How do you construct a URL that is SEO-friendly? What is an SEO-friendly URL, and how do you create SEO-friendly URLs?
Although URL optimisation is one of the simplest SEO (Search Engine Optimization) chores to set up, it is also a crucial step you must perform to ensure that your website is SEO friendly.
If you use WordPress or another SEO-friendly CMS, you will set up your URL structure optimisation at the beginning and will most likely never have to worry about it again.
This guide will teach you what an optimised URL structure is, why it’s crucial, and how to make your URLs SEO-friendly.
What is URL
Let’s begin by explaining some fundamental terms, so you will understand what we are trying to do. What is a URL? The time “URL” stands for “Uniform Resource Locator.” A URL put is the web address of a page.
On the Internet, every web page has a distinct URL. The domain name, imarketing.my, and the string of characters that follow, /top-digital-marketing-agency-malaysia/, give the website its distinctiveness.
These two components uniquely identify the URL of a page. Consequently, the URL of a single page is made up of two parts: the domain, which cannot be changed, and the route to the page inside the domain (this part is configurable).
What is an SEO-friendly URL, exactly? A user and search engine-friendly URL properly and efficiently readably represents the website using keywords.
An example of a URL that is search engine optimized
A URL like the following is NOT SEO-friendly:
Using keywords pertinent to your site’s content is the first optimization step you can take to make your URLs friendlier. Should you include dates in your URL? Should the category come before the post title?
Read More: On-Page SEO Ranking Factors
Here are a few questions you will need to respond to, so keep on reading to find out the significance of optimized URLs.
Why does URL structure matter for SEO
The content of your website is organised using URLs. They serve as the conduit between a user and your content. There are two key reasons why URL structure matters:
1. User Experience
The most crucial element in SEO is a great user experience. Use page hierarchies and a logical URL structure to enhance user experience. Your website is easier for humans if the material is intuitively structured.
You want users to be able to navigate your website with confidence rather than uncertainty, so you should make it as simple as you can. Use SEO-friendly URLs in addition to logically organising your URL structure. SEO-friendly URLs are short, easy to read and contain target keywords that describe the content of a web page.
For instance, a URL like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/seo will influence your decision to click on that link if you’re looking up information about SEO. The dynamic URLs like https://www.example.com/index.php?id wca=470&clcp27sap are unfriendly since it doesn’t reveal the destination page.
Specific URLs offer the optimum user experience. Use descriptive keywords in URL optimisation to help users grasp the page’s content. It would be best if you optimised your URLs to ensure that searchers receive relevant search engine results and understand what to expect when they click a link.
URL structures inform Google about the content and connections between the website’s pages. Links pointing to pages on your website’s internal navigation also aid with this. Optimising your URLs for humans makes it simpler for search engine bots to scan your website and index it so users can find relevant material.
Google uses URLs as a ranking element. Thus, improved URL formats support Google PageRank (PR). Google evaluates a web page’s worth and relevance to a search query using PageRank.
Although adding keywords to your root pages might help your results, you should rely on something other than just URL keywords to rank. Root domains often have the greatest PageRank. Do not cram URLs with keywords; instead, include relevant ones.
Links with SEO-friendly URLs are more likely to be clicked, which can raise your PageRank. If you change the page URL after your site becomes live or at any other time, you should (re)submit your sitemap to Google Search Console. To ensure that SERPs (Search Engines Results Pages) are always up to date with your website, you should publish your sitemap so that search engines may instantly crawl and index your pages.
12 Best Practices for Friendly URL in SEO
1. Use a sensible URL structure
Before beginning the construction of your website, you must establish the URL hierarchy. The proper URL structure is still being determined. Additionally, URLs might vary based on the purpose of the website.
However, the ideal URL structure is clear, logical, simple to remember, and effectively conveys information via language.
Make sure your URL structure is transparent so that both people and search engines can comprehend how the many pages on your site are related. Choosing the appropriate URL keywords for each page is relatively straightforward once your URL structure is established.
2. Using the HTTPS protocol
The secure variant of the HTTP protocol is HTTPS. Even if hackers can intercept the data, they won’t be able to read it since the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encrypts the connection between your browser and a website.
Users are more likely to trust your website because of HTTPS since they feel safer using their credit card information, address, and phone number while making purchases.
Even though it appears simple, only 69% of websites presently redirect to HTTPS. I don’t know about you, but I never purchase from insecure websites. If your website only supports HTTP, you’re losing out on tech-savvy potential customers.
Additionally, Google favours websites using SSL and HTTPS as ranking indications. The URL bar’s padlock icon in the Chrome browser lets you know if a website is connected securely or not.
