SEO Friendly URL Structure: URL Structure – the way you structure the Uniform Resource Locator of your blog posts – is one of the most important ranking factors. If you do not do it properly, a URL will be generated for the post automatically which may be neither Google-friendly nor user-friendly.
By Google friendly, I mean Google should be able to understand the URL, i. e. the URL should provide Google with as much information as possible regarding the content of that post, which, in turn, will help Google decide its ranking.
At the same time, the URL should be such that users get an idea about what the post is about. Having the right URL structure helps users direct them to where they want.
It also helps in passing the domain authority through the site. Above all, a proper URL structure is necessary in order to get your site hierarchy right. You won’t feel its need if you have just started your blog. But as your blog grows, there will be times when you will have to redirect a lot of URLs if you don’t structure them properly right from the beginning. And too much redirection is not good from the SEO point of view.
In this blog, I will tell you all about SEO Friendly URL Structure.
SEO Friendly URL Structure
As I have mentioned in the blog post on types of SEO, URL structure is part of On-Page SEO. On-Page SEO, being fully under your control, must be done in the most efficient way and every aspect of it should be taken seriously. URL Structure is no exception.
Keep the following points in mind for URL Structure for SEO:
1. Include The Primary Keyword
An SEO Friendly URL should contain the primary keyword. The crawler will first discover the URL and then move on to the rest of the post. It is, therefore, important that you use your primary keyword in the URL so that the crawler knows right at the beginning what the post is about. Make sure to do your keyword research properly before deciding on your primary keyword and URL.
Including your primary keyword will also ensure users get an idea about the post, which is very important.
And did you notice that the URL is displayed in the search result and that the part or parts of the URL that match with the searched keyword become prominent? That helps users to decide which link from the search results to click on.
If possible and if it makes sense, try to match the URL with the title of the post; it doesn’t have to be exactly same as the title though. Check out the next point for details.
2. Keep The URL Short
While it is important that your users get an idea of the post from its URL, this doesn’t mean you will include everything in the URL, like preposition, conjunction, articles, etc. It may not always sound grammatically correct if you remove these unnecessary words but it will still give your users an idea about the content of the post. Also, do not use punctuation and special characters in the URL as they not only increase the length of the URL unnecessarily but can also break the link.
A maximum of 55-60 characters in the URL is fine. Repetitive use of keywords in the URL too is an absolute no.
3. Use Hyphens To Separate Words
Many symbols can be used to separate words in a URL string. Many websites use a combination of symbols along with words, letters and numbers. Such URLs are neither meaningful nor readable. If anything, they look spammy. It is, therefore, recommended that you use simple and meaningful words separated by hyphens. Underscores are also used to separate words. However, I would recommend you use them when you want to join two words.
4. Use Only Small Letters
URLs are case sensitive. However, if you are using Linux/UNIX hosting, it could pose some problems. In any case, I would recommend you use only small letters.
5. Do Not Keep Too Many Folders / Slashes
Too many folders or slashes in the URL gives a wrong impression to both crawlers and users about the depth of the site. Also, such URLs are difficult to edit.
6. Do Not Use Multiple URLs For Same Content
This is an absolute no. However, if you have more or less the same content under two URLs, make sure you canonicalize them. Note that unless and until you have duplicate content in large scale, there is nothing to worry about. But it is always better to be on the safe side.
7. Do Not Use Long Redirect Strings
Using longer redirect strings slows down the browser. Users can find it annoying. Also, search engines do not recommend the practice of long redirect strings. In fact, this can lead to search engines not considering the ranking signals. It is OK if you redirect URL 1 to URL 2, or even URL 2 to URL 3. But more than two hops can pose various problems and hence, is not at all recommended.
Keeping all these points will definitely help in coming up with SEO Friendly URL. But remember that following all these points might not be feasible all the time.
It is always better to start off by determining a standard structure first, like the categories and subcategories you are going to have. Spend some time on doing research before you come up with a proper URL structure in order to avoid troubles later.
I hope this article on SEO Friendly URL helps you. If you have any query regarding SEO Friendly URL Structure, drop your comments below and I will get back to you.