SEO practices change and evolve – this is no secret. So, when it comes to URLs, they usually aren’t a top priority for ranking high.
But do URLs matter for SEO in the long run?
This element might be less significant than titles, headings, and keywords, but it plays a vital role in helping your website rank high. Therefore, excluding URLs from your SEO strategy could cost your website to perform poorly. URLs help browsers and crawlers access and shine a light on your webpages, so their structure and the overall site architecture are vital for SEO.
There are multiple ways to structure your URLs, and they will help in complementing your SEO strategy. That’s why we’ll be going over the basics to show you how you can structure your URLs and help your website rank higher.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
WHAT IS A URL?
Before we get into details, it’s essential to understand what URLs actually are.
According to Mozilla, URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and it’s an address of a unique resource on the Web.
Any legit URL can redirect users to a unique resource on the Web. These resources include HTML pages, CSS documents, images, files, and all kinds of web pages.
Computer networks and servers communicate with one another through IP addresses that consist of numbers and letters. For example, every device connected to the World Wide Web has its own unique IP number.
However, exclusively using an IP address to navigate through the Web is without a doubt complicated. So, that’s why URLs were created – to help users navigate hassle-free.
The best way to look at URLs is to consider how we use our home addresses. It’s far easier to find someone when you know their address, and we’re sure it would be difficult if our addresses consisted of random numbers and letters.
Every URL contains multiple elements, including the name of the protocol you need to access and a resource name.
URL protocols can include:
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
HTTPS (HTTP Secure)
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
It’s important to remember that the resource represented by the URL is managed by the Web server – so, it’s up to the webserver to manage this resource and the overall structure of the URL.
HOW DO URLS BENEFIT SEO?
Building good URLs benefits SEO in two aspects: user experience and general page rank.
Google and other search engines have stated that user experience plays a vital role in the overall SEO game. Although at first, it may be confusing how engines measure user experience – when you consider page speed or click-through rate, it all makes more sense.
When you structure simple URLs, portray precisely what the site holds, and redirect to the correct pages, you’re providing a great user experience. These are just to name a few, but all of the points made above tend to how the users will experience your website.
Moreover, keywords play an essential role here as well. When using them properly in your URL, users can easily get to the desired end goal. So, make sure you’re putting in a lot of work into developing a keyword strategy for your URLs as well.
URLs are clear pointers for engines to determine what the pages are about and how they relate to one another when it comes to page ranks. When you include proper keywords and follow the general guidelines for URLs, it’s easy for crawlers to index your page and bring more visibility to it. So, make sure to submit your sitemaps in Google Search Console once you’re satisfied with how you’ve structured your URL.
Page ranking and user experience are two of the essential SEO aspects, and working on your URL structure can immensely benefit you in this area.
URLs are definitely an essential part of a proper SEO strategy. Although many professionals tend to put them on the bottom of the list – they should always be given a thought and time if you want to see your website perform well.
These are just a few elements that can improve your URL structure. So, make sure to get out on the Web and see what other websites do and how they structure their URLs.
Source: Liraz Postan, Dec 29, 2021