Webpages URLs are among the most important aspects of search engine optimization. It not only helps visitors to understand more about a page but also helps search engines to crawl better. How much weightage a URL carries is always a matter of debate, however, having an SEO-optimized URL structure does help a website.
From time to time, Google has said that optimizing URLs with keywords does not carry that much SEO ranking impact. But, it has been noticed from time to time after every major update that keywords in the URL do matter and it has a reason behind it.
It’s beneficial for websites to optimize URL structure for SEO services as it improves the overall user experience and better UX always leads to better ranking and authority. If you are also planning to optimize your website’s URL structure then we are here to help. In this post, we will have a look at important aspects of how to build an SEO-friendly URL structure and gain more search traction.
Use lowercase letters
Follow the standardized format while creating URLs for your website and always ensure the letters are in lowercase. It has nothing to do directly with the search engine rankings but it impacts the user experience a lot. When users find the entire URL in caps, it becomes difficult and strange to read it comfortably the first time. Some users might also think of it as not an authoritative source to browse the content.
So, it’s always better to use lowercase letters in URLs to make them reader-friendly and ensure they are easier to read. Most of the servers don’t have a problem reading and processing the mixed case URLs but having URLs in a standardized format.
Avoid using underscores
Most website owners make the mistake of using underscore instead of hyphen and it reduces the user experience. The main reason behind this is that the underscores are not visible in the URL structure when it’s published. On the other hand, hyphens are visible and it makes the URL structure readable and easy to understand.
However, it’s important that you should keep the URL shorter and precise as it will not feel significantly lengthy for readers. Along with hyphens, if you can use the pathname in the URL in which the category is also visible, it’s also a convenient structure. Users can easily navigate around categories and find content that they are looking for on your website.
Pay attention to categories
Many people make the mistake of using less relevant keywords for the categories of their website but this mistake loses the SEO rankings. It is because categories also matter similar to the main content and it should have highly targeted and main focused keywords into it.
It happens several times that keywords in a category helps businesses rank for a particular search query and attracts more organic traffic. It’s a good practice to use highly targeted keywords in both main page URLs and in categories of your website. One thing you need to ensure is that you don’t include too many subcategories in the URL unless it’s very important like for an eCommerce business. As one product might have multiple sizes and colors, in that case having a long URL with multiple categories will work.
Futureproof your website URLs
SEO optimized URLs also start ranking over a period of time and you should always focus on creating an evergreen SEO URL structure. It’s important because when a URL has a month or year in it, then over a period, it will start losing its recency. Despite having relevant information, users might search for another website that has recent content.
So, avoid adding dates and years to your website URL and ensure they stay relevant and rank for the targeted keyword. You can use dates and years if the content is related to a specific historical incident, but while using general keywords in the URL, keep it without specific dates.
The last but also important thing that you need to know is the ideal URL length to make it more optimized for the search engines. The ideal SEO URL length should be around 50 to 60 characters as it’s fully visible on the SERPs and helps users and search bots understand the page.
For exceptional cases where you have to keep the URL lengthy, then it’s completely fine to do so as it will improve the overall user experience. But in most cases, it’s always recommended to keep the URL length between 50 to 60 characters. If you’re using a CMS then always check the default URL structure and set it to customers so that you can edit it as you need.
These are important tips that you can follow to optimize the URL structure for search engines and gain more attraction from the organic traffic.