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Published on July 26th, 2017 | by Technable

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The art and science of creating the most SEO friendly URL

The art and science of creating the most SEO friendly URL

The process of optimising websites for search engines begins from the time you create your site’s URL. Right from the time you conceptualise the online marketing plans, you must be aware that unless you have SEO friendly URL, you can never expect to do well.  The search engines must find it convenient to deal with the URL structure so that they can easily make sense of it. There is a feeling that search engines are capable of handling any URLs, but this is grossly wrong.

How relevant URLs are for search engines is revealed by the fact that among the top 200 ranking factors of Google, URL length and URL path ranks 46 and 47 respectively.  Keyword in the URL comes at 51 and URL string is at 52. It is thus imperative that URL optimisation needs special attention and how to do it is discussed in this post.

Give preference to top-level domain

First things first – it all begins with the selection of the domain. There is no doubt that top-level domain has a clear edge over other types of domain. It is true that there is no effect on search rankings if you use any other kind of domain like ‘.tel’ or ‘.biz’ or ‘.pro.’ However, these domains do not help to generate trust among users as much as ‘.com.’ Trust building is crucial in search engine optimisation, and it begins with the selection of the right domain.

Make the site secure with HTTPS

You must take steps to ensure your website’s security so that you can protect it from cyber crimes that are increasing at an alarming rate. Visitors to your site want the assurance that there is no threat to them in accessing the website.  In a secured website, encryption of information keeps it protected so that it remains out of reach of intruders. Besides giving confidence to users, a secured website sends out favourable ranking signals. If the website URL is preceded by HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secured) and not HTTP, it shows that the site is protected.  You must obtain an SSL certificate from security providers to make the site secure.

Length of URL

There is no written down a rule about what must be the ideal length of URL but going by results and experience in SEO; shorter URLs fare better in rankings than long ones. By restricting URL length within 50 characters, you stand good chance to figure in the top position in rankings, but you might go down ten places if the URL length is of 60 characters.  URL length between 50 to 60 characters must be your target but never risk going beyond eighty that can throw you out of the race.

Word count

You must also pay attention to the number of words you pack into your website’s URL. Within the span of maximum 60 characters, try to use not more than three to five words to create a sensible URL name. These words must enable users to figure out what lies beneath the link and what they can expect when they click on the URL.  What your content is all about must reflect in the short span of five words. Use of more words does not add any value because the search algorithms give less weight to the additional words and you do not get any credits for it.

Use hyphen and not underscore

Google has declared that it likes URL names with hyphens over those that use underscore. Since your objective is to be in the good books of search engines, keep away from using underscore in the URL name but use hyphens instead.

 Do not use stop words

In search engine parlance ‘a,’ ‘an, ‘or’ and ‘but’ are known as stop words that do not play any active role in furthering the meaning of other words used in URL. These can at best fill gaps between the essential words of URL and not have any significance at all to search engines that either does not give any weight to it or completely ignore it. However, if you feel that inserting a stop word makes the URL more readable, you can use it without any other expectation.

Limit keywords in URL

To get a slight edge in rankings, you can include keywords in your URL but must do it judiciously. From the user’s perspective, keywords in URL serve as anchor text at times when the there is no mention of the anchor text when the content is copied. People viewing the URL know about the content no matter where they locate the link. However, be cautious to avoid repetition of keywords in URL.

When structuring URL keep in mind that you must satisfy the users as well as search engines and pay attention to readability that matters to both sections.

About the Author: Eddy Hemming is a writer and expert in search engine optimisation. He is in the fifteenth year of her career in Internet marketing during which she has held several responsible positions in many leading digital marketing companies. He holds a degree in marketing and communication.

 

 

 


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