URL - Uniform Resource Locator

Domain Names - SEO

Search Engine Marketing

Updated: January 24, 2020
By: RSH Web Editorial Staff
URL Structure for SEO

You have designed a very beautiful Website. Your visitors are increasing daily. 90% of the users will visit your website by clicking on your "URL". Is the structure of the actual URL really important? The fact is Yes. The structure of your website URLs is very important, especially for SEO optimization. This article will explain why SEO friendly URLs are important and how you can create a good URL structure for your website

What Is URL Structure?

URL is that part of a link that starts with "HTTP", "HTTPS" and or "WWW". URL is an acronym for Uniform Resource Locator. The URL for your website can be referred to as the address for your webpage, the URL is the most direct way that a person uses to access your website page. URL structures are a replacement of IP address numbers that Web Servers use for communication with other Servers. Unlike the IP addresses most URLs are now readable being in text form. A URL structure has three main parts, a protocol, a domain name and a path. The path consists of the particular sub-folder structure in which the website page is located

Example of a URL Structure

https://rshweb.com/seo-website-tuneup
"https" Is the protocol
"rshweb.com" Is the domain name
"com" Is the top-level domain (TDL)
"seo-website-tuneup" Is the path
- The protocol is an indicator of the manner in which a browser retrieves the information in a webpage. The most standard website protocols are "http://" or "https://", where "s", means "Secure". Some web protocols may also include aspects like "mailto" and "ftp." Mailto is a protocol used for opening the default mail client for your website, while ftp is used for handling all file transfers.
- The domain name is the readable text part of the URL. It indicates the particular location of your website. It can also be referred to as a hostname. The Top-Level Domain (TLD) portrays the category of a website. The most commonly used are .com, but other TLD"s also exists, for instance .edu (used for educational sites) and .gov (used for governmental sites). (See our Alternate Domain Extensions to see a list of some not so comon domains)
- The path of a URL is that part which takes a user to a specific page or file in your website. For instance, using the URL example provided above, if a user were to just type "https://rshweb.com", then this link would take the user to the website"s homepage. However, by including the path in the link, and rather, typing "https://rshweb.com/blog-what-is-web-hosting", then this link would take the user to the specific page on the website which provides information on what a URL structure is. All URLs have been set to a maximum limit of 2,083 characters, so as to be compatible in all browsers. URLs also reflect on your website as a whole, hence the need to be careful and creative when designing URL structures for your website

Why Is the URL Structure Important For SEO?

SEO friendly URLs have 3 main benefits
1) Provides An Improved User Experience
When a URL structure is designed well. It makes it easy for the users and Search Engines to understand what the URL"s webpage is actually about. Even when the title tags of website pages are not clear, good choice URLs make sure to provide clear indications of what information their webpage carry. Take for instance, a user who intends to get information on "Differnt ways to protect your online privacy". A URL structure as follows; "https://rshweb.com/blog-protect-my-privacy" is more likely to appear appealing to the user. Such a well optimized URL will indeed provide the user with a good experience. The end result for such URLs is that they provide their users with an improved online experience. This is because at just a glance of the URL the users can tell what information to expect if they are to click on that specific link

2) Ranking Factors
Search Engines consider URLs as ranking factor to determine specific pages or the relevant webpage resources for search queries. Search Engines do look at the entire domain. However, the keywords used in a URL also play a big part in determining the ranking of the website in search engine optimization. For Google, Bing and other search engines to provide a user the relevant results for a search query, the engines need to have information on what the individual pages on their indexes are all about. In order to find out the information contained in the website pages, the search engines may take a look at the site"s URL. Therefore, URL structures that contain keywords can have some impact on the website"s search visibility. However, URLs may not have much significance on your Website's ability to rank. It will help. But do not start creating URLs just to include keywords in them. Make sure the keywords do indeed match

3) Links
URLs that have good structures can even act as their own anchor texts. This can happen when a user copies a URL and pastes it as a link in blog pages, social media networks, online forum pages, among other online venues. Two benefits may result from this;
First: Most websites, such as the social media websites, do not format any shared links on their platforms. As a result, well structured URLs ( those that can be readable), pass better information on what a user will get upon clicking the links. Such clear information on what they entail will attract more clicks and visits from users, hence, generate more traffic. This is contrary to unoptimized URLs, which will only serve to deter clicks and visits from users
Second: The use of keywords in a URL structure may help in your Website's ranking. This is because the search engines will associate your webpage with the specific terms that you use in your URL. If your URL contains good choices of keywords then chances are that it will be ranked well for relevant information

Tips for Creating A Good URL Structure

It is very important for all website owners to get their URLs right. As already explained well optimized URLs are essential if you are to provide your users with good experiences and also get exposed to the search engines. So, how do you go about creating good URL structures? The following are 6 tips for creating SEO friendly URLs;

1) Match The Page's URL With The Page Title
When it comes to URL structures the automatically generated ones like what WordPress makes are not the best structures to use. These appear like just strings of unreadable gibberish, and could cost you your users and search engine optimization opportunities. When creating your URL you should add readable text that is available on the web page's title to the URL structure. Adding readable text to your structure will provide a user friendly experience to your users and in describing the content of your website. After all people tend to click on things that they understand

2) Follow A Standard URL Structure
Following a standard URL structure is very important since it indicates how your website is organized in overall. You should identify the best folders and sub-folders to use in your URL structure. You should ensure that the chosen folders and sub-folders are portrayed well in each category"s URL page. However when following a standard URL structure you should avoid including too many categories in the structure. This is because many categories only serve to make your URLs more confusing and unclear. Use only one or two main categories in your URL structure and ensure that your URL structures are consistent across the website

3) Keep The URL Structure Short and Simple
The most SEO friendly URLs are short and simple. You should not fill your URL structure with unnecessary wordings and keywords. Doing so will only make your URL SEO unfriendly. Also using many similar wordings in a URL can amount to keyword stuffing; something that could result to your Website's dropping in the search results. Keeping the URL short and simple is advantageous in that it can be easily remembered by users. Shorter URLs are also very easy to type and read, which makes them more user friendly compared to longer URLs. Also fewer wordings in a URL add more value to the URL text, and gives it better chances for ranking top in search engines

4) Use A Primary Keyword
If you already have a website, there must be that particular keyword in your page that you would like to see ranked top in search engines. This keyword describes how users expect to find in your page. A well optimized URL should include a keyword in the structure

5) Separate Words Using Hyphens
One of the URL structure rules is that you can not include a space in its structure. The best practice would to include hyphens between wordings. Separating words using hyphens is important for search engine optimization. This is because most search engines consider these hyphens as indications for breaks between words. They can understand these URL structures and will rank them higher in search results
Example;
SEO friendly URL: https://rshweb.com/blog-what-is-html
SEO unfriendly URL: https://rshweb.com/blog_what_is_html

6) Use Lowercase Letters In URLs
URL structures should never be written using capital letters. This is because capital letters in a URL structure can lead to Search Engines duplicating the URLs. Which can lead to the loss of page ranking. Only lower case letters should be used in a SEO friendly URL
Example;
SEO friendly URL: https://rshweb.com/blog-what-is-a-backlink
SEO unfriendly URL: https://rshweb.com/Blog_What_Is_A_Backlink

Conclusion

Creating that perfect SEO friendly URL structure takes time, effort and proper planning. However the benefits that come with creating good SEO friendly URLs are indeed worth it. You will enjoy improved SEO optimization for your website and provide your visitors with the best online experience ever


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COMMENTS

Susan A
Thank You for a most valuable post. Keep Posting


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