How to Create SEO-Friendly URLs – The Ultimate Guide

seo-friendly-url

First impressions count.

When it comes to your site, your URLs are often the first thing Google and visitors will see.

What are SEO friendly URLs?

Each site has its URL which means URLs help describe a website to search engines and potential users. That is the reason URLs should be accurate, clear, concise and well-structured.

Whenever you visit any site, do you get the exact information for which you clicked on the site link? If yes, then it means URLs are SEO friendly because these URLs are designed to meet the needs of users and searchers. Significantly, URLs optimized for SEO tend to be short and keyword rich.

Why are URLs important for SEO?

Search engines use your web pages URL to understand what your content is all about. Moreover, URLs are a major ranking factor search engines use while determining a specific web page or resource’s relevance to a search query.

What Is URL Structure?

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a web page address. Part of the URL structure is made up of a domain name as well as subdomain name, for example,

  • https://www.shudhknowledge.com/
  • https://blog.shudhknowledge.com/

The other part of a page URL is made up of text that indicates a unique page or post. This is also referred to as a permalink. In the below example, this text is in bold.

  • https://blog.shudhknowledge.com/create-complete-seo-audit-report/

Best Practices for Creating SEO-friendly URLs

1  Select a high-level domain first

The domain name is the first step of creating a URL structure. Using the top level domain name make people trust your website. This simply means that it is ideal to use a “.com” domain rather than “.biz,” “.pro,” “.tel,” etc. I am not saying that you are doomed if you use something besides “.com” for your domain.

tld

In fact, TLD does not directly impact rankings. But what it tend to do is increase trust for users. And this is huge. When user trust your domain, it will stream down and positively affect your overall SEO.

2  HTTPS is ideal

HTTPS has more to do with online security than web URLs. But considering that HTTP or HTTPS is part of your URL, you should learn about that.

There is not much to talk about here. HTTPS is the new standard which protect your site from cyber crime and identity theft. So, if your website isn’t secured yet, we strongly recommend switching over.

Here is an illustration of the difference between HTTP and HTTPS.

http vs https

3  Use the keyword in the URL

Your website URL should contain a keyword that you want your web page to rank for.

(Ideally, that page’s target keyword)

Why?

When you include a keyword in your web page URL, that keyword tells Google: “This page is about that keyword”.

In below screenshot, our Keyword for defining the page is “Best free seo tools

keyword in url

4  Use Hyphens to Separate Words

Using hyphens to separate words in web page URL is important to both user readability and search engine optimization. Google recommends using hyphens (- ) rather than underscores (_) in URLs because hyphens are treated as spaces between words, while words connected by “_” underscores are viewed as single word.

URL EXAMPLE

Optimized: http://example.com/blog/url-optimization-tips

Not optimized: http://example.com/blog/url_optimization_tips

5  Keep URLs Short

The web page URL should be short and sweet. A short URL is quicker to type and read but long URL confuse Google and other search engines. Too many similar words in the URL can be viewed as keyword stuffing and could impact your search rankings.

For example, this URL contains a lot of junk.

bad-url-example

To search engines, this page is about baseball. But it is also about redirect… and default?

long-and-confusing-url

Compare that massive URL to a much shorter version:

short-urls-make-topics-clearer

Because this URL is super short, Google can easily figure out the topic of that page.

6  Use Lowercase Letters

Try not to use uppercase (capital letters) as it may lead to redirects or 404 not found errors on a specific server. It can also lead to copy/duplicate URLs and loss of page rank.

FOR EXAMPLE

Optimized: https://curvearro.com/blog/url-optimization-tips

Not Optimized: https://curvearro.com/blog/URL-Optimization-Tips.

Use Static URLs

Whenever possible it is good to use static, non-changeable web page URLs. These are URLs which stay steady with each page load. Try to stay away from unnecessary parameters like “?,” “and,” and “=”, which are common features of dynamic URLs. Static URLs are simpler for both users and search engines to read. This does not mean you can’t add additional parameters to URLs you will be posting to social media to help track marketing information, but avoid hard-coding dynamic web URLs directly into your website.

Bad-SEO-Friendly-URL

8   Leave out stop words if you want

“Stop words” are common words that search engines often ignore, (for example, “and,” “but,” “the,” and so on.). Stop words can be taken out from URLs to shorten them. Or on the other hand they can be left in to add clarity whenever required. Use whichever strategy leads to a cleaner-looking web page URL.

9  Subfolders > Subdomains

Sub-folders are much more SEO-friendly than subdomains.

That is because Google can consider a subdomain as a totally independent website.

SUBDOMAIN CAN CONFUSE GOOGLE

Subdomains: https://seo.shudhknowledge.com

But, when you move that section to a sub-folder, Google knows that it is part of your main website

Subfolders: https://shudhknowledge.com/seo/free-seo-tools

Benefits of having SEO-friendly URLs

Why SEO friendly URLs are beneficial for you, read the below points to know.

  • Help you describe your content.
  • Help you avoid duplicate content.
  • Avoid your web site pages having trigger spam filters.
  • Make your pages easier to read, share, remember & type into a browser.
  • Help your web visitors easily navigate your site.
  • Increase your site rank on SERP with relevant keywords

Use the above best practices to create a SEO friendly URLs that will help your web page to stand out & attract more attention from visitors and search engines.

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