URLs are prime ranking factors. A proper URL structure improves a website’s rankings and makes it more user and search engine friendly. So, use it as a starting point to empower your website.
Here are a few technical aspects (URL structure) that should be included in your SEO:
- Keep your URLs simple – Keep your site’s URL as simple, logical and readable as possible. Complex and too long URLs can confuse users as well as search engines. (Tip – Keep your URLs short and memorable to improve crawl rates.)
- Use hyphens – Punctuation is important. Use hyphens in your URLs rather than underscores. This is important to gain rankings in SERP. (Google recommends hyphens.)
- Consider URL case – Developers often ignore this concept. You should use lower case version in your URL patterns. (Tip – If you have both the versions on your website, prefer redirection to the lower case URLs.)
- Avoid using a, an, the in your URL structure – These are known as “stop words” and should not be used in URL structure of your website. So, avoid them.
- Include keywords – Add keywords or key phrases in URL structure to gain prominence from search engines.
- Use robots.txt – Use robots.txt to stop web crawlers to crawl certain pages of your website. This file also helps you to improve the experience of web crawlers.
- Use Webmaster tool – Use Webmaster tool to check manual actions, HTML improvements and duplicate titles.
- Redirections – Never use too many redirections because it may confuse users as well as search engines.
- Avoid keyword stuffing – Some optimisers stuff their keywords in URLs, which is a bad practice. So, keep your URLs logical.
- Avoid parameters – Always avoid unnecessary URL parameters to keep your URLs clean and clear.
So, follow these URL structure rules to strengthen your website’s architecture.
- Pages that use URLs with keywords often rank higher.
- Use hyphens to separate words for readability.
- Use Open Site Explorer to research backlinks, identify top pages, view social activity, and analyse anchor text.
- A URL should always be shorter than 2083 characters.
- Use actual words in URLs rather than long ID numbers.
- Session Ids can create massive amounts of duplication, avoid it.
- Trim unnecessary parameters.
- Avoid using high number of slashes in URLs.