URL structures for SEO can sometimes be disregarded, but they can be extremely useful for your website. Your URL can make a big difference in terms of traffic! So what is the best URL structure for SEO?
The following article will provide tips for improving your URL in order to get the most SEO value out of it. By implementing some of these suggestions, you can boost your SEO rankings while creating appealing URLs by anyone’s standards.
Keep it Concise
Removing words that add little significance to your URL is a good idea. Connectives like “and” or pronouns like “he” or “she” can be removed without drastically altering the meaning. Clarity is important, so if you need to rejig the title of the article in order to come up with an easily readable URL, then do so.
50 to 60 characters is a good ballpark to aim for in terms of the length of a URL. When your URL exceeds 100 characters, it could likely do with shortening. The main focus of reduced length is the human side of URLs, allowing them to be easily read and shared without issues.
A couple of relevant keywords is a must in a URL. The keywords used are vital to both SEO and human interaction. URLs get copied and pasted all the time without context or description, so the words in them must serve as the descriptor. In addition, search engines can pick up on these keywords to accurately showcase your content to people who search for relevant terms.
While keywords are important, you must avoid keyword stuffing. Too many keywords will cause your link to look like spam content and will hurt its search engine performance. Going overboard with keywords is counterintuitive, so it’s vital to bear that in mind when using them.
URLs should work on two levels: for humans and search engines. The URL should be easily readable and inform the person of what they are clicking on while also allowing search engines to decipher the content. Stick to relevant words, keep it relatively short, and avoid having it look like spam.
Hyphens and underscores can be a good way to further improve readability. Previously, hyphens were preferable to underscores because of SEO algorithms, but recently the punctuation playing field has leveled. Using either between words will make URLs far easier to read for both humans and search engines. Regular spaces are not advisable as they become “%20” in URLs.
On the topic of punctuation, you can further improve clarity by eliminating unnecessary punctuation. As a rule of thumb, remove punctuation like commas, periods, and exclamation points.
Match to Titles
Having your URL match with your title is ideal, but slight variations are acceptable as well. This greatly increases clarity and isn’t particularly difficult to achieve. By doing this, you can improve the user experience and instantly make a URL link more “clickable”.
When matching the URL to the title, it’s important to note what its case is. Case sensitivity isn’t an issue on some servers but could present problems on Linux or Unix. The best way to avoid this is by using exclusively lowercase characters in your URL.
The more folders you have, the harder it is to edit the URL. Creating the perception that your site is deeper than it is can be a problem. There aren’t clear cut rules in this department, but fewer folders are recommended by most. Shallow navigation is preferable when possible.
The Bottom Line
Following the tips outlined above will improve the appearance and performance of URLs. It’s important that your URL appeals to both humans and search engines. The suggestions provided within this article should go some way to furthering that appeal.