URL structure is very significant for SEO as it plays an integral role in helping search engines understand the content of a page and how it relates to other pages on the website.
A well-structured URL can provide priceless information to search engines, including the page’s topic, hierarchy, and relevancy to other pages on the website.
Benefits of a Good URL Structure
We know that a good URL Structure on a website is important for several reasons:
User Experience: A well-structured URL can help users understand the page’s content before they even click on it. This can improve the user experience and help users find the information they are looking for more efficiently and will have more confidence in the website they are about to click on.
Navigation: A clear URL structure can help users navigate the website more easily, as they can understand the hierarchy of the pages and how they relate to each other. URLs should be human-readable and contain standard characters.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Search engines use URLs to understand the content of a page and how it correlates to other pages on the website. A well-structured URL can improve its visibility in search results.
Link Building: A clear and descriptive URL can make it easier for other websites to link to your content, improving your website’s authority and visibility in search results.
Social Sharing: A well-structured URL can also make it easier for users to share your content on social media, as it provides a clear and concise description of the content.
Why URL structure is important for SEO
Creating a sensible URL structure is about more than links and shares on social media, though. Websites can also enjoy additional benefits:
Keyword Relevance: Including relevant keywords in the URL can help search engines understand the topic of the page and improve its visibility in search results. The more relevant a page is to a given keyword, the more likely it is to rank and perform well in organic results.
Crawlability: A well-structured URL can make it easier for search engines to crawl and index the website since it becomes easier for them to follow links from one URL to another. Search engines have been built on links between URLs since PageRank, so by keeping URLs straightforward and readable, we are making it easier for spiders to discover the content.
In short, a sensible URL structure is an essential factor in setting up a website with SEO in mind, as it can help search engines understand the content of a page, improve crawlability, enhance user experience, improve link building and much more.
Come to think of it, can you really afford to have a bad URL structure?
What does a Good URL Structure look like?
A good URL structure should be clear, concise, and descriptive. URLs can be a powerful tool for SEO success, and remember that the URL is often displayed in search results, so it needs to be sensible.
Here are some fundamental characteristics of a good URL structure:
Descriptive: A good URL should clearly describe the content of the page. This can include relevant keywords and folders that the content sits within. Try to keep URLs as unambiguous as possible, and they must be unique.
Length: A good URL should be short and simple, making it easy for users to remember and type into their browser. Avoid using long and complicated URLs that can be difficult to read and won’t make much sense to users.
Easy to Read: A good URL structure should use hyphens to separate words in URLs, as it helps users and search engines identify concepts in the URL more easily. Using underscores or even spaces in URLs are not recommended as they are harder to read. You should also avoid special characters or symbols in URLs.
Consistent and Hierarchical: A good URL structure should be consistent throughout the website, using a similar format for all pages and categories. The structure should also follow a hierarchical pattern, with the main categories of the website at the top level and subcategories (subfolders) and individual pages nested beneath them.
For example, a good URL structure for a blog post about the benefits of SEO might look like this:
To give another example, a good URL structure for a page on a travel website offering trips to Australia might look like this:
In both of these examples, the URLs are descriptive, short, easy to read, consistent, and hierarchical, making it easy for users and search engines to understand the content of the pages.
Remember to follow these recommendations to get the most out of your URL structures and to help set up your website for long-term success.
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