The Best URL Structure for SEO

Uniform Resource Locator
Domain Names - SEO

Search Engine Optimization for Marketing

Updated: June 2, 2022
By: RSH Web Editorial Staff
URL Structure for SEO
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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 significant, especially for SEO optimization. This article will explain why SEO friendly URLs are essential, and how you can create a good URL structure for your website.

What Is URL Structure?

A URL is nothing more than the address of a given unique resource on the Internet, normally to a website. 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 address, most URLs are now readable, being in text form.

A URL structure has three main parts. A protocol, a domain name and a path.

Example of a URL Structure

https://rshweb.com/blog-url-for-seo.

HTTPS Is the protocol
WWW Is just a subdomain. No longer needed with domains
rshweb Is the second domain name
.com Is the top-level domain (TDL)
/blog-url-for-seo Can be the path or file name.

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 Internet 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 (file transfer protocol) 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 TLDs also exist, 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 common 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 such as
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 is Web Hosting.
All URLs have been set to a maximum limit of 2,083 characters as to be compatible in all browsers. URLs also will reflect on your website as a whole.

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Why Is the URL Structure Important For SEO?

SEO friendly URLs have 3 main benefits.

• 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 web page is actually about. Even when the title tags of website pages are not clear, good URLs will provide clear indications of what information their web pages are all about.

Take, for instance, a user who intends to get information on Different Ways to Protect your Online Privacy. Such a URL structure as https://rshweb.com/blog-protect-my-privacy is more likely to be appealing to the user. Such a well optimized URL will indeed provide the user with a good experience. The end result is that these URLs provide what information to expect if they are to click on that specific link.

• Ranking Factors

Search Engines consider URLs as ranking factors to determine specific pages or the relevant web page resource. Search Engines may not look at the entire domain. But the keywords used in a URL will 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 URL. URL structures that contain keywords can have some impact on the website search visibility. URLs may not have much significance on your Website ability to rank. But it will help. Do not start creating URLs just to include keywords in them. Google is much too smart for this. Make sure the keywords do indeed match.

• 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, and other online venues.

Two benefits will result from this
First, most websites, such as social media websites, do not re-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 and generate more traffic. This is contrary to unoptimized URLs, which will only serve to deter clicks from users.

Second, the use of keywords in a URL structure can help in your Website's ranking. This is because the search engines will associate your web page 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.

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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.
How do you create good URL structures?
The following are 6 tips for creating SEO friendly URLs.

• 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.

• 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 page. However, when following a standard site structure, you should avoid including too many categories. 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.

• 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 in 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.

• 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.

• 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 can be 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?=24-33.

• 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/352-?-/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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