough pre-sorting in a sensible way.
2. Ensure logical sorting within the departments
Here milk, there three packs of cheese, then sausage products again and finally a couple of yogurts in between? There won’t be such chaos inside the refrigerated counter of a normal supermarket.
Instead, there is a logical sorting in each department. In the case of the cooling area, this means: All types of cheese are close together, the sausage products are kept to themselves, and milk and yogurt & co. Share a sub-area.
For yours, URL structure means: Creating directories under the main navigation to which you in turn assign subtopics.
Would you like an example? Imagine you run a blog about sports. One department would be football – and possibly sub-departments then the different countries and their leagues.
These subdirectories are extremely important for the URL structure. Because they ensure a logical customer journey, especially on websites with many subpages.
3. Stock the shelves appropriately
Supermarkets often follow the same strategy when stocking the shelves: In the area of normal eye level are the products that should be sold as a priority.
In the case of supermarkets, of course, these are usually products that are either bought frequently or have a particularly attractive margin. The cheaper products, on the other hand, are often found in the lower area of the shelves.
You also have to proceed when sorting your content within the URL structure. Make sure that particularly important content is placed prominently on the shelf, while less important content tends to be given marginal places.
This also applies to the creation of the content itself: Make sure that the individual pages are written as concisely and to the point as possible at the customer’s eye level, i.e. in the header area. You can then deal with less important secondary topics below.
Create your URL structure according to the supermarket principle
You see: The supermarket principle is the ideal reference point for your URL Structure. Because if you structure your website as logically as the aisles of a supermarket are usually, users will find their way around it without any problems.
For each piece of content, just ask yourself: in which department should it be placed, and on which shelf is it placed? Then you are on the safe side that you are building a logically understandable URL structure that makes it as easy as possible for your target group and the search engines to use it.