In a website, the URL’s are considered as the building blocks and they have the capability to drive in more traffic. The very first aspect the user tends to see is the URL and hence considered as the main element of on-page SEO. There are more chances to get an edge over the competition and elevate to higher ranking with an appropriate URL structure. In order to draft a perfect URL structure, the following aspects need to be considered.
Perfect URL Structure for SEO – 21 Tips to Follow:
1. Simple and short URL’s:
URL’s must be to the point and simple. It would be great avoiding the use of too many keywords and adding too many characters. It is also suggested to avoid the repetition of keywords in the URL. Many users do not go to the URL in a direct way instead make use of bookmarks or links. Hence the URL should be reasonable so that users can remember.
2. Using keywords in URL structure:
The right keywords are to be utilized in order to make your website URL friendly. It is in the search results the URL appears and the right keywords in it will gain you a better rank. Tools like SEMrush and Moz keyword explorer are the perfect tools to get the appropriate keywords. They gain you high search volumes and low competition keywords. A single word or two word keywords in this collaboration is mandatory and for the same reason, long tail keywords are to be used. It would be suggested to use keywords at the beginning of the URL.
3. Relevant URL is perfect:
There are many websites that make use of automatically generated URL’s. This means the URL is bouncing SEO chances also develop uncertainty in the visitor’s mind. It is hence mandatory to customize the URL appropriate to the website page.
4. Simply readable:
The URL’s must make sense as they are read by both humans and search engines. The URL must be designed in a manner such that; the user can identify from the URL the searching aspect. A perfect URL contains domains, subdomains and also keywords. It is important to monitor, it does not fall under the spam list. The URL must be accessible where it is easy for search engines and users to read it.
5. Standard URL structure:
It is necessary to determine the subcategories and categories to be used in the URL. The way to portray the URL on the website should also be determined. The URL should never be too complicated as the URL can be bogged down and also lead to confusion. The main categories that are necessary and linked to the organization are to be used.
6. Stop words to be avoided:
The main words in the URL are connected by means of stop words as they make sense. Few stop words are the, as, of, at, an, a, on, etc. As search engines disregard them, stop words it is mandatory to avoid them in the URL. Stop words can be used if they are necessary and want to make a readable URL otherwise they can be dropped.
7. Usage of canonical URL’s:
Duplicate contents can be created unintentionally by dynamic pages. To avoid getting penalized for accidental aspects, canonical URL’s can be utilized. There are ways to make use of canonical URL’s. In a dynamic content if you wish your URL to be a preferred one, in spite of others accessing the same. It is time to add a canonical link to the head of the page that holds similar content. By this way, the search engine would index only the start of the URL.
For a preferred domain redirect, the www.your domain.com and yourdomain.com are looked as two varied websites by the search engine. This is done when you desire search engines and Google to avert detecting duplicate content.
8. Words are separated with hyphens:
The URL cannot include spaces and hence making use of hyphens to separate words is the best SEO practice. By this way, the breaks amongst words are indicated to Google. By this way, it is easy and simple for users to understand the URL.
9. Mobile URL’s to site map can be added:
When pages are mobile friendly they are sure to rank higher in search results for mobile. Mobile-friendly pages are to be indicated in the site map and are not needed as there are many pages that are responsive. It is always perfect to add responsive mobile URL’s in site maps.
10. Characters and words with a super flow to be avoided:
It is true that the user can understand the subject of your page, by taking a look at the URL. It is suggested to avoid the usage of conjunction and preposition in the URL. Your URL can avoid words such as “the” or “and” etc. There are a few aspects that need to be remembered regarding this topic.
URL length: URL’s will be truncated in Google’s search results after 512 pixels. Hence URL must be maintained short and it should never leave its meaning.
Hashes: In order to reach a particular section on a page, hashes can be utilized. The other use of a hash is that the usage is restricted to other scenarios also.
Word delimiters: Hyphens can be best used to separate word in the URL. It is good to remember that underscores are utilized when two words are to be linked. Hence make use of it with proper understanding.
11. Dynamic parameters can be excluded:
If there is a possibility to avert URL parameters, it can be done. When URL parameters are more than one, then it should be rewritten as text, readable or static. This process can be sorted out with tools such as MS URL rewrite module, ISAPI rewrite, and mod_rewrite. For the purpose of tracking clicks a few dynamic parameters are utilized. Though these aspects are not a very big issue, they do represent a long URL. Hence tracking parameters would surely benefit.
