Importance of appropriate URL for your site’s structure and SEO

Importance of appropriate URL for your site's structure and SEO

Your domain name is the thing that you buy and register so that people can find your website. Unless you have a one-page website, you are going to have to add URLs. These are the names of your pages and they are added onto the end of your domain name. For example, your domain name may be www.mywebsite.com, and the URL for your “About us” page would be “www.mywebsite.com/about-us”. You are able to name your own web pages, i.e., name your own URLs. Choosing an appropriate URL is important for both your site structure and your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Separate words with hyphens

When you picked your domain name you had to squish your words together, such as the “my” and “website” in “www.mywebsite.com.” But, you do not have to do that with your URLs. You can add a hyphen in between your words so that they are more readable, such as the hyphen between “about” and “us” in “www.mywebsite.com/about-us”. Not only does it make your URL more readable for people, but the words may also be read by the search engines too, so it makes your URL more search engine friendly.

A URL that can be read by humans

This is very important for both SEO reasons and site structure and usability reasons. Firstly, if it can be easily read by humans then it can be read by the search engines so that it helps your SEO. If it can be read by humans then you can add in a keyword or two and help your SEO. It is good for your site structure as it gives a clear definition of where the user is on the website. Each section/category may be separated by the forward slash, and if the user wants to go back a section then he/she need only delete everything after the slash on the address bar and hit enter.

If it can be read by humans then they can get a good idea of what the web page is all about either when they are on it, or when they are looking at the URL on the search engine results page. It makes your website more usable which is good for retaining traffic and for your SEO.

Do not name your pages such as page 1, page 2, etc

This is a bad idea because it gives no indication as to what your page is all about. Neither the user nor the search engine is going to be able to figure out what your web page is all about.  It also makes your website structure more confusing as it is harder to figure out what pages are attached to what categories. The same goes for using symbols and redirects in your URLs, as they make it harder for both the user and the search engines.

Add a relevant keyword or two into your URL

 If your web page is going to be optimized for a few keywords, then try to naturally insert a keyword or two into the URL. For example, using the keywords “housing”, “affordable” and “homes” should not look like, “www.mywebsite.com/affordable-housing-homes?” It should look like, ““www.mywebsite.com/Housing-and-affordable-starter-homes”. Writing your URL like that is more readable and avoids any keyword stuffing penalties that Google may dispense.

Do not buy a domain name with keywords in

 Given the advice you have just read, you may be tempted to create/buy a domain name with keywords in it, but that is a big mistake. Your keywords are going to change over time as your website matures, your business matures, the market changes or your Internet demographics grows. If you have a keyword in your domain name then you are stuck with it. If you put keywords in your web page URLs then they may fall out of fashion but only that page will go down in the search engine results pages and not your whole website. Plus, if a certain keyword starts to add a drag factor to your SEO then you can delete the page (URL) but you cannot delete your domain name.

Make it easy to see what category you are in via the URL

Let’s say if you have a home page (your domain name), your category and then a sub category, you can show all of this with your URLs so that it is clear where you are on the website. For example, “www.mywebsite.com/home-furnishings/sofas-and-seating”. By looking at that URL you can tell that you are in the “Home furnishings” category and in the sub category for sofas and seating.

You can use adjectives, adverbs, adjuncts, disjuncts, conjuncts, etc

 Some online articles are going to tell you not to use words such as “and”, “very”, “if”, etc, because they are not keywords. But, they are still part of making your website more usable and your navigation easier. Using such words does no harm to your SEO, so there is no excuse at all for not using them. The search engines are smart enough to know that these words are not keywords, so you have nothing to fear in using them.

Do not make your URL too long

This is going to make it harder to read, and it may end up having parts of it cut off when it appears on the search engine results. Just a few words is good enough, as any more may be confusing for your viewers and probably won’t do your SEO much good if you do it too often.

This post is written by Kate Funk. She is a professional blogger and writer at Tutorsclass. She specializes in topics of interest to techno geeks and networking enthusiasts.

 

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