Top 11 Guidelines To Create SEO Friendly URL

Search engines place some weight on keywords in your URLs. Be careful, however, as the search engines can interpret long URLs with numerous hyphens in them (e.g.,Buy-this-awesome-product-now.html) as a spam signal.

The following are some guidelines for selecting optimal SEO friendly URL for the pages of your site(s):

1) Describe your content

An obvious URL is a great SEO friendly URL. If a user can look at the address bar (or a pasted link) and make an accurate guess about the content of the page before ever reaching it, you’ve done your job. These URLs get pasted, shared, emailed, written down, and yes, even recognized by the engines.

2) Keep it short

Brevity is a virtue. The shorter the SEO friendly URL, the easier it is to copy and paste, read over the phone, write on a business card, or use in a hundred other unorthodox fashions, all of which spell better usability and increased branding. Remember, however, that you can always create a shortened URL for marketing purposes that redirects to the destination URL of your content—just know that this short URL will have no SEO value.

3) Static is the way

Search engines treat static URLs differently than dynamic ones. Users also are not fond of URLs in which the big players are? &, and =. They are just harder to read and understand.

4) Descriptive text is better than the numbers

If you’re thinking of using 114/cat223/, you should go with /brand/adidas/ instead. Even if the descriptive text isn’t a keyword or is not particularly informative to an uninitiated user, it is far better to use words when possible. If nothing else, your team members will thank you for making it that much easier to identify problems in development and testing.

5) Keywords never hurt

If you know you’re going to be targeting a lot of competitive keyword phrases on your website for search traffic, you’ll want every advantage you can get. Keywords are certainly one element of that strategy, so take the list from marketing, map it to the proper pages, and get to work. For dynamically created pages through a CMS, create the option of including keywords in the SEO friendly URL.

6) Subdomains aren’t always the answer

First off, never use multiple subdomains (e.g., product.brand.site.com); they are unnecessarily complex and lengthy. Second, consider that subdomains have the potential to be treated separately from the primary domain when it comes to passing link and trust value. In most cases where just a few subdomains are used and there’s good interlinking, it won’t hurt, but be aware of the downsides.

7) Fewer folders

A URL should contain no unnecessary folders (or words or characters, for that matter). They do not add to the user experience of the site and can, in fact, confuse
users.

8) Hyphens separate best

When creating URLs with multiple words in the format of a phrase, hyphens are best to separate the terms (e.g., /brands/dolce-and-gabbana/), but you can also use plus signs (+).

9) Stick with conventions

If your site uses a single format throughout, don’t consider making one section unique. Stick to your URL guidelines once they are established so that your users (and future site developers) will have a clear idea of how content is organized into folders and pages. This can apply globally as well as for sites that share platforms, brands, and so on.

10) Don’t be case-sensitive

URLs can accept both uppercase and lowercase characters, so don’t ever, ever allow any uppercase letters in your structure. Unix/Linux-based web servers are case-sensitive, so http://www.domain.com/Products/widgets/ is technically a different URL from http://www.domain.com/products/widgets/. Note that this is not true in Microsoft IIS servers, but there are a lot of Apache web servers out there. In addition, this is confusing to users, and potentially to search engine spiders as well. Google sees any URLs with even a single unique character as unique URLs. So if your site shows the same content on www.domain.com/Products/widgets/ and www.domain.com/products/widgets/, it could be seen as duplicate content. If you have such URLs now, implement a 301-redirect pointing them to all-lowercase versions, to help avoid confusion. If you have a lot of type-in traffic, you might even consider a 301 rule that sends any incorrect capitalization permutation to its rightful home.

11) Don’t append extraneous data

There is no point in having a URL exist in which removing characters generates the same content. You can be virtually assured that people on the Web will figure it out; link to you in different fashions; confuse themselves, their readers, and the search engines (with duplicate content issues); and then complain about it.

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