A Definitive Guide to SEO-Friendly URL Structure in 2023
URLs are links that people use to go directly to web pages from Search Engine Results Pages...
When was the last time you examined your URLs closely?
Well, not many people who optimize their websites for search engines pay attention to the URL structure.
So, do you really need to worry about URL structure?
Yes, because the URL structure is important to Google.
That is why we are here to explain how search engines view URL structure and how you can create an SEO-friendly URL structure.
Let's get started.
What exactly is a URL?
A Uniform Resource Locator, or URL for short, is the address you type into the web to access a specific page.
URLs are links that people use to go directly to web pages from Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
- Protocol - A protocol specifies how a browser accesses information on a web page. Typically, it is http:// or https://.
- Root Domain - This is the primary name that distinguishes your website.
- Subdomain - A subdomain is a section of your site that is separated from the root domain in order to organise your content. www is the most commonly used subdomain.
- TLD - The top-level domain (TLD) is what comes after the root domain. It can be.com,.net,.org, and so on.
- Slug - The category in which you place a specific web page.
- Article Permalink - The permalink, which comes after the slug, tells you what the page is about.
The ultimate goal of search engines is to provide users with the best results for their search queries.
But how do they know what is and isn't relevant?
Google and other search engines use advanced algorithms to retrieve results. Indeed, Google employs more than 200 ranking factors to determine the relevance of content across the web to a specific user query.
Google evaluates the relevance of web pages to a specific query based on the relevancy signals that websites send to Google based on these ranking factors.
So, let's get to the point of this page: the URL.
URLs are one such factor that Google considers when determining relevance.
Why Does URL Structure Matter in SEO?
URLs can help your SEO efforts in three ways, especially if they are well-crafted. Check out the advantages listed below.
Improved User Experience
A good URL foreshadows to users what the destination page contains. This allows users to understand what they can expect to see on your page and how relevant it is to the search query they entered.
In this regard, URLs can help to improve the user experience.
After all, whether the user finds what they are looking for on the target page heavily influences the user experience.
The URL structure serves this purpose well and allows for a positive user experience when they arrive at your site.
Hocalwire lets you specify a special URL for each tale and serves the narrative by identifying the device that made the initial request. We can offer different pages and views from the same domain if necessary thanks to robust front-end architecture.
As we previously stated, URL is a minor Google ranking factor. Every ranking factor, big or small, counts, right?
So, don't pass up the ranking benefit that your URL structure has to offer.
URLs are used by search engines to determine the relevance of pages to user queries. As a result, it is critical to ensure that your page URLs are relevant to your content.
While URLs have a minor impact on ranking, including keywords in your URLs can significantly increase your chances of ranking higher.
A simple and comprehensive URL may allow you to place it directly in the content rather than embedding it in the anchor text.
A backlink is earned by placing your URL in this manner on an external site. Of course, backlinks are a major Google ranking factor.
A naked URL can also be used to promote your content on social media. It is not necessary to include it in the anchor text.
Does URL Structure Influence Google Rankings?
URL is a minor ranking factor in Google. So it's no surprise that your URL structure affects your search engine rankings.
SEO-friendly URLs help to increase your PageRank. Google's PageRank algorithm determines the relevance of web pages to search queries. The higher the PageRank, the greater the relevance.
That is reason enough to concentrate on developing a search engine-friendly URL structure.
Aside from increasing your PageRank, well-optimized URLs increase your chances of getting more clicks when your page appears in search results. This will increase organic traffic to your website.
How Significant Are Keywords in URLs?
Google representatives have claimed for years that including keywords in the URL provides very little SEO benefit.
But here's the catch.
Keywords, time and again, provide users and search engines with more context about the content.
That is ultimately important because Google is constantly striving to fetch pages that are useful to users.
The clearer the context is for Google and the user, the more likely you are to appear in relevant online searches.
This will drive more qualified leads your way and significantly increase your conversion rate.
If that is your goal (as it should be for any website owner), keyword placement in URLs is NOT something you will overlook.
The Best Ways to Create an SEO-Friendly URL Structure
Make use of HTTPS
The HTTPS protocol informs search engines and users alike that your website is secure. It denotes the presence of a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to encrypt communication between your website and the browser.
This reduces the possibility of your website being hacked, and even if it is, the attackers will be unable to access your data.
You make your visitors feel more secure by using the HTTPS protocol, especially when they enter their credit card information to purchase your products or services.
However, it sends trust signals to the search engine, which increases the credibility of your site.
Get an HTTPS-secured website and content management system so that you are always protected when utilizing Hocalwire CMS.
Avoid using the WWW prefix
Any subdomain, including www, is used to better organize the content of a website. In fact, the www prefix is frequently hidden when your site is displayed in a browser.
So, why should you use it when you can easily categorize your content without it?
