Understanding the URL Structure
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) structure is a way of organizing website URL paths to help search engines (and users) interpret what the page is about.
- include relevant keywords
- organized hierarchically (and logically)
- avoid long strings of text and URL parameters
An easy-to-understand URL structure could look like this: https://www.example.com/category/subcategory/product-name/
The URL includes relevant keywords such as the product name and category, which helps search engines understand the content of the page and its place in the hierarchy of the website.
What Google recommends
Google recommends keeping URL structure short and descriptive, avoiding special characters or URL parameters, using hyphens to separate words in URLs, and using HTTPS whenever possible.
URL structure is a key factor in successful SEO, so it should be given the attention it deserves when creating and optimizing content.
Following Google's recommendations (with examples) will help ensure your URL structure is optimized for SEO success.
Things to avoid in URL structuring
Short vs Long URLs
Even though recommended character length is set at no more than 2,083 characters, choose short URLs over longer URLs.
Static vs Dynamic URLs
Always try to opt for static instead of dynamic URLs. Consistency is more important for ranking.
Using URL parameters, also called query strings in your URL structure should be avoided when possible.
URL parameters are those parts of a web page's address that are usually visible after a question mark (?), ampersand (&), equals (=) (http://example.com?product=12345).
URL parameters are used to track, sort, and filter data but they can also give search engines duplicate pages and make URLs less clickable. This can lead to lower rankings as a result.
Try not to stuff your URL with keywords; it is recommended to include 1 keyword in a URL. In some rare cases, two keywords. But not more than that.
Stop words and characters
Avoid using “stop words” (a, an, and the) and special characters (question marks, apostrophes, exclamation points, asterisks, etc.) in your URL structure.
Benefits of optimized URLs for SEO
Overall, URL structure play a major role in SEO and should be treated with care.
Ultimately, URL structure helps search engines understand the content on a page and users quickly identify the information.
Having a well-crafted and SEO-friendly URL structure can lead to easier navigation for users and, therefore, a better user experience. Optimized URLs can positively impact search engine rankings giving you a valuable edge over your competitors. 📈