Important Tips on URL Optimization You Need to Know

URL optimization is a branch of search engine optimization (SEO) that concentrates on limiting domain name length, limiting the length of URL, limiting file/folder naming, and employing keyword-based naming convention. It is the art of creating purely, static, user-friendly and clean URLs that are structured without the inclusion of dynamic query strings.

Limiting Domain Name Length:

Both human web users and search engines do not like very long domain names. On the other hand, short domain names are more memorable. When registering a domain name, ensure that you limit the length, as much as possible. That said, I’m aware that these days it is hard to coin out an available domain name that is shorter than nine characters. That is because they have been taken many years ago by others. But with relentless brainstorming for a few days, you can still come up with an available six-letter or seven-letter domain name.

Limiting URL Length:

Long URLs do no one any good. Bear in mind that there exists an imposed limit on URL length. For a URL to correctly render in every web browser, they must be shorter than 2,083 characters. Shorter URLs are easier to remember by human beings. And search engines love them too. So, the shorter your web address, the better optimized it is.

Limiting Folder Naming:

This issue is more of a user experience one that any other thing. And top search engines like Google and Bing are now paying closer attention to user experience (UX). Interestingly, UX is now a Google search ranking factor. Ensure that all the important pages of your site you want visitors to see are a click or two away from the main menu.

For example:
http://www.seotreats.com/about-us/ Good
http://www.seotreats.com/page/category/about-us/ Bad practice
For that reason, I strongly recommend that you limit the number of sub-folders you create, to make it easy for your site’s visitors to locate what they’re looking for.

Employ Keyword-based Naming Convention:

A well-crafted URL provides both search engines and humans an easy-to-understand indication of what the destination page will be about. Even if the page’s title tag were invisible, the human-readable, semantically-accurate, keyword-based URL would still give a clear indication of what the destination page’s content. It would also give visitors an improved user experience (UX) by making it obvious what they’ll see if they click on the link. Using keywords in a URL has the tendency to increase the likelihood of the page’s SERP ranking for the terms you choose, too.

Create Purely Static URLs:

Static URLs are user-friendly and more memorable, as well as look cleaner that URLs with parameters. In a pinch, well-written URLs can serve as their own anchor text when copied and pasted as links in forums, blogs, social media networks, or other online venues.

  • Some websites have completely unformatted links. Unoptimized, semantically-inaccurate URLs can look unenticing on SERPs to web searchers, and instead of garnering clicks they actually deter them. Human-readable URLs provide users a better idea of what they’ll be getting when they finally arrive on the page.
  • In addition to being a prerequisite to search ranking, keeping URLs as simple, relevant,compelling, and accurate as possible is key to getting both search engines and your visitors to understand them. Although URLs can include ID numbers and codes, the best practice is to use words that people can easily read and understand.
  • It is recommended that URLs should be both concise and definitive. By mere seeing only the URL, web users (both humans and search engines) should have a clear idea of what to expect on the page.
  • For readability sake, I strongly recommend that you use hyphens to separate words in a URL. Do not use spaces, underscores, or any other characters to separate words.
  • Make use of lowercase letters. In some platforms, uppercase letters can cause issues with duplicate pages. For example, http://www.flamytech.com/Blog and http://www.flamytech.com/blog might be seen as two distinct URLs, which might cause duplicate content issues.
  • If possible, avoid using parameters in URLs, as they have the potential to cause tracking and duplicate content issues. However, if parameters need to be used (UTM codes, e.g.), sparingly use them.