URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. We also call it web address. URL is one of the most important part of Digital Marketing. Having a business domain related to your business is always recommended. But we are not here to talk about domain. I have already shared some good information on Importance of Domain name and extension in SEO earlier. Today we are going to talk about SEO friendly URL. We can create the best SEO friendly URLs if we follow the right steps and can get the better SEO results. So before getting into steps let’s understand what is SEO Friendly URL.
SEO Friendly URL
SEO Friendly URL is a well optimized URL which helps search engine crawlers and users to understand web content at the same time. Creating SEO friendly URL is a process of making set of URL’s which is descriptive enough to access and understand by Bots (Search Engine Crawlers) and Humans (Website Visitors). There are certain parameters which we can follow to create or generate the best URL types. Given are few SEO best practices for creating SEO Friendly URL
Using Content in URL
This is not about creating a lengthy URL to describe your content but using accurate word phrases to describe your content. It should be descriptive enough to make users understand about the content by simply reading the web page URL. It is also good for search engine crawlers. They can easily understand your content by going through a clean URL.
Use of Keywords
Similar to using content keywords, you can also include best keywords in URL which have good search volume and can describe your content. Preferably you can include long tail keywords related to your website content. It is a best practice to optimize every web page around one keyword, and this keyword should be included in the URL. You can add the keywords in the beginning of the URL, as search engine bots read & give preference to the keywords in the beginning of URL instead at the end of URLs.
Tip: Do not over stuff URL with keywords. It is not at all recommended or a good practice. It can also cause penalty sometimes. So be careful while stuffing keywords in URLs. Overstuffing keywords can never make SEO Friendly URL.
Special Characters in URL
While creating SEO Friendly URL, it is recommended to hyphens (-) because it helps search engines to read your web URL easily. Hyphens are used to separate words in URL Phrases and create better readability for both users and search engines. But what are the special characters in URL’s and what to avoid?
Special characters are the identifiers or parameters which are used to show data on a web page. For example if you are showing a particular category or page which is fetched by query or code then it will show up the parameters URL’s like “?”, “=”, “%”, “&” “_” and symbols such as + or *. This is very common while we use dynamic URL. The best option to avoid this situation is to create static URLs for your website or blog.
Static URL: https://www.abc.com/category/information-page-1
Dynamic URL: https://www.abc.com/category/testproduct/B012T0S7M6/ref=s9_acsd_top_hd_bw_b29C1vT_c_x_w?pf_rd_m=A1VBAL9TL5WCBF&pf_rd_s=test-search-4&pf_rd_r=X37YGB14RG5KT7YYNA77&pf_rd_r=X37YGB14RG5KT7YYNA77&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=400c31e7-ba3c-5cde-9e3e-b61425e881ce&pf_rd_p=400c31e7-ba3c-5cde-9e3e-b61425e881ce&pf_rd_i=1968120031
Upper and lowercase in URLs
Always use lowercase in URLs. Never use capitalization in URL while you are working to create SEO Friendly URL. Search engines can decipher from uppercase and lowercase letters in URLs, which can lead to duplicate URLs and loss of page rank.
Refer given below image for example:
Keep URL Short & Avoid Similar Words
It is good to have descriptive URL with focused keyword but do not exceed the length of URL. However there’s no specified length of URL is defined by search engines. But it is recommended to keep URL between 90 characters for better readability. Do not repeat similar words in URLs if you really want a SEO friendly URL.
Use of sub-domains
Use sub domain wisely because search engines are bots and it’s hard for them to relate content between domain and sub domain. They can consider the sub-domain content as duplicate content which can affect your SERP rankings. Until it is required, try to use sub folders instead of sub domains.
Limited use of folders and subfolders in URL
Do not include unnecessary folders in URL’s. It is not good for a SEO Friendly URL. Avoid them until you really need to describe your content. The URL should be clear and should have better readability.
In above example, you can see the use of folders and subfolders. You can consider them as clean & SEO Friendly URLs.
You may also read about How to change URL Parameters of website.
Pro Tip to create SEO Friendly URL:
Learn better use of Canonicalization method to use it while creating canonical URLs. Also do your keyword research deeply before creating a focus keyword for your content and URL. You can use the tools such as Google Keyword Planner for this. And it would be great if you know how to use breadcrumbs. If you can use breadcrumbs correctly, you can get some additional SEO benefits in SERP Rankings.
Creating SEO Friendly URL is not an easy task. It requires a lot of work to get best output. If we follow right steps then only we can generate a better URL structure. Over-stuffing keywords, special characters, capitalization and dynamic URLs are not recommended for better SEO results. But creating static URLs, use of necessary folders, use of keyword and hyphenization could help you in generating a SEO friendly URL and better results in SERP.
Hope this information would help you to create better URL structure for your website or blog. You can also check SEO Checklist which has great information about SEO checklists.
If you have more suggestions or feedback regarding SEO Friendly URL then do comment below and help me in providing quality information. Keep visiting TheSEOGuy for more fresh Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Answers.