How to Create SEO-Friendly URLs

An important step of SEO that’s often overlooked when creating a new page on a website, is the URL. While there are many things to keep in mind when creating the actual content of the page, you should also follow some key rules when determining the URL. Here are some easy steps to take to ensure your URL adds to the SEO value of your site:

Easy to Read and Understand

The most important thing about your URL is that both users and search engines can determine the topic of the page by reading it. A URL that can easily be read and understood by a human increases the user experience, which ultimately leads to higher rankings. Using hyphens to separate words will also help with readability.

Short > Long

In general, it is better to use short URLs instead of long ones. Shorter URLs are easier to read and don’t run the risk of being cut off in the search engine results. Results in the top of the first page of Google results have a tendency to be using shorter URLs.

One way to shorten your URL length is by eliminating stop words like “the”, “for”, “to” and “and”. These do not contain significant importance to the topic of your content and are already filtered out by search engines, rendering them unnecessary.

Include most important keywords

Your URL should include the top one or two keywords for the page. This will give you a slight boost in rankings and define the topic of the content on the page. Do not, however, repeat the same keyword within the URL as it will look spammy and won’t add any additional SEO value.

Use all lowercase letters

Since there is always an all-lowercase version of your URL, using URLs that include uppercase letters can sometimes cause duplicate pages and subsequently you are penalized for duplicate content. If you must are using a URL that includes uppercase letters, it’s best to redirect it to the all-lowercase version to avoid any issues.

The fewer folders the better

By limiting the number of folders (which are marked with slashes), it’s easier for Google and other search engines to determine the topic of the page. It also helps with the previous steps of making the URL easier to read and keeping URLs short.

Additionally, the folders in your URL should show a logical path that makes the content structure of your site clear to the user. You should be consistent with your structure across every page of the site.

Once you have created the perfect URL, you should submit it to search engines for indexing. You can do this in Google Search Console by submitting and XML sitemap or using the “Fetch as Google” feature. For help with your URLs or other SEO questions, give us a call at 501-537-2246 or fill out our Get Started form.

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