SEO Friendly URLs
If you can rank highly on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), organic search is the most reliable, long-term method of bringing traffic to your website. You are able to benefit from on-page optimization, which is mostly within your power, even while many SEO elements, such as who and what your competitors are doing, are beyond your control.
What are SEO friendly URLs?
Users’ and searchers’ demands are taken into consideration while creating SEO-friendly URLs. Particularly, SEO-friendly URLs typically have a brief and keyword-rich content.
Why are URLs important for SEO?
Search engines use the URL of your webpage, along with your title tag, link anchor text, and the content itself, to determine the topic of your material.
In fact, URLs are so crucial that the Google SEO beginning guide dedicated an entire section to them:
Use a Keyword
You should include a keyword in your URL that you want your page to rank for.
(Preferably, that page’s target keyword)
When a keyword appears in your URL, it tells Google that the website is about that keyword.
In fact, Google themselves state that:
“URLs with words that are relevant to your site’s content and structure are friendlier for visitors navigating your site.”
Here is an example article that uses more than 150 SEO techniques.
URL Slug Example
Let’s take our URL for this post:
Here are the elements of this URL:
- Protocol: https
- Domain: SEOFeatures.com
- Subdirectory: SEO
- URL Slug: seo-friendly-urls/
A URL must contain the protocol and the domain at a minimum. Depending on the page and its position within the structure of your site, additional items may be included.
URL Slug Best Practices
- Keep it as simple as possible.
- Take out the extra words in the page part of the URL slug.
- Include relevant keywords.
- Don’t keyword stuff.
- Separate words with hyphens.
- Don’t use slugs that already belong to other pages.
- Avoid using dynamically generated URLs.
- Standardize your URL naming conventions.
1. Keep it as simple as possible.
It doesn’t get much better in SEO than the search engine telling you exactly what it prefers, as there is still a lot left to theory and experimentation. Google advises that “a site’s URL structure should be as simple as possible.”
Additionally, a shorter URL is simpler for visitors to remember in case they wish to return to the material without bookmarking it.
2. Take out the extra words in the page part of the URL
Words like “and” or “that” that add little or no value to the URL can be skipped in the interest of clarity for the sake of readability and/or brevity. Here is the URL for this post before and after, for example:
Due to brevity and the fact that it didn’t provide any value for readers or search engines, I eliminated “your” from the sentence. Since the majority of website visitors would be able to tell it is a quick tip from the title or description, I removed “quick tip” for the same reasons.
Although I had a choice, I chose to leave “for” in because it makes the URL easier for people to read. I want this URL to be viewable if someone finds it elsewhere so they may read the information and feel comfortable using the site.
In theory, I could have gone with “url-slug” as the slug. In terms of simplicity, this would have been preferable, but in the end, I wanted the URL to give readers value by outlining what they’re getting from the post.
3. Include relevant keywords.
The keywords in the URL are one method that both search engines and people can learn about the contents of your page. Include keywords in your URL slug, but make sure they correspond to the content of the page. Fortunately, since it is a long-tail search word on its own, this URL is already fairly well optimized as it is.
4. Don’t keyword stuff.
It doesn’t follow that I should include every keyword that can be relevant for this post in the URL. If not, you’re left with a situation like this:
Wow, that looks ugly.
It’s an old strategy that only harms your SEO and user experience to pack keywords into content, titles, and URLs. Select one keyword for the URL rather than stuffing a bunch of keywords into the slug, and allow the page’s content guide the rest of the conversation.
5. Make it reader-friendly.
This has previously been briefly discussed, but it bears repeating. Your URL should be clear enough for both readers and search engines to grasp what they might see if they click to the other side. That implies you should end up with a URL that still makes sense when you add a lot of keywords and remove those few unnecessary phrases.
6. Separate words with hyphens.
Avoid the practice of stuffing a lot of words together or using underscores to break up words. The hyphens are there to make the text easier to read. Apply them.
7. Don’t use slugs that already belong to other pages.
There is only one office/home at your address, and there is only one office/home there. The same applies to your website.
Google may flag pages as duplicate material if you use similar or identical slugs. Your SEO performance will suffer in either case.
To avoid this occurring unintentionally, you might also think about upgrading your CMS’s settings.
8. Avoid using dynamically generated URLs.
When the page loads, parameters that are automatically generated are included in a dynamic URL. This contrasts with a static URL, which remains the same no matter how many times it is accessed.
Dynamic URLs could cause problems with crawling, which will reduce performance.
9. Standardize your URL naming conventions.
Create a uniform procedure for naming URLs that can be used for all of the pages and posts you make. This will assist you in creating a more uniform user experience across your website and making navigation for visitors to your website simpler and easier.
Your URLs are a crucial component of on-page SEO and one of many things to take into account when you lay the groundwork for your website. You may take a step closer to improving your exposure on search engines like Google by putting the aforementioned best practices for URL slugs into practice and optimizing your pages in accordance with further SEO best practices.