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What Is URL SEO?

What Is URL SEO
Seobility

Date First Published: 9th February 2023

Topic: Web Design & Development

Subtopic: SEO

Computer Terms & Definitions

Difficulty: Medium

Difficulty Level: 5/10

CONTENTS

Learn more about what URL SEO is in this article.

URL SEO is the process of optimising URLs for SEO so that they can be understood by users and search engines more easily. Although URLs have little to no impact on SEO as a direct ranking factor, they can indirectly affect SEO in that they influence the behaviour of searchers. For example, a searcher is much more likely to trust and click on a result with a relevant, appealing, and short URL rather than a result with a long, irrelevant, and spammy URL. Following best URL practices for SEO will help to increase organic click-through rate. Also, search engines use URLs all the time to identify and display the location of a page. This is why URLs should be made as SEO-friendly as possible.

Tips For URL SEO

Tips for improving URL SEO are:

  • Use hyphens (-) to separate words rather than underscores (_). This is because underscores cannot be seen when the URL is published as a bare link and they are difficult for search engines to interpret. Also, underscores can easily be mistaken for spaces, which may cause people to incorrectly type in the URL when trying to visit the site.
  • Always use lowercase letters. Some search engines view URLs as case-sensitive, so mixed-case URLs can cause issues. URLs that are different by case can create duplicate content issues.
  • Use accurate keywords relevant to the content of the webpage. Although keywords in URLs themselves do not have a great impact on search engine ranking, they may be a very minor factor. Using accurate keywords in the URL can also help searchers and search engines to understand the content of the page.
  • Use the HTTPS protocol over SSL/TLS rather than insecure HTTP. Secure HTTPS is a confirmed Google ranking factor and has a minor impact on search engine ranking. In addition, HTTPS increases the trust of searchers because they know that they will feel more secure when entering sensitive information. Without using HTTPS, users will become wary of entering any sensitive information.
  • Use a trustworthy TLD, such as .com, .org, .net. Although TLDs are not a direct Google ranking factor, using a well-known TLD rather than a rarely used one, like .gq or .ml will increase the chances of searchers trusting and clicking on the result.
  • Keep the URL short. Short URLs make it easier for users to share content and are more appealing. Ideally, URLs should not be longer than 100 characters. Long URLs can be confusing for users and difficult to memorise.
  • Don't make the URL too complex. This will make it harder for users to share content and may put people off from visiting the website, such as " https://example.com/posts/website0989034859304/ar940te432u90uksjdks-94ijshs.html".
  • To avoid users from getting confused, don't use more than 5 directory levels. Using directories in URLs gives a quick overview of the URL structure of the subpages. In addition, search engine bots limit the number of subdirectories they follow to avoid redirection errors into deep page structures.
  • Remove dynamic parameters in URLs, such as "http://mysite.com/index.php?id=123". These will make URLs harder to read and understand. Also, using dynamic parameters may allow a page to be crawled under multiple URLs, which will cause duplicate content issues.
  • Use a short and memorable domain name.
  • Each time a URL is renamed or removed, always add a 301 redirect so that if the old URL is still in the search results and someone clicks on it, they will automatically be taken to the new URL and won't see a 404 error page, which would be bad for user experience. However, it is also important to avoid having too many redirects or any redirect loops as these can slow down websites. This is the reason why it is important to pick a good URL name when first publishing a page.
  • Consider removing dates from blog posts. Unless the post relates to a specific event or day and it is absolutely necessary to add it, there's no need to add the date to a URL as this will unnecessarily increase the length of the URL. Adding the date could also lead to a decline in click-through rate. For example, searchers are less likely to click on an outdated post that says 2012 in the URL. Also, the date in the URL will have to be updated every time the page is updated, so it is best to not include the date in the URL.


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