The SEO Basics - URL Structure
February 2, 2012 |
While in the past the URL address was considered the ultimate website traffic generator, today this is somewhat less than true. Today sound URL structure is very important to have for search engines, but not necessarily for human searchers. To fully understand what URL structure influences today, we should assess why it is important , what it is, and how we can use it.
To get a feel of what we are talking about, which of the URL addresses below do you think is better?
Why is URL structure important for SEO?
The URL will appear in search results below the title and description, and allows a person to further familiarize themselves with your webpage. A friendly URL can help when convincing the searcher to click through to your site. Too many symbols or numbers can be seen as confusing and deter the searcher from clicking through. Keywords within the URL are a good way to further clarify to the user that a site is relevant to their search. Making the structure of the pages clearer can allow the searcher to navigate more easily within the site, and make the user experience friendlier still. Google recommends using hyphens to separate words, although underscores are recognized as well. Finally, links often use the full URL, so be mindful of how your URL appears when it is being shared around the web.
What is URL structure?
Let's start with a basic example:
A URL is made up of the following parts: a protocol (http://), domain (www.example.com), subdirectory (cameras/), query strings (?q=digital) and resource id (id=2).
This is a basic formula which applies to most URLs that you will see online.
How can I use URL structure?
URL structure can be used to allow users to see how the site is organized, providing the surfer with a sense of familiarity with any given site. The URL is also the portal through which people can navigate to your site in certain conditions. Whereas in the past people would often exchange URL addresses to find websites, now people often look up websites through search engines instead. Links are still a very common tool which appears online, where the full URL is often displayed.
Keep the URL short.
Avoid using too many non Latin character symbols.
Use hyphens to separate words.
Use words in the URL to clearly state how the pages of the websites are organized.
Keep the URL static and not dynamic.
Place keywords responsibly in the URL.