Creating Successful URLs
Although a URL will not make or break a landing page’s SEO score it can have some positive affects on the page. There are a few tips that can help build proper URLs and ultimately help click thru rate and rankings.
- Be descriptive. One of the best practices is to describe the page through the URL. If the user can see the URL address and gather an idea of what the page is about, you have built a successful URL. When a URL is shared users can see what they are about to view, which can influence if they click or not. If a human can distinguish what the page is about by the URL, the search engines can as well.
- Don’t get carried away. Although you want to be descriptive, you also will want to keep the URL relatively short. This makes it easier to copy and paste, write down, or share through conversation.
- Cut the numbers. It is best practice to avoid number, unless related to the post. Use words rather than numbers to categorize pages.
- Don’t forget the keywords. Adding keywords into the URL will help users know the page they are about to click on is relevant. When a URL is shown in the search results the keyword being searched with show bold, letting users know this page has information related to their search. Like title tags, avoid keyword stuffing the URL, this can appear spammy and confuse users.
- Separating the terms. When separating words in the URL avoid using spaces (or %20), best practice is to use hyphens (-) to separate words.
- Stop capitalizing. Although URLs accept capitalized letters, it is best to avoid these. Use only lower case, and if you have any URLs with uppercase letters 301 these pages to a fixed URL.
- Don’t worry about file extensions. File extensions like .html or .php are not necessary. Removing these from your URLs will not have any negative or positive effects.
Keep your URLs consistent for search engine optimization reasons.
By following these simple tips you can build consistent URLs that both users and search engines can easily read. The trick is to not over think the concept, keep it simple. Although taking the steps above will not be the answer to all your search engine optimization questions, it is a great starting point.