SEO Best Practices for Structuring URLs

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 30, 2015

Every aspect of your web presence is a part of your search engine optimization campaign, especially the shaping of your URL. Aside from being the true first impression that your business, your URL is also a market for the major search engines that tells them what your site is about. Here are some of the best practices that you can implement today for your URL.

First, make sure that your URL is clear and short.

The shorter that your URL is, the better. First of all, this makes it much easier for your customers to type it in. You will not have to purchase as many complementary URLs in order to keep your competition from making websites that are contrary to yours and redirect your traffic using similar URLs.

Having a clear URL will also help the major search engines to index your overall theme. As long as you follow the rules for keyword processing within your site content, you will have a much easier time creating a niche for yourself within the major search engines. You will more quickly be able to amass a high Google PageRank and provide link juice to any of the subsequent deep webpages that you will build for future products and other marketing tools such as blogs.

Having a clear URL will also reassure site visitors as to what they are actually visiting. Because of this, you will have a much higher click through rate and stickiness rate. This will translate into a higher search engine ranking if it is kept stable over time.

Second, try to include one of your main keywords in your URL if at all possible.

Do not force any of your main keywords into your URL if it will make your URL long and awkward. However, if you can do it, make sure that you do. The major search engines look at the URL above any other tag that you can put in your site content including headline tags, bold tags or italicized text. Your website can gain a great deal of credibility in a certain niche keyword if you are able to include it in your URL and keep your website relevant for the initial 6 to 12 month “trial period” that the search engines implement for all new websites.

You also be able to link other websites to this URL without having to overcompensate with keywords – you already have it covered in the base URL of the website.

Third, use real words instead of parameters.

When you begin to create deep web links, you will usually have an option for creating parameters. Parameters show up as strings of digits which really mean nothing to the major search engines other than a basic indexing feature. You will not lose out on anything if you change these parameters to other short, relevant keywords that can serve as markers for the major search engines to index your content more precisely.

Fourth, make sure that every webpage on your site has only one URL.

If you have duplicate URLs on one webpage, then you have created a duplicate website as far as the major search engines are concerned. This is a big no-no in the age of Google Penguin and Panda. If you have a site map, make sure that you go through it every so often and delete any duplicate pages that you may have created by accident. This will help your search engine ranking immensely. It will also make you go through your deep links and correct any parameter mistakes that you may have made in the naming process.