Structuring a URL is mandatory for an enhanced user experience and search engine exposure. Online businesses are represented with the URLs so it needs to be meaningful, human readable and search engine friendly. Following are some of the tips that can help you in structuring the link addresses.
1. URLs shall be readable
Use meaningful words in the URL to make it readable. Consumers are more likely to click on a website that makes sense to them. You can replace any abbreviation with words that can be a company name or a keyword for a better understanding of the visitors.
2. Eliminate IDs and numbers
Eliminate the IDs, numbers, special characters and codes that are often generated by a blogging or eCommerce platform. It makes the URL look ugly and unworthy to be clicked so remove them now.
3. Canonicalize URLs directing to a common content
The URLs that have different structures but direct visitors to a single content may create issues of duplication and plagiarism. Use canonical tags to stay safe and justify uniqueness in the eyes of search engines.
- What is URL Canonicalization and how to Use Canonical Tag Properly?
- How to Use Rel=Canonical for Content Syndication and SEO
4. Cover your keywords
You can build authority by covering keywords in the URLs. It can be in the domain name, category or web page name, but making its excessive use may harm the ranking of your website. So, be wise in adding keywords to the URLs.
5. Harmonize the URL with the page title
In search engine and social media, your URLs appear with respective titles. To gain customers’ trust, you need to harmonize them by adding the same text to the URL that is used in the title of the web page.
6. Exclude stop words from the URL
Stop words such as and, of, a, the, but, etc. that are used in the title of a web page can be excluded for shortening the URL structure. The use of stop words is not considered necessary in the URLs. So, you can take into account according to your business specific needs. If you are using WordPress platform, you can use Yoast SEO plugin to automatically remove stop words from Permalink:
7. Limit the number of folders
Folders are used for categorization of products and services, whereas using it more than acceptable times may not seem original. Some of the stores add a folder name for each product attribute, which may give a perception of a deep website. In results, the customer may leave in spite of digging up the store.
8. Use word separators
Word separators are used for adding a long tail keyword, a complete product name or a post title in the URL to make it readable. For this purpose, you can use hyphens and underscores as these are the suggested word separators.
9. Set moderate redirections
You can set redirections to take customers from one page to another that may help to browse various pages and increase your exposure. Setting a redirection once or twice is acceptable; whereas keeping the customers in a loop of redirection may not help you gain trust and rankings.
10. Consolidate the www and non-www URLs
The www and non-www version of your domain name are dealt in separately in search results. So, it is recommended to consolidate the two by setting a redirection from one to the other.
Hope so that above tips will benefit you in refining the structure of the URLs. Given below an infographic by FMEModules that presents the same points visually;