URL (Universal Resource Locator) and its optimisation on your website are one of the many vital ranking factors which could significantly impact the ranking of your website and its webpages on search engine result pages (SERP) such as Google SERP.
The Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) friendly URLs will not only give your readers a delightful User experience (UX) but it will also boost the right and quality traffic on your website.
Optimising a URL structure for better ranking includes determining the ideal length of the URL, the inclusion of right keywords and doing away with all the unnecessary characters which could have a detrimental impact on your website SEO. Without further delay, let’s have a quick look at some easier ways to optimise URL structure for better ranking.
The Shorter, the Better
Does URL length affect SEO? Yes, it does! Of the top 200 Google ranking factors, the length of the URL takes a spot at #46. Google’s top priority is to provide its query seekers with the best possible result which is unambiguous; therefore, a short URL length — ideally of 75-characters (although 2048 is the maximum number of character URL bar can contain) — with simple structure, might appear more friendly and convenient for a user to copy and will have a higher chance to appeal to a wider audience. A concise and informative link has a positive impact on your website optimization.
Include a Keyword Or Two
Along with the authority of the domain, the inclusion of keywords in the URL could improve the search visibility of your site. Just by looking at a relevant keyword, the reader gets to know what to expect from the content on the webpage. That said, it is worth keeping in mind that overstuffing keywords in the link can backfire! Condensing the entire length of your content into four-five words — including a keyword or two in your URL — would make it a lot easier for your reader to decide whether to read the content on the page or not!
Avoid the Stop Words, but Not Always
In the realms of digital marketing, whether to use stop words or not has been long debated. So, you ask, what are stop words? These are words like a, and, the, on, at, but, etc are considered to be fillers and Google usually doesn’t give much significance to it while deciding the ranking factor for your website. Having said that, there are situations when including stop words add more clarity or enhance readability for your audience. In that case, it’s a good idea to throw in a stop word or two. For most situations, these stop words just add length to your URL which as mentioned in the above points doesn’t look that user or SEO-friendly!
Use a Hyphen as a Word Separator
A lot of people use either a hyphen (-) or an underscore (_) to separate two words. But when it comes to best SEO practice to optimise URL structure, it is the hyphen which gets noticed by Google as a word separator while underscore remains unrecognised. For instance, let’s say your page is about digital marketing tips. Choosing a URL structure with a hyphen such as 10-best-digital-marketing-courses instead of an underscore such as 10_best_digital_marketing_courses, will make it easier for Google to read and interpret it and further rank it accordingly. The one with an underscore looks something like this ’10bestdigitalmarketingcourses’ to Google, which is obviously difficult to understand and not readable.
URLs are basic but optimising them could work wonders for the rank of your website. In addition to the aforementioned optimisation tips, keeping other things in mind such as choosing HTTPS over HTTP to enhance security for your website and for your readers, avoiding URL parameters to be free from tracking or duplicate content issues, and not including date in the URL structure to maintain the recency of your content, may help further to improve organic traffic over your website.