3. Hide the www prefix
Since it is quite clear that this refers to a website domain, the www prefix was selected to avoid misunderstanding. Today, however, it is not required to mention it.
In addition, if you include it, it appears dated, requires more typing effort, and takes up more room in the address bar. Given that they have the secure lock symbol signal, WWW and HTTPS:// are hidden in the Chrome browser’s address bar since they aren’t very crucial to show. Double-click within the URL bar to view it; it is still there.
Hide the www prefix to make your domain “bare” and cleaner. You are redirecting to the naked domain from the www version.
4. Make necessary changes to the page’s URL
Each page you add to your website should have a distinct function. Avoid utilising illogical, arbitrary numbers that have no bearing on the situation.
Make sure the page URLs on your website accurately reflect the information found there. Your user experience will be enhanced, and click-through rates may rise.
5. Keep it short and simple
The title of the page or post is often used as the default URL, although occasionally, this might result in an unreasonably lengthy URL. The URL length should be as short and brief as possible because they often rank higher.
6. Use meaningful keywords
Use a few relevant keywords in your URL to inform Google of the search terms for which the website should appear. Only include a little in your URL because it may seem spammy. Use a term that appears in the page’s or post’s title.
You should include these keywords in your website’s meta description and the URL since Google bolds them in search results, making your page stand out more.
7. Use hyphens to separate words
There are no spaces between words in URLs. Use underscores sparingly as well.
Hyphens are used between words in SEO best practices because they indicate to Google and users where there are word breaks and make sentences much more straightforward to read than when all the words are thrown together.
Here’s an example of the difference hyphens make:
8. Eliminate the stop words
You don’t require to stop words in your URL, such as “the,” “and,” “or,” “of,” “a,” “an,” “to,” “for,” etc. To make your URL more readable and shorter, remove these words.
9. Make all letters lowercase
For URLs, always use lowercase letters. If you accidentally used uppercase, replace your links to point to the new ones. If you’re using Squarespace to build your website, you don’t need to worry about case sensitivity because it uses lowercase by default.
10. Redirect old URLs
Your website will probably evolve, and you might pick one URL structure only to modify it later to make it more usable. In this situation, adding permanent redirects is advised and best practice.
For both people and bots, redirects ensure no broken links.
Add a 301 redirect whenever you amend or modify a URL so that anyone who visits the old URL will be sent to the new URL immediately and avoid seeing a broken 404 error page.
A lot of redirects might cause your site to load slowly. One or two redirects are OK, but making the website accessible without redirect loops is the best practice. To prevent redirects, choosing a solid URL structure at the outset of your website’s existence is crucial.
11. Remove dates from blog posts
Because users always desire the most recent material, postdates from blog post URLs keep content relevant for searchers. URLs without expiration dates can increase search engine click-through rates and help content rank for years.
Structure your articles with the date only if they are about a particular occasion or day. Doing so may cause a decline in click-through rates since people are less likely to want to read an old post from 2013 than a more recent one.
Additionally, it enables evergreen content, allowing you to update popular pieces with fresh material and republish them with updated dates without rerouting their previous URLs. A practical SEO approach is to update and republish outdated information.
However, for the most significant user experience, it’s recommended to delete the post date! The URL is more straightforward for users to navigate without the postdate.
12. Spell out the numbers (sometimes)
Although not usually, confusion can be caused by numbers. Take care, and also buy the domain name in its complete spelling if your company name has a number inside it and in the root domain.
Then point it toward the main domain. As a result, whether someone is lost or needs to learn how to spell, they will undoubtedly find your website.
Try to avoid using any numbers after the root domain at all costs. Consider the way that individuals write. It’s easiest to avoid the mistake while searching for anything online because 4 and 2 are frequently confused with each other in place of “for” and “to,” respectively.
If the number represents a year or a specific day, use the digits instead of spelling them out. Generally speaking, the longer the number, such as 47, the more probable it is to be a genuine number rather than the spelling of forty-seven. You see what I mean.
Whether to use numbers in your URL depends on the circumstances. Just be sure to consider the pros and cons of each and determine if it is preferable to spell them out, include them, or remove them.
URL Structure URL: Let’s Finish it up.
Your website’s URLs serve as its foundation and, when improved, may assist drive more visitors to it. Clean URLs are easier to share, perform better in search engine ranking, and come off as more reliable.
With your website URLs, Our SEO Malaysia experts hope these recommended practices will be helpful. If you have any questions or are you concerned about your website? Reach out to contact us, and let’s talk.