How to Guide: SEO-Friendly URL Structure
URL Structure helps search engines and people understand what a webpage is about. Meaning, an SEO-Friendly URL i.e. accurate, enticing, and well-structured URL could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results. Here’s an easy guide on how to make the most of your website URL Structure.
What is URL Structure?
Every website you’ve ever visited had and/or has a Uniform Resource Locator or simply a URL.
Every URL has a structure, that typically has at least 3 to 5 parts.
a- The protocol or the scheme (HTTP:// or HTTPS://)
b- The domain name (aka second-level domain) that a Subdomain may proceed in some cases, and is always followed by a Top Level Domain (TLD) name (e.g. a .com or .net)
c- And the Path, which is a subdirectory or page information (e.g. /services). The path specifies the precise location of a page, post, or file.
Why should you have an SEO-Friendly URL?
1- Easy to understand and navigate:
An SEO-Friendly URL Structure makes it easy for bots and people to understand what your webpage is about. It helps in identifying the correct page to choose when it appears on the search engine results page. And encourages users to click on the link only if they are certain about the content of the page. Thus reducing the bounce rate.
2- Stay up in Google Search Ranking:
Since URLs give a better user experience, and user experience is one of the top factors in Google page ranking, it makes URL optimization as important as anything else in SEO.
Nine easy steps to take and create an SEO-Friendly URL
1- Use the HTTPS:// Protocol:
2- Use the most suitable TLD:
Help other users discover your content by using the correct Top-Level Domain (TLD). Search engines give preference to local businesses. A Dot Com may perform better in the international market, however, localized TLDs like .ca for Canada and .uk for the United Kingdom outperform Dot Coms when a searcher is looking for local business. Identify your target audience and then opt for the most suitable TLD.
3- Create relevant URLs using Keywords:
Using a less relevant keyword as the category name is a common mistake that results from selecting the keyword with the most traffic. Choose the words that are most relevant to users looking for the content or products contained within those categories. Imagine a URL that leads to a shoe shop, but has numbers in it.
Like this: https://myshop/#4prosh – Now compare it with https://myshop/formal-shoes.com
Which one are you more likely to click? If you’re selling formal shoes, then nothing should stop you from saying that. Use the most relevant keywords in the URL to keep it relevant for search engines and people alike.
4- Short, simple SEO-Friendly URL
Search engines worry about user experience more than anything else. And to provide the best experience, they want you to keep the URL length short and simple. Users may find a long long URL intimidating. URLs should have a word a few words so users can immediately identify if they want to click it or not. For example, if we are selling men’s shoes in Delaware, it might be tempting to create a long URL like https://myshop/thebestmensshoesshopindelaware.com – but this is very hard to read, no? That’s why we are encouraged to shorten our URLs to maybe like this. https://myshop/themenshoesindelaware.com. Still very long? Hang on, we’ll fix this in the next steps.
5- Use hyphens to separate words
Continuous words in URLs are hard to read. For example, https://myshop/themensshoesindelaware is very hard to read for someone like myself. Google recommends that we break it down by hyphenating the words to make it easy for the eye to register the words. So this would be Considering point 4, let’s shorten the URL to https://myshop/the-mens-shoes-in-delaware.
6- Eliminate stop words
Future more, Search engines give preference to shorter URLs – according to a survey mentioned at Backlinko, there is a definite correlation between shorter URLs and better search result page ranking. One way of making a URL shorter is to drop any word that had no real value, e.g. stop words like, in, of, and, etc. To make our example have an SEO-Friendly URL Structure, we’ll drop a few words and see how it looks. https://myshop/mens-shoes-delaware.com. It’s better to use hyphens (-) rather than underscores (_) because underscores are not visible when the URL is published as a bare link.
7- Use lowercase letters
Domain names are not case sensitive, which means that Bigello.com is the same as bigello.com is the same as BIGELLO.COM – however, the path section in the URL is case sensitive. As in, bigello.com/blogs is NOT the same as bigello.com/BLOG – Google recommends that we use all lowercase and NOT UPPERCASE in URLs to make them easier to read.
8- Spell out numbers where it makes sense:
Numbers too can look odd in URLS – and any strain on the eyes or unnecessary cognitive load may lead to a poor user experience. That’s why search engines recommended that we spell out numeric in URLs where can (if we’re using them that is) – for example, if your organization is called 3rd base, an optimized URL will be https://thirdbase.com, not https://3rdbase.com.
9- Avoid Using Dates
Sometimes, we are eager to let people know about our latest updates and in the excitement, we might use dates in the URL to get more attention. However, our experience tells us that we should avoid this practice as the benefit might be short-lived. According to Backlinko date in a URL make the URL very long and is a “VERY bad idea”. They are harder to update and users may not come to this link after a while even if the information there is still correct.
SEO-Friendly URL Structure
URLs are an effective technique to communicate to a potential site visitor what a page is about. When they are used correctly, they can enhance click-through rates wherever the links are shared. SEO-Friendly URLs certainly have an impact on your search engine ranking, and fixing them is not a big deal. Just a little bit of mindfulness and a conscious effort is enough. A better URL structure can easily be achieved by keeping your URLs, secure, relevant, short, simple, and easy to read and navigate. That’s all!