Even in the face of fierce competition, optimizing your website for search engines will guarantee consistent, long-term traffic to the site. Yes, you may not have control over many SEO factors, such as who your competitors are and what they are doing. But you can still benefit from on-page optimization, which is very much in your control.
One on-page best practice that’s actually stood the test of time is URL optimization. Although it may look insignificant to many site owners and content creators, it can deliver a huge benefit to your site SEO-wise.
So, let’s talk about how you can help your pages and posts rank better on search engines by optimizing your URLs.
URL Optimization; Does It Really Matter?
Yes, a well-structured SEO-friendly URL is important for both search engine and user experience. Such URLs look concise and clean. They are easier to share and provide enough information for search engines about the page.
While search engines factor many variables into their decision-making process, URLs are an important part of it all. Therefore, optimizing your URLs will go a long way to help your pages rank higher while giving your site an overall boost.
How to Optimize URLs for SEO and Increase Rankings in SERPs
Are you looking to make your website more successful? One of the best ways to do that is to optimize your URLs for SEO. Improving the structure and layout of website URLs can greatly help improve organic search traffic, click through rate, and rankings in SERPs.
The first thing you should consider when optimizing URLs is the structure and length. As a general rule, shorter web page addresses are better than longer ones since they are easier for users to remember and link directly to. Additionally, shorter URLs can also reduce file size, which makes them load faster, which helps with user experience and ranking signals from major search engines like Google. When it comes to structure, try using hyphens rather than underscores between words as this will make it easier for search engine crawlers to crawl your site correctly.
Another factor in optimizing URLs is using HTTPS versus HTTP as websites that switch over to HTTPS have seen an increase in organic visibility as well as click-through rate on queries. This is due largely in part because HTTPS has become a ranking signal since its implementation back in 2018 by Google Chrome and other popular search engines like Yahoo! & Bing. In addition, when structuring your subdomain, be sure that it’s relevant to the content of your post or website so that users know what they are getting into before they click the link.
Lastly, when creating URL structures, try making them descriptive yet short so that both crawlers and users can quickly understand what the page is about before clicking on it. If done correctly, this can help with SERP rankings by providing more context around what type of queries may lead people towards something related to your page or post. Plus, it’s always good practice to include keywords within your URL so that you can get an added boost from potential keyword ranking opportunities.
By following these steps, you should be able to effectively optimize your URLs for SEO, which can help improve website traffic, click-through rates, and overall rankings in SERPs. So if you want to reap these benefits, then get started today by optimizing all of the important pages on your website or blog!
What Is a URL Slug?
A URL slug is part of a URL that identifies the particular page or post within a website. It is typically located after the domain name, and before any query string parameters. A good URL slug should be easy to read and remember, as it is generally used in link building and search engine optimization (SEO).
One important thing to consider when creating a URL slug is that it should contain relevant keywords and phrases that are related to the content of your page or post. This will help search engines better understand what your page or post is about, increasing its chances for higher rankings and increased visibility. Additionally, including keywords in your URL slugs can help users better understand the page or post simply by looking at the URL they are visiting.
When selecting appropriate words for your slugs, be sure not to include too many unrelated words as this could lead to an overly long URL that might not make sense to users. Similarly, try not to use any stop words such as “a”, “the”, “of” etc, as they are generally ignored by search engines when indexing web pages.
Finally, it can also be beneficial to use hyphens rather than underscores when separating words in your URLs, as search engine spiders can more easily distinguish between separate words when using hyphens instead of underscores. This again helps with SEO by providing greater clarity about what each word within the slug means.
Overall, choosing an effective URL slug for your web pages or posts is an important step in ensuring that your content does well with SEO. By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure that you’re creating optimized URLs that give users a better understanding of what they will find on each page or post while also helping them come up higher in SERPs!
Are Keywords in URLs Used for Ranking?
When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), website owners often ask whether keywords in URLs are used for ranking. The short answer is yes, keywords in URLs can have an impact on SEO rankings.
It is important to understand that the use of keywords in a URL does not guarantee higher search engine rankings. Rather, how you use them will determine how much impact they have on your SEO strategy.
With that said, having relevant and descriptive words can help make a web page easier to find by both search engines and humans. For example, if you are selling running shoes, then including the words “running shoes” in the URL of your product page helps users and search engines easily identify what you are offering. In addition, when someone searches for running shoes, having this keyword in the URL of your page can increase its chances of showing up higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Keywords can also be used to prioritize order when creating a sitemap or emphasizing certain pages over others. By using specific keywords or phrases within the URL structure of a web page, it can help improve its discoverability as well as its relevance within SERPs. Additionally, research indicates that long-tail keywords (i.e., three or more words) provide more value than shorter ones (i.e., two words).
Furthermore, URLs should be kept short and easy to read for both users and search engines alike. This means avoiding long strings of characters or numbers that don’t make sense from a user perspective; instead use keywords that enhance readability. Additionally, hyphens should be used instead of underscores to separate words within the URL so browsers can easily interpret them correctly.
Ultimately, although keyword placement within URLs may not dramatically affect SEO rankings, including them does have some benefits and should be included as part of any effective SEO strategy. Utilizing longer-tail keywords along with easy-to-read URLs may help boost organic traffic—which is always good news for website owners!
Benefits of Optimizing Your URLs
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital part of any successful website or online business. Optimizing your URLs can greatly improve your SEO efforts, helping your pages appear higher in organic search engine results and draw more traffic to your site. Here are just a few of the many benefits of optimizing your URLs for SEO.
1) Improved User Experience: A well-crafted URL can provide more information about a page’s content, making it easier for visitors to figure out where they are on your site and if it’s relevant to their interests. This improved user experience encourages people to stay on the page longer, increasing the chances that they’ll convert into customers.