We are not saying that adding subdomains is a bad thing. However, only include one when absolutely necessary.
When you choose to use a URL structure like blog.example.com/ instead of example.com/blog, a subdomain is required.
Use the Correct TLD
If you want to attract global web traffic, We recommend using a generic top-level domain such as.com.
If, on the other hand, you want to target potential customers based on their location, you should use a location-specific TLD such as.uk,.au,.in, and others.
Avoid random TLDs such as.name,.biz,.info, and others.
These TLDs are frequently associated with spam sites. So, avoid them to protect your website's credibility.
Keep it brief and simple
The shorter your URLs, the easier it is for search engines and users to understand your website.
The better the search engine understands your page, the more likely it will rank higher on SERPs.
So, avoid using extra string characters in your URLs and keep them as short and simple as possible.
Make it Describe
Your URL should have a clear purpose.
What we mean is that the URL should immediately communicate to users what the page is about. It should not be perplexing or misleading.
Remember that your URL is the container for your content. This is why it is critical to keep it descriptive.
Include Relevant Keywords
Keywords are essential for increasing your search engine visibility. How about incorporating them into your URL structure?
Yes. Incorporating keywords into your URL is an effective way to send relevancy signals to search engines and make your page easily discoverable online.
Avoid stuffing keywords into your URLs. This has a negative SEO impact on your site.
To make your URLs SEO-friendly, make it a point to include only one or two relevant keywords.
Use the Right Keywords in the URL to Categorize Your Pages
Are you categorizing your pages using keywords based on search volume? You could be mistaken.
Other SEO strategies may prioritize keyword search volume, but not when you use keywords in your URLs to categorize your pages.
Instead, select keywords that closely describe the content of the pages in a specific category.
Use hyphens to separate words
Spaces are not permitted in URLs. Instead, they make use of hyphens.
In places where a space is required, use hyphens rather than underscores in your URLs.
Let us provide an example.
Link and building are two distinct words in this context. It will be difficult to understand if they are crammed together with no breaks.
So, a hyphen appears.
In a nutshell, hyphens make your URLs more readable to both search engines and users.
Avoid using Stop Words
Stop words such as the, and, or, of, a, an, to, for, and so on are not required to convey meaning in URLs. They function perfectly well without them.
In fact, adding stop words only complicates and lengthens your URLs.
To maintain SEO friendliness, remove stop words from your URLs.
Lowercase letters should be used
Case matters when it comes to URLs.
As a result, it is recommended that you always use lowercase letters in URLs.
But why is this so?
If you use characters other than lowercase letters in your URLs, users may be directed to a 404 error page. This means that your page cannot be found.
What was the end result?
You will lose prospective customers. That is the absolute last thing any website owner wants.
As a result, when creating URLs, always use lowercase letters.
Correctly Redirect Your Old URLs
Sometimes webmasters will move the content to a different page or a different domain entirely.
But what about the previous page?
When someone visits it, it displays a 404 error code, indicating that the user found nothing relevant to their search on your page.
This is a negative SEO signal because it results in a poor user experience.
As a result, whenever you move your content to a new page, use 301 redirects to correctly redirect users and search engine bots to your new page.
Dates should be avoided
Assume you're creating a new blog post for your website.
If you include the date of publication in your URL, you are making a huge mistake.
The inclusion of dates in your URL will cause your content to become out of date over time.
Assume your blog goes live in 2022. The presence of the date of publication in the URL suggests that your content is out of date to someone visiting the page in 2025.
However, never use dates in your URL.
Avoid using Dynamic URLs
Search engines are primarily concerned with users. As a result, search engine bots dislike anything that directly or indirectly interferes with a pleasant user experience.
Dynamic URLs are not SEO-friendly in this regard.
Dynamic URLs, such as those with UTM tracking, are extremely complex and difficult for users to comprehend.
So, when it comes to creating SEO-friendly URLs, avoid using dynamic URLs.
Allow for Simple Navigation
Not every user arrives at your homepage. Some visitors arrive at a blog post, while others arrive at a service page.
Another sign of a good user experience is easy navigation within your site.
So, how do users know where they are on your page?
With a well-crafted URL structure, it is possible.
Create your URLs in such a way that users can tell where they are on your site at any given time.
Many people underestimate URL structure's SEO potential. The truth is that, when used correctly, URLs can provide several benefits to your website, ranging from increased organic traffic to higher rankings.
Implement the best URL structure practices for your site.
Hocalwire CMS handles the technical parts of keeping Large Sitemap, Indexing pages for Google, Optimizing page load times, Maintaining assets and file systems, and Warning for broken links and pages while you handle all these non-technical components of SEO for Enterprise sites. If you're searching for an enterprise-grade content management system, these are significant value adds. To learn more, Get a Free Demo of Hocalwire CMS.