12. Unnecessary punctuations to be removed:
Too much punctuation in an URL can lead to misperception, hence needs to be removed. Apart from being tough to read, these punctuations also break crawlers and web browsers. There are certain special characters where encoding isn’t necessary while using in URL. Alphanumeric is permitted to be used in the URL. It would be suggested to avoid making use of punctuations when not required.
13. Top folders with top content:
The web pages that are available in the root folder are measured as top level content and also as the best content by the search engines. Hence structuring the URL must be done in a strategic and careful manner. The importance of the page should be reflected in the URL. For more authority it is http://domain.com/target-keyword, for less authority, it is http://domain.com/category/subcategory/target keyword
14. Special characters to be avoided:
Special characters such as tilde, hash, sign, backslash, etc. can be avoided in the URL. There are chances of security risks and hence need to be avoided. Malicious cyber-attacks are to be prevented and hence ASCII control characters, safe characters, reserved characters, non-ASCII characters, and unsafe characters can be used. In order to separate words in the URL, it is perfect to make use of hyphens instead of underscores. The main reason is that Google never reads underscores and hence the URL words are presented illegibly. On the other hand, It reads hyphens as separators.
15. Opting a top level domain:
A friendly URL structure should make use of the top level domain as it is considered the finest. This means that making use of .com is recommended rather than .biz, .tel, .pro etc. It isn’t a fault to use other extensions instead of .com, but there is an impact in ranking and users also trust the .com sites.
16. Choose HTTPS:
There is a huge rise in identity theft and cybercrime; hence internet security is at high risk. Users are to be provided with a secured connection. It is hence suggested to make use of HTTPS instead of HTTP. HTTPS is an advanced version of secured protocol when compared with HTTP. The main idea is that the data on the site is encrypted and is safe. The benefit is that the users find it easy and use of HTTP is also a ranking aspect. Encryption is mainly important for sites with shopping and where user information needs to be provided.
17. Redirection hops to be limited to two or less:
Any crawler or user can request URL A and get redirected to URL B and also to C. But it is important to remember that URL strings with more than two hops would land you in issues. Bigger redirect jumps are tracked by search engines and at times they may not count ranking signals of URL redirected completely. The main issue is the users and browsers and with longer redirects, they are slowed down. It is hence important to have minimum redirections so that fewer problems are experienced.
18. Case sensitivity to be focused:
There are a few issues and challenges to be faced with case sensitivity. You can be in the clear field when using IIS servers/ Microsoft etc. There are issues while LINUX/UNIX with case sensitivity. It would be advisable to choose tools like .htaccess rewrite protocols when such issues are faced.
19. Shorter URLs:
It is advisable to use a short URL rather than long ones. URL with 50 to 60 characters is perfect rather 100 or additional characters. This is an issue with the user experience and not with search engines. Short URLs are preferred as they offer you with an overall complete aesthetics. The benefit of using a shorter URL is that it can be typed easily and shared in any medium.
20. Single URL for the homepage:
Your websites key page is the home page and is considered to be authoritative. This is one of the key reasons for your home page to have a single URL. Compared to other pages, the home page is the one that gets the number of inbound links. This drives in more traffic. Thus a canonical URL that is straightforward and simple is required. There should be no links made to other pages. It is equally important to know if there are any 301 redirects it should direct to the main page.
21. XML site map:
XML to Google must be submitted after all the above-mentioned tips are followed and executed. By this way, Google will view your site structure and crawl all your pages. This submission can be done from your Google search console, in this way you can be sure that all your pages are indexed in the right way. This is one way to reach good results.
Having an appropriate URL structure is important for any SEO. For any SEO expert, the URL is the key aspect that holds more data apart from the location of the web page. The URL structure is one that provides more information about the target market, page content and the reason. Structuring the URL can be a tricky aspect as there are many variables to be focused so that both the users as well as the search engine are benefitted. The technical aspects such as obtaining an SSL certificate and opting for top-level domains are important too. This will make sure that the site is safe.
With all these aspects in mind, a URL is to be structured. The above-mentioned tips along with few more can be followed. Run research online and get to know what experts say about best URL structures for SEO.
Pen down the tips and design your URL. Such tips make sure the ranking is boosted and you gain in more traffic. The tips discussed above are beneficial in developing an SEO friendly URL. With all the best objectives in mind, URLs are to be designed for a successful website. Plan and draft a perfect URL structure to stand out of the competition.