When a website creates a URL, there are many factors that need to be incorporated. URLs are the first thing a user and search engine see from your website. Structuring URL perfectly involves a lot of effort and is a very important factor that decides your website’s user experience. No one will like a website which redirects so many times before it reaches the final destination they are looking for. Both search engine and internet users want user-friendly websites that can be easily accessible with an SEO friendly URL.
According to Backlinko, URL is a very important ranking factor. This is the latest position of URL among various ranking factors
- URL length is listed on 46th position in 200 ranking factors
- URL path is in 47th position
- The keyword is in position 51
- URL string is in position 52
In total, we can say that a good structured URL can bring many benefits to your website. It could be ranked, a greater number of traffic or good backlinks. All these factors are helpful to make your website more successful. We cannot say that there is a single solution to optimize your website for search engine. You have to go through so many steps and see the impact that can make to your website ranking. This article will give you some effective tips to make SEO Friendly URL that is acceptable for both the search engine as well as users.
Why the URL matters for SEO:
Before moving onto SEO friendly URL tips, you need to know the importance of URL in SEO.
URL has the power to improve users experience. If you create a URL with simple and relevant words, it can help the users to understand the content of a page. Even if the title tag is missing or hidden, they can click on the link by reading the URL which improves the user experience.
Good for rankings:
If you use a relevant URL to your website content, it can help to improve the ranking. You can use keywords in it to make it more visible in search engine result page and if users click on the page it can improve the site traffic and thereby good ranking
A good URL can be used as anchor text on another website. If the words in your URL actually helps to know the real content of the page, it can get more backlinks from other websites. Also, it can help to improve your website ranking.
Tips to create an SEO friendly URL:
An SEO friendly URL should be user-friendly and accessible easily by both the search engine and users. When one should see your website URL, they should understand what the website is about or the content of a particular page. Here are some tips you can follow to make your URL SEO-friendly
1. Keywords in URL
This is a well-known fact that including keywords in your website can make it more visible for users. The main reason behind it is the popularity of that particular keyword among the audience. If you can incorporate keywords in URL, it can also be beneficial. When users see the URL of a particular website with the keyword, they will click on it. For example, if you are writing about SEO techniques and a page of your website is discussing link building. You can create the URL connecting both terms such as
From this URL itself, a user will get an idea that your content is all about link building for SEO. Like this, you can find an appropriate keyword for your topic before and include it in your URL to get a greater number of viewers. You can use Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find more specific keywords that can be used in your URL. You should avoid using so many keywords in your URL. It is always advisable to use two keywords in your URL and avoid overstuffing of keywords.
2. Should be readable
Just by creating a URL with numbers of other characters cannot be helpful always. You may have to focus on creating a URL for human beings. Your website viewers are human beings and they have to understand what you are trying to say from the URL itself. If your website is all about cute puppies and their videos, you can make your URL easily interpretable by creating it as
This URL is very easy to interpret by a human.
But if you change it into a URL like
It is also simple and interpretable to an extent. Users will click on the URL to see the content inside. But if you include only numbers and special characters in your URL it won’t be helpful. For example, URL like this
It is of no use and sometimes users consider it as a bad website.
3. Avoid using redundant words and characters:
When you create a URL, be aware of excluding every prepositions and conjunction. No need to include ‘and’ or ‘the’ in your URL multiple times. Google can actually read the URL without these words. Users will also understand the content or topic of the website without the help of these words.
Also, you need to focus on avoiding keywords multiple times in your URL. It will make your website look spammy. Even though keywords are useful to improve your ranking, repetitive use of the same keyword can be harmful to your website credibility. An example of such a website URL could be
Here the keyword SEO is used more than one time and it may look like a spammy website.
You can concentrate on URL length also. It is always better to make your URL look simple and shorter. Longer URL is very hard to understand and after 512 pixels Google will trim it down. It can lead to a loss in URL meaning. Always try to make your URL look shorter.