2) Easier Crawling and Indexing: Search engines have difficulty crawling long URLs with multiple parameters, so including keywords in your URL can help them identify what the page is about and whether it should be indexed for search results. This can give you an edge over competitors who neglect this crucial step.
3) Brand Recognition: Including relevant keywords in the URL ensures that people searching those terms will come across your brand before anyone else’s. It also makes it easy for users to remember the address of a specific page, which helps boost visits from repeat visitors and encourages sharing.
Optimizing URLs is just one strategy you can use to improve your website’s ranking on search engine result pages (SERP). Along with keyword-rich content, optimized metadata, and backlinks from authoritative sources, optimizing URLs is an essential tool for improving organic visibility in searches and driving more traffic to your website.
Best Practices for Creating SEO Friendly URLs
#1: Keep it as simple as possible
If you can’t read every word in your URL, why do you think search engines would? Search engines understand that users read the URLs before clicking, and that will be a problem if your URL is not readable.
As they read the content on your page, search engines also read the words in the URLs. This helps them understand your content, so they can connect you to the right target audience.
For example, which of the URLs below do you think will give you the best result when looking to buy a brown leather jacket?
Of course, you will go for the first URL; so also will search engines.
#2: Include keywords in the URLs
You should always include your target keyword or phrase in the URL and not only in the body of the page. It is also important that the keyword be positioned at the beginning of the URL. This is because search engine spiders give less significance to words towards the end of a URL.
However, be careful not to use too many keywords in the URL. It is called keyword stuffing – and that will lead us to the next point about creating SEO-friendly URLs.
#3: Don’t keyword stuff the URL
It can be tempting to want to include multiple keywords in the URL. This is especially true when the page is useful for a number of different keywords. But that is not a good practice, and search engines usually penalize users for doing it.
Keyword stuffing will harm your SEO, so don’t do it. Instead of trying to squeeze multiple keywords into the URL slug, choose just one of the keywords and let the content of the page drive the rest of the conversion.=
#4: Separate words with hyphen, not underscore
When optimizing your URLs, the way you separate words is very important. Instead of using underscore to separate the words in your URL, consider using a hyphen. This is because Google robots are designed in such a way that they read hyphens as spaces between words but read words connected by an underscore as one word.
So if you would like to increase your chance of getting ranked, you need to pay special attention to this rule. See what we mean in the example below:
- Correct: http://yourdomain.com/brown-leather-jacket
- Incorrect: http://yourdomain.com/brown_leather_jacket
#5: Don’t use capital letters and special characters in your URLs
Capital letters in URLs will only confuse both search engines and readers. They can make it exponentially difficult to understand your URL. At the same time, avoid using special characters and symbols in your URLs.
Special characters and symbols can break your links, so it’s better to avoid them completely. Even if you use “&” in your page title, you don’t have to use that in your URL, too.
#6: Avoid using dynamic URLs
A dynamic URL is automatically generated when your page is loaded, and usually contains unnecessary parameters that can cause crawling issues. Such parameters could include “=,” “&,” and “?”.
Instead, use a static URL that stays consistent every time your page is accessed.
#7: Limit the number of folders in your URL structure
Be careful not to load your URLs with unnecessary folders. Instead, use only the amount of folders that are needed in your URL structure. Remember, URL structure can signal the importance of a page on your site.
#8: Block bad URLs with Robots.txt
Duplicate content on your site can get you penalized. So, avoid this by blocking search engines from indexing multiple URLs to the same content. Sometimes, duplicate URLs of a particular content may be generated on your site, especially if you have features creating filters on your site. But you can block extra dynamic URLs that could be generated by these features with Robots.txt.
#9: Add mobile URLs to a sitemap
Some people may argue that if your site is responsive, you don’t need to indicate mobile-friendly pages on the site. Well, it is better to be on the safer side. So, tell major search engines like Google which pages on your site are mobile-friendly in a sitemap.
Remember, mobile-friendly pages have a better chance of ranking higher in mobile search results. And more than 60% of searches conducted today are done from mobile devices. Hope you get the gist!
If you must change a URL for any reason, remember to let search engines know about this change, too. Changing a URL means you are removing a page that has already been indexed and other sites have linked to. That can cause you to lose your high-ranking position on search engines because they won’t be able to find the page again.
But you can prevent that from happening by implementing a 301 redirect on the old URL to notify Google bots that the page has moved to a new destination.
#11: Use canonical URLs
Duplicate content can be accidentally created on your site, and it can get you penalized by search engines. Prevent this from happening by using canonical URLs to specify which of the URLs you want the search robot to index.
3 different ways to do it:
Use dynamic content
When multiple URLs have been created for the same content on your site, you can tell search engines which of the URLs should be chosen as preferred. Just locate all the other URLs and add a rel=”canonical” element in the head of the pages except the one you want to use as preferred.
Example: <link rel=”canonical” href=http://yourdomain.com/brown-leather-jacket”/>
Use preferred domain redirect
Surprisingly, search engines will see yourdomain.com and www.yourdomain.com as two different websites. So, avoid the issue of duplicate content by setting your preferred domain redirect as either www.yourdomain.com or yourdomain.com. This will redirect your non-preferred domain to your preferred domain.
Canonicalize your IP
This is another way to resolve the issue of duplicate content and avoid getting penalized. Simply redirect your IP address to your preferred domain. That way, search engines won’t be seeing your IP address and your website as two different websites with the same exact content.
Help your site rank higher in search engines by optimizing your URLs for SEO. While there may be many factors involved in deciding if a page ranks or not, a well-optimized URL plays a crucial role..