Take a look at the URL of this article. See how it’s short but still descriptive? And it includes a keyword that we want to rank for: SEO friendly URLs. This is what an optimized URL looks like.
In the SEO scene, URL SEO optimization is one of those “little things” that can make a big difference. It’s a simple tactic that can have a noticeable impact on your site’s search engine ranking.
But what exactly are SEO friendly URLs? Do they really have an impact on SEO? And if so, how can you create them?
DLinkers answers all those questions in this post. By the end, you’ll know everything there is to know about SEO friendly URLs and how to create them for your website.
Let’s start with the basics. SEO friendly URLs are web addresses designed to improve your site’s search engine ranking.
They typically include the target keyword for the page, and they’re easy for both users and search engines to read. This makes them an important part of on-page SEO.
SEO friendly URLs also tend to be short and descriptive. This is because long, complicated URLs are often associated with spammy websites. So keeping your URLs short and sweet can help create a better user experience and improve your chances of ranking on Google.
Here’s an example of an SEO friendly URL:
And here’s an example of a non-SEO friendly URL:
As you can see, the SEO friendly URL is shorter and includes the target keyword. It’s also easy to read and understand.
Now that you know what SEO friendly URLs are, you might wonder if they’re truly important for your local SEO efforts. There’s a debate in the SEO community on this topic.
Some people believe that SEO friendly URLs are essential for ranking on Google because they make it easier for users and search engines to understand what a page is about.
But others believe that SEO friendly URLs don’t have a significant impact on SEO, because Google has become so good at understanding the content of a page (regardless of the URL).
At this point, there’s no definitive answer on whether SEO friendly URLs are important for SEO.
But we know that they can positively impact your click-through rate (CTR) from the SERPs. Here are some of the ways they can do that:
So while there’s no definitive answer on whether SEO friendly URLs are important for SEO, we do know that they can have a positive impact on CTR. And a higher CTR can lead to improved SEO.
Read More: How Can Personalization Help In Content Optimization
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to create SEO friendly URLs, let’s quickly go over the different parts of a URL.
This will help you understand how they work and why certain elements are important for SEO. Let’s go with the URL from our last example:
Here’s a breakdown of that URL:
The protocol specifies which language is being used for the communication. In this case, it’s HTTPS, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.
The domain name is the main address of your website. In this case, it’s example.com.
The subdirectory is a folder on your website that contains additional pages. In this case, it’s /seo-friendly-urls/. This is the part of the URL that’s most important for SEO.
The query string is a set of characters that are added to the end of a URL. They’re typically used to pass information to a web server. In this case, there’s no query string.
Anchor text is the text that’s clickable on a hyperlinked piece of text. In this case, there’s no anchor text.
Now that you know the different parts of a URL, let’s move on to how you can create SEO friendly URLs, particularly, URLs with a good subdirectory.
Google has stated that the contents of a URL are a ranking factor. So if you can include a relevant keyword in your URL, it may help with your SEO.
For example, if you’re writing an article about SEO friendly URLs, you might include the keyword “SEO friendly URLs” in your URL.
However, don’t stuff your URL full of SEO keywords to manipulate your ranking. This is called “keyword stuffing,” and it’s considered a black hat SEO tactic. If Google catches you doing it, they may penalize your site.
And while you’re at it, you may also want to include your target keyword early on in your URL. This is because Google gives more weight to words that appear at the beginning of a URL. For example, the URL:
https://www.example.com/seo-friendly-urls is better than the URL: https://www.example.com/friendly-urls-for-seo.
Read More: Long-Tail Keywords: Advantages + How To Find and Use Them and 9 Must-Dos For an Effective Keyword Research
Shorter is better when it comes to URLs. A short, descriptive URL is easier for users to remember and for search engines to crawl.
So if you can remove any unnecessary words from your URL, it may help with your SEO. For example, the URL
https://example.com/seo-friendly-urls is better than the URL https://example.com/what-are-seo-friendly-urls.
Longer URLs also take up more space on the SERPs, which can hurt your CTR. So it’s a good idea to keep your URLs short, descriptive, and to the point.
Have you ever noticed websites that use hyphens to separate words in their URLs? For example:
This is a common practice and for a good reason. When you use hyphens to separate words, it makes your URL easier to read and understand. It tells users exactly what your page is about, and it tells search engines the same thing.
Some people recommend using underscores to separate words instead of hyphens. But Google has stated that they prefer hyphens.
But why not just put all the words together without any punctuation? Well, that’s not a good idea either.
If you put all the words together without any punctuation will make it harder for users and search engines to read and understand your URL.
You don’t see many websites with URLs that contain uppercase letters. And it’s no accident.
When you use lowercase letters in your URL, it’s easier to read. It also makes your URL look more professional. Google also recommends using lowercase letters in your URL.
Special characters are any non-alphanumeric characters, such as:
! $ & ‘ ( ) * + , / : ; = ? @ < >
You don’t want to use these characters in your URL for a few reasons:
For example, the character “<” has a special meaning in HTML. So if you use it in your URL, it could cause complications.
Stop words are common words that don’t add much meaning to a sentence, such as “a,” “an,” “the,” and “of.”
You don’t want to use these words in your URL because they don’t add anything of value. What this means is that your URL will be longer than it needs to be, and it will be harder for users to read and understand.
There’s no reason to include it if it doesn’t do anything.
A canonical tag is an HTML element that tells search engines which version of a URL to index.
For example, let’s say you have two pages on your website with similar content.
In this case, you would want to use a canonical tag on both pages to tell search engines which one is the original and which one is the duplicate. Why is this important?
Search engines may index both pages if you don’t use canonical tags. And if they do, it could hurt your SEO because you’ll be competing with yourself for the same keywords.
Let’s say you made a blog post about SEO friendly URLs, and you want to include the date in the URL.
While this may seem like a good idea, it’s actually not. Think about it this way:
If you include the date in the URL, it will become outdated as soon as the year changes. And when that happens, someone who clicks on the URL will see an error message.
This is not a good user experience and can hurt your SEO. So it’s best to avoid including dates in your URL.
What do we mean by an understandable URL? We mean a URL that is easy to read and comprehend. It’s a URL that’s self-explanatory.
A dynamic URL, on the other hand, is a URL that contains characters or strings that have no meaning.
Here’s an example of a dynamic URL:
This URL has a few problems. First, it’s not easy to read or understand. Second, it contains characters that have no meaning. And third, it’s too long.
All of these factors can hurt your SEO. So it’s best to avoid dynamic URLs if possible. If you must use a dynamic URL, make sure it’s as short and simple as possible.
Read More: SEO Best Practices: What’s Changing? An Expert Explains
Q: Is it necessary to have an SEO friendly URL?
A: While an SEO friendly URL is not necessary, it can help your website. It adds to the professionalism of your site and can help with your SEO.
Q: What’s the difference between an optimized URL and a non-optimized URL?
A: An optimized URL is a URL that has been designed to help with SEO. A non-optimized URL is a URL that has not been designed with SEO in mind.
Q: What’s the best length for an SEO friendly URL?
A: The best length for an SEO friendly URL is around 50-60 characters.
While an SEO friendly URL is not necessary, it can help your website. It adds to the professionalism of your site and can help with your SEO.
An optimized URL is a URL that has been designed to help with SEO. A non-optimized URL is a URL that has not been designed with SEO in mind.
The best length for an SEO friendly URL is around 50-60 characters.
So do URLs matter for SEO? The answer is yes. While not as important as other ranking factors, such as content and links, URLs are still significant in SEO, which can impact your website’s ability to rank in search engines. The impact may be small, but every little bit counts.