4. Minimize the dynamic URL:
It is not an easy task to do and mainly depends on your content management system. It is always better to use static UTL for your website because it is very user-friendly and can be more meaningful. Sometimes e-commerce website automatically changes the URL and gives you one with numbers and characters. The URL will look like
This is very difficult to interpret and very hard to control too. But sometimes you can set some rules if your web server runs Apache. There are tools available for you to control the use of dynamic URLs in servers.
Some webmasters use a relative URL. These are URL which is related to a particular context. But when that context disappears, there is of no use for that relative URL. So, it is always better to stick to static URLs for better SEO.
5. Canonicalize duplicate contents:
If your website has various versions of the same content then you can use canonicalization to identify them separately. There is no issue in including duplicate contents in website according to the search engine. But when your website gave supplicate contents, make sure to limit the number of duplicate contents for a better reputation. If one version of the content should be for readers online and other versions can be used to take print outs and all.
In such conditions, you can use 304 redirects or ‘rel=canonical’ to help the search engine identify the contents easily. If both pages have the same quantity of contents that deals with the same topic, you can canonicalize them so that page 1 appears on the top of the ranking and can have a greater number of visitors.
6. Create XML sitemap:
An XML sitemap is very useful for SEO. It is very different from HTML sitemap. An XML sitemap helps the search engine crawlers to index the contents of your website easily. But HTML sitemap is mainly for humans. By creating the XML sitemap, you are telling the search engine the pages in your website to be crawled and the pages that need not be. You can also include canonicalization of pages to avoid indexing duplicate contents.
7. Avoid using stop words:
You may think about including words like a, but, an, etc to make sense about the URL name for users. But there is no need to use such stop words in your URL because while Google read the URL, it avoids all these words. Using stop words is also not harmful in any way. It won’t affect your ranking also. But it is better to avoid them in your URL if you can and make as shorter and easily interpretable by users and search engine at the same time.
8. Use two folders in your URL:
As a part of making the URL short, you can concentrate on reducing the number of folders in URL. There is no issue in increasing the number of slashes and the length of the URL. But it is a good practice to make it shorter so that search engine and users can easily see what is there in the content.
You can see the difference between both URLs. Both are representing the same page. But the second URL is shorter and clear which only used two folders to represent a page.
9. Limit redirections:
To make your URL better for both machine and users, concentrate on minimizing the number of redirects to other pages. When you include so many redirects in a URL then it could take more time to load the page finally. No one wants to wait until the page loads if it is taking more time to load.
Avoid such situation by limiting your number of redirects to two maxima. Search engine won’t have any problem in jumping form redirects to redirects but it may also affect your website credibility. Google values a website which can offer its users a better experience. Avoid such tricks and try to give the best from your website.
10. Aware of case sensitivity:
There is a chance to get different URLs for the same page based on cases. Sometimes every letter will be uppercase, mixed or lowercase also. If such a situation happens within your website, you can avoid it by using canonicalization. Using canonical tags, you can mark the lower case as your preferred version and redirect the upper-case URL to the lower case one. If you haven’t done anything it will go to 404 error which is also very bad for your SEO.
11. Hyphens and underscores are perfect to use:
You can use hyphens and underscore as word separators than using conjunctions. Long back underscores where not allowed to use in URLs and now this got changed. Now both hyphens and underscores are considering as equally and also word separators can be used to separate words with each other. But space between words can distract readability and it is better to avoid if you can. But if you want to avoid any distraction in your URL then it is better to separate words using hyphens than space or underscore.
All of these can be easy to say but it will take more time to make everything practical. Some of them are very easy to do and some others are hard. But you have to follow the above tips to make your website optimized for search engine. If you are trying to rank your contents better it is very helpful.
Keywords are very useful in your URL to improve their presence online. Simple, short and readable URLs are helpful in optimizing your website for SEO and for better ranking. Have you tried any options before? If yes, then share your experience of implementing SEO-friendly URL on your website contents below.