URLs are an important webpage feature that is very often overlooked and not given much attention when it comes to the organisation and structure of a website. Very similar to the title of a webpage, URLs are extremely important as they describe what the page is about and what the general content on the page will include. The URL of a website is a feature that is used by both a user browsing through a search engine and the search engine itself as it is used to describe the page. For those hoping to create a webpage that attracts the right people and alerts the search engine to the correct content being displayed, it is important to properly structure your page’s URL! The following blog post is here to help describe exactly what a URL is and how to create advanced and SEO friendly URLs!
- 1. What is a URL?
- 2. What are the main components of a URL?
- 3. Why The URL is So Important for Google?
- 4. SEO Friendly URL Structure
- 5. Are Short URLs SEO Friendly?
- 6. How Does URL Structure Impact SEO?
- 7. How Do I Get SEO Friendly URL?
- 8. Some SEO-Friendly URL Examples
What is a URL?
The simplest way to describe exactly what a URL is and what its job is is to call it an address. A URL is unique and its format is unlike anything else on the internet, ensuring that if you correctly type in the page address you will get to the exact address, or webpage, that you were looking for. URL is short for universal resource locator and it is commonly referred to as a web address.
There are many different components that make up a URL and like most things, you can get good URLs and bad ones. The best kinds of URLs tend to be short, to the point and often use simple language that is reflective of the webpage that it is addressing. It is becoming increasingly more important to have SEO friendly URLs as this ensures that the webpage is optimised for the correct content and will be targeted by the right searches.
What are the main components of a URL?
When measuring how important a URL in SEO is, it is pertinent to understand exactly what a URL is made of. As with any kind of address, there are a number of different components that make up a URL and how it is structured influences the webpage. Though a website may fall under one name, each separate page will have a brand new and different URL attached to it. If this seems a bit confusing, think about each house on the same street and the fact that while they may have the same address, the number on the house will be different compared to any other house. It is exactly the same with URLs and each page will have at least one different component compared to the other pages on the website.
What Are The Parts That Make Up a Url?
Above is an example of a URL and though we cannot immediately identify it, there are actually components that make up this address. The following are the main parts of a standard URL:
- Scheme: The first section of a URL is the scheme, and this is made up of a protocol. A protocol refers to an agreed-upon method of transferring information and there are many different kinds that exist. The https:// part of this address makes up the scheme and this kind of protocol is the most common one used today. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure encrypts any information that you place on a webpage to avoid any cybercriminals getting hold of pertinent information. This protocol ensures that passwords, identity numbers and even credit card information is completely secure! It is one of the best protocols to use as it also ensures a higher ranking on search engines.
- Second Level Domain (SLD): The next part of a URL is the second level domain and it is ultimately the name of your website. In the above example, it would make up the markethinkers part of the address. It is important that the name you have matches the name of your brand or company to ensure that you have an SEO friendly URL and that customers can easily locate your page on a search engine.
- Top-level Domain: It is important that your webpage has a particular country that it is assigned to. One of the most commonly used top-level domains is .com as it can be registered almost anywhere in the world. Many international companies may be more inclined to use this extension even though it is technically registered with the United States. Each country has their own top-level domain, for example, the United Kingdom’s top-level domain is .uk.
- Subdirectory: A subdirectory lets a person know exactly where they are on your website. In the instance of the above URL, it would be the home/ page that you were on. Subdirectories are also known as subfolders.
Why The URL is So Important for Google?
URLs impact how a web page is ranked on search engines like Google and those who have better SEO friendly URLs will rank higher as opposed to webpages that do not have addresses that have been designed using general SEO rules. Optimisation according to these rules affects where exactly your webpage is ranked when a certain word or sentence is put into a search engine. URLs that have not been designed using SEO friendly URL rules may rank far lower compared to other web pages. This impacts the traffic on your site and who is directed towards your webpage.
SEO Friendly URL Structure
The importance of URLs in SEO should never be underestimated as they can greatly impact how much traffic a site receives. SEO friendly URLs have a specific structure and certain parameters that make them easier for search engines to place and those browsing through web pages to see. SEO friendly URLs lengths are often short, including keywords and using hyphens to separate the words are just three ways that URLs can become easier to read and understand. This kind of structure is also better suited for search engines and it allows for them to easily pick up on what your webpage is about and will ensure better placement on a search page!
What is an SEO friendly URL Structure?
An example of an SEO friendly URL structure could be something along the lines of https://markethinkers.com/en/seo-copywriting/. This URL clearly outlines who the company is and what the webpage is about by using direct wording, hyphens that make it easier to see and read and a keyword that clearly highlights exactly what the page would be about! This kind of URL structure ensures that both the readers who are interested in learning more about the SEO Copywriting that is offered by Markethinkers would be able to clearly see that this page is for them! Along with this, search engines can also understand exactly what the main topic of the page is and place it according to the right searches. The correct SEO and URL strategy could take your content and placement on search engines to the next level!
What Is Non-SEO Friendly Url?
Non-SEO friendly URLs are URLs that have been designed without taking the content into consideration. If a URL does not match up with the content and let both the users and search engines know what the page is about, it is considered to be a non SEO friendly URL. Another factor that may influence whether or not a URL is compliant with standard SEO rules is to look at how it is spaced and separated. Non-SEO URLs are not spaced out well and it is often extremely hard to read. An example of this can be seen by looking at the readability of the following example; marketingforbeginners as opposed to marketing-for-beginners, which one is easier to read and understand? The second one has no spacing and each sentence seems to flow into the other making it hard to differentiate the words while the second is easy to read and understand.
Are Short URLs SEO Friendly?
One of the main things to remember is that URLs should be short and to the point. SEO friendly URLs are made up of clear and direct words that let you know exactly what a page will be about and are easily read and understood. Longer and drawn out URLs can be hard to read and very often look confusing. With keywords that are often not placed first in these longer kinds of URLs, it can also confuse search engines that will then place your webpage far down on a search page. AN example is as follows, which one do you find more eye-catching and readable?
The first one is long and confusing, without any spaces, making it hard to read and understand while the second one is short and to the point, giving you exactly what you need to know and nothing more. When creating SEO friendly URLs, be sure to remember that short and sweet is the way to go!
How Does URL Structure Impact SEO?
Having good content and an SEO and URL format that works for your webpage will ensure that your page can be easily found and noticed by search engines. Having a URL structure that is SEO friendly is therefore incredibly important and can make a huge difference in the amount of traffic that makes its way to your webpage. A URL that is not structured with SEO practises may find that few people find their page on search engines or they find that the traffic that they are attracting are not within the market that they are looking for.
How Do I Get SEO Friendly URL?
SEO friendly URLs are designed to be short, precise, easy to read and contain the main keywords that describe the page! The title of a page should always be within the URL as this is the best way to ensure that you have a good ranking on a search engine. For those who are not sure how to create SEO friendly URLs, using a team like ours at Martkethinkers to help you in your journey could go a long way to ensure you rank highly on search engines!
Some SEO-Friendly URL Examples
The following are a few examples of SEO friendly URLs and while they may seem very similar, there are a number of differences to acknowledge about each one.
-John Mu said on Twitter;
“I noticed there was some confusion around trailing slashes on URLs, so I hope this helps, tl;dr: slash on root/hostname= doesn’t matter; slash elsewhere= does matter (they are different URLs)”
Trailing slash on hostnames don’t matter;
Different protocols and hostnames do matter;
(A)is not (C), (C) is not (E)
Trailing slash on path/file does matter:
(F) is not (G)