URLs

A Uniform Resource Locator, or better known as URL is the address of a website. The URL is one of the main parts of a website that makes it function. URLs affects website rankings due to the keywords that are present. Having a URL that’s simple and easy to remember increases the chances of generating traffic. A well-planned and executed URL can even attract visitors just by the combination of words or phrases used.

There are many SEO factors to consider when choosing a URL for a website. The two points of views to consider are the visitor and the search engine.

URLs And The Visitor

Deciding on a functional URL should be a simple task. When taking visitors into consideration, it is best to keep the URL readable and short. A good URL has a range of 3-5 words. Use words that are easy to spell and have high memory value. Relevancy plays a role in URLs as well. A visitor should be able to have a general idea of what the website is about based on the URL, therefore avoid using numbers.

URL And The Search Engine

URLs carry important information about a website. Crawlers take note of the keywords that are in URLs. That being said, it would be highly advisable to make use of keywords when choosing a URL. Avoid using underscores; instead use dashes when separating words or phrases. URLs are case sensitive therefore, it’s important to take that into consideration.

Planning a smooth URL structure for a website is crucial. This means taking categories into account when using URLs to map out your website. A solid URL map should start off general then gets more specific the deeper or lower the page gets in the site structure. That is the ideal hierarchal flow to work with when applying URLs to a website. Consistency plays a role in URL structure for a website as well. If you already have a naming system for URLs, don’t change it for a particular part of the website.

Once the website is live, its best not to change the URL. If you must, use the 301-redirect method to avoid any penalties (see previous chapter about canonicalization). Using one URL per page is good practice. If possible, avoid using subdomains when dealing with URLs.

Rewriting URLs

In some cases, URLs require rewriting. URL rewriting is done when a dynamic URL is too long and includes odd characters that are not commonly used. There are a number of URL rewrite tools available in order to achieve this. After rewriting, a static URL will be provided that’s shorter with less miscellaneous characters. This is also a good time to apply keywords.

Conclusion

When it comes to URLs, a combination of the two factors above is required for a strong SEO website structure. In order to dominate the SERPs, strategic keywords must be used when dealing with URLs. For more information about strategic keywords, you may refer to the previous chapter about keyword research.

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