SEO friendly URL has become the most asked topic of web makers or general users nowadays. Most of the people even don’t know about it quite well. So, now it’s the time to find out the answers related to (Search Engine Optimization) SEO friendly URL.
(NB: It is a part of complete SEO training course so it is recommended read complete SEO training in 30 days first for better understanding.)
What is URL STRUCTURE?
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL), usually termed as a web address. It is a concern to a web resource that specifies its location on a computer network and a mechanism for recovering it. A URL is a specific type of Uniform Resource Identifier. It is used when you make a request to a server for a resource. This is one of the most basic search engine optimization techniques. Though there are a lot of websites that use incorrect, suboptimal URLs, a good structure can help the indexation process of your website. There are various elements of a URL for you and how you can create a structure that will help you ranking as highly as possible here.
http://www.domainname.com/folder-name/web- page-file- name.htm
The above URL is broken down here in details.
SEO friendly URL
The first part of the URL indicates the protocol of the URL. There are different types of protocols, but for keeping things simple, the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is mostly referred.
This portion is your domain name. It is also referred to as the host or server id.
As the name is used, this shows that the web page referenced in “filed” in a folder on the web server.
This portion is actual web page file name. In the end, the .htm indicates it as a static web page. File names can have different extensions (the .html part) or depend on how the web server is set up; it could end with a / nothing at all.
A web page need not be “filed” in a folder. It can be in the root of your web server file system. e.g.
http://www.yourdomainname.com/web-page- file- name.htm.
What is SEO friendly URL:
SEO friendly is a method to optimize a website so that people can easily find a content via search engines like Google or Yahoo. And SEO friendly URL is easy to remember web address that users can find it without much effort. Quick tips for search engine friendly and user-friendly URLs:
Keep things as simple as possible. This will improve the search engine optimization, usability, and accessibility of your URLs.
Organize your website URL structure logically.
Make your URLs easy to remember.
Creating a Website URL Structure:
Following the quick tips below, you will be able to create SEO friendly URL easily. They are
Keep Things Simple
A complex, lengthy URL structure makes it harder for you to maintain the site. It also complicates the usability of the site for the visitors. If you are thinking about the search engine optimization aspect of things, then think what your URL looks like in the results. People may be less interested to click your result because they do not see a clear picture of they will be taken to where of your site.
A short URL shown in the search results could lead to more clicks if it is clear to the user that where they are going to end up when they click your result. https://goo.gl/VdJzC8 this example shows a more concise explanation of how the article/section relates to the user’s search.
Keep your web page file name short. Try not to go over 3-5 words. Get an idea of the character count that works best. If you decide to sort your web pages into folders, try to keep the URL structure such as http://www.yourdomainname.com/folder-name/folder-name/folder-name/. That being said, less is much better. But please don’t forget to create an index (home page) for the folder. An advanced user may go up to the address bar in their browser and backspace the
web page file name out of the URL to see what else is in that folder/category. If there is no index/home page, they are not going to see anything. And you may lose the use of your folder.
Logical URL Structure
What would be the best logical URL structure for a site? That one which meets the needs of your target audience and also the theme of your site. That is a fuzzy answer but no one set up will work for all sites and audiences. In the planning stage of your website/blog, you should have researched your target audience. You should learn what they are looking for and how they search the net for your particular product/service/information. This will give you an idea how the audiences like things organized. If you like to search by brand then maybe a URL structure of that site will be http://www.yourdomainname.com/brand-name/product- name.htm which looks like the best URL structure for your project. Subject sorting into folders is not required. E.g.
Would work just fine. Pick the URL structure logic that best suits your target audience’s needs also
Keeping in mind, the URL length issues pointed out above. Be sure to make it easy for them to understand where to find things on your site. 3. URL length easy to remember. The shorter, the better. According to Backlinko, “Shorter URLs tend to rank better than long URLs.” To prove this, they performed some extensive testing on one million Google search results. So somewhere around 50 – 60 characters is a pretty good number to use. If you go way beyond (say 80+ characters), this would have a negative impact on your ranking.
Personally, try to use around three to five words per URL because it’s simple and gives users a pretty clear idea of what a particular piece of content is all about.
Including hyphens makes it easier for the user and the search engines to see each word particularly. Don’t use spaces! Some web servers do not like these, and it also makes a messy URL listing in the search results. E.g., http://www.yourdomainname.com/queen%20size%20blankets.htm is hard to read. You will see some use underscores between the words. If your existing site already uses these, it is not a big deal but if you are starting fresh use hyphens.
You will notice that many websites use lowercase for their folder and web page file names. This is because it is easier to maintain the flow across the site. It is also easier to read in the search results.
To use stop words or not use stop words? That is the ultimate question. First of all, what are stop words? They’re words like:
These are basically “filler” words which connect the necessary words that are the backbone of the URL. For a long time, stop words were viewed by many SEOs as a sign that simply could not be forgiven. But, it’s not that big deal. Stop words are ignored by search engines and don’t carry any real weight as a ranking factor. So here’s what I recommend when approaching stop words not to use them if you can help it. If your URL structure still is readable and makes sense, including stop words is only going to make your URL longer and more complicated.
But if you feel like you need to include a stop word for your URL to make sense and readable then be ahead and include it. The key here is “readable.” If it makes it easier for people to read, then that would usually be your best option. Just be the best judge when deciding which route to go.
Maximum two folders per URL:
If you’re not sure of what the meaning of “folders,” here, they’re simply the slashes you see between texts in a URL. Like the other aspects of URL optimization, it’s best to keep it simple with the number of folders you use in your URLs. In other words, less is best. It’s not that the slashes will necessarily harm the performance of the web page, but it can create a perception of site depth for both engines and users. Users can tell what the content is about even if it is restructured URL but contains fewer folders. And if you want to get specific regarding using the number of folders, stick with one or two. This will make your URL way more eye appealing, and it’s easier for search engines to decode the meaning.
Target 1/2 keywords & avoid repetition:
Maybe you have heard that some topics are useless as they don’t carry keywords. But, how many can you include before it’s seen as spam and you get penalized? First of all, you should include keywords in your URL. Although this practice is unlikely to you to give a boost in your ranking as number one. And including keywords serves a fundamental purpose from a user standpoint. This way people can instantly tell what your content is about at a quick glance regardless of where they find the link. Even without anchor text, it’s better. It will take the guesswork out of it and will encourage more people to click on your content inevitably. But, if you want to shamelessly stuff keywords into your URL and it would be a disaster on your web page.
Keyword stuffing is never a good thing by any means. Best practice will be to include your target keywords located at the beginning of your URL.
Last but not least, never repeat your keywords (or any words for that matter):
In a URL repetition is meaningless because Google could potentially show it as a form of manipulation, which obviously isn’t good. Moving beyond that, it’s probably going to make your content look spam, or at the very least, decrease your reliability in the eyes of search engine users. So stay away from this tactics.
That’s lots of overwhelming ideas, right? You need to get the basic because checking every URL is not feasible or possible for a human being. But still, there are tools available on the web to check URLs. Use Pre Post SEO tool to check your website’s URL for free.