How to Create SEO Friendly URLs?
Depending on who you ask, URLs are a small ranking factor or a relevant ranking factor. But there’s no denying that they do affect SEO. Understanding what makes a good URL and following best practices will help you create SEO friendly URLs.
First, let’s understand what elements make up a URL.
The elements in this URL are as below
https – Protocol
blog – subdomain
example – domain
.com – top-level domain
topic – subfolder
post-name – slug
How to create SEO -friendly URLs?
It is not mandatory, but our Perth SEO team recommends using popular top-level domains like “.com” or “.cloud”. This is because popular domains are more trusted by users and help bring in more traffic.
Avoid stuffing keywords
Remember to not overdo it. Ensure you don’t repeat keywords in the URL. Repetition of keywords will look like spam.
E.g. computingaustralia.com.au/laptop/laptop-battery/, the laptop is repeated twice. Technically, it is not an issue; it’s unnecessary and looks spammy.
Short and concise URLs
Make your URLs short and concise. Longer URLs are difficult to crawl, and you may end up confusing search engines. The ideal number of words in a URL will be 3 to 5, and it should be no more than 60 characters. URLs get displayed in the search results, so a longer URL means some of the text may be cut off from being displayed.
With the hike in cybercrimes, online security is a top priority for both users and Google. Google had made SSL certificate mandatory for e-commerce and other sites which deal with financial or sensitive data. Sites that have an SSL certificate will have HTTPS at the beginning of their URL.
HTTPS means that the site interactions are encrypted, which gives a sense of privacy and safety. Google has also made HTTPs a ranking factor.
Avoid numbers and dates
Avoid numbers and dates in your URL because when you update or edit the content, the URL may contradict the page content. For example, you wrote a post about mistakes to avoid in SEO, and the URL to the post is https://codesquad.cloud/8-mistakes-to-avoid-in-SEO/. Later while updating the content, you add more points. You can easily update your page title. If you do not change the URL, it will be different from the page title and/or content, causing confusion.
If you try to change the URL, you may lose link equity for the old URL and also run the risk of breaking the page.
If you ever find yourself in such a situation, set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new URL.
Use lowercase letters
Uppercase letters can cause 404 errors for some servers. It can also cause duplicate content issues with 2 different URLs in upper and lower case for the same content. The general practice is to use lowercase letters, and it’s ideal to follow the same.
Use hyphens instead of underscore
Use hyphens to denote spaces between words. Google recommends using hyphens instead of underscore, and users are accustomed to seeing hyphens. Underscores can be viewed as spammy or untrusted content.
Avoid special characters
Using safe characters is acceptable for URLs. Unsafe characters can cause errors and usability issues. Browsers and CMS platforms keep changing, so it is ideal to take professional help to understand what the current practice is regarding safe and unsafe characters.
Naked URL – Also known as a naked link. It is a hyperlink that shows the full URL rather than using an anchor text.
Crawling – is the process by which a search engine crawler (search bot) visits and downloads new pages and adds them to its index.
301 Redirect – a permanent redirect that passes the full link equity to the new page.
404 Errors – 404 Page not found error means that the server cannot find the page requested.