Developing a URL Structure for SEO
Since each web page has a unique address, having an organized URL structure for SEO is absolutely necessary. The right URL naming strategy will positively impact technical SEO performance but will also improve the user experience on both the website and in the SERP, is integral to SEO topic clustering, and makes an SEO migration that much easier.
And like most things SEO-related, we need to know what Google is thinking to help inform a strategic approach. A recent article from Search Engine Journal took a closer look at URL structure through the tiny clues that Google has admitted publicly over the years. Combine these statements with generally recognized industry best practices for URL structures, and we have a solid foundation for building a proper URL structure for a website.
A few recommendations from the article resonated with our team:
URL Includes Keywords
Including keywords in a URL is a small-known SEO ranking factor. The benefit of incorporating keywords into a URL is in improving the user experience. Users can form an expectation about what the content is about by reading the URL.
Standardizing URL Structure
Create consistency by standardizing URL’s. Standardization creates a consistent user experience, minimizes errors in page creation and makes reporting clear. A few recommendations to follow:
- All characters should be lowercase.
- Use of hyphens instead of underscores.
- Avoid including dates or years.
Accuracy Over Volume
Use keywords in the URL that are accurate and relevant to the content in that website section. Focus on using the keywords to provide the most accurate user experience instead of the highest traffic volume.
Exclude Unnecessary Keywords
Exclude words that aren’t necessary to a user in a URL. For example, “category” or “tag” should typically not be included.
Shorter URLs Are Better
In most cases, the shorter the URL is the better. Shorter URLs are easier to share and read while also contributing to a simplified user experience.
Create An Intuitive Structure
Use an easy-to-understand file structure for categorizing URLs. Having an organized approach, similar to what is used on a computer desktop, helps from both an SEO and UX perspective in SEO siloing.
Not sure how to begin addressing problems with your website’s URL structure? Contact us, and we’re happy to help.