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URL Best Practices: Guide to SEO-Friendly URL

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a web address that specifies the location of a unique resource and how to retrieve it on the internet. Unique web resources include HTML pages, images, videos, or CSS documents. URLs must be human-readable and consist of the following parts;

Scheme

The scheme indicates the protocol a browser uses to request information of a specific resource. A protocol is a method set to help a browser transfer or exchange information. HTTP and HTTPS are the most common protocols. HTTPS is a secure version scheme. Browsers also include FTP (to transfer files) protocol and mailto (to open a mail client) protocol.

Authority

It is separated from the protocol by character pattern, usually: //. Authority includes domain and port. The domain name is the hostname of the location where the web resource is specifically located. It indicates the server requested by a browser. In some instances, an IP address is used in place of the domain. A good example of a domain is .gov, which indicates the information is found on government sites.
On the other hand, a port indicates how to access a specific web resource on the server.

Path

The path includes a subfolder structure to a web page location. It indicates a way to the web resource on a server.

Parameters

Parameters are values or key pairs that one can use to do something extra before returning to the web resource. Servers regulate parameters differently. Therefore, it is vital to confirm with your web server if they are handling the parameters.

Anchor

An anchor is a part of the web resource where specific content is located. It represents a mark that gives direction to a marked spot inside the resource. For instance, if you search a particular definition, the browser will scroll directly to a spot where the term is defined.
Notably, some of these parts of Uniform Resource Locator are optional, while others are mandatory. The web server handles Uniform Resource Locator, the resource, and anything associated with it. Therefore, the whole process of creating the uniform Resource Locator may require an expert to guide you.

Impacts of URLs in SEOs

Improved user Experience

Well-structured URLs make navigation more manageable on a particular site. Search Engines and human users easily understand what the web resource is about. For instance, if users research shoes on a website, they may land on a page dealing with shoes, https://gaviclothes.com/mens/shoes/specificsizes. The men’s shoes part indicates what the page is about.
Some pages may hide the title tag. The benefit of having URLs is that users will easily understand what the destination is about, even without a title tag. This enhances the user experience.

Ranking

Although URLs cannot rank themselves, using a proper keyword on the structure enhances ranking and increase visibility on search engine results. Search engine crawlers detect the relevance of the Uniform Resource Locator and the connection to the content on a resource. Hence, it is advisable to Uniform Resource locators that best describe content instead of placing keywords carelessly.

In addition, Search Engine uses Uniform Resource Locators to determine what web pages on its index are about. This helps it to determine relevancy. As a result, relevant content is ranked highly and appears on the first page.

Links

Well-crafted Uniform Resource Locators act as anchor texts when shared as links. Unfortunately, social media platforms often leave the links unformatted. This makes it difficult for users to click on them and thus, generates less traffic. Fortunately, this problem is eliminated by using human-readable URLs.

Tracking in Analytics

It is crucial to get information on how web landing pages are performing, especially for businesses. Well-crafted structures help track pages that are highly visited and pages receiving low traffic.

5 Best URL Practices

Keep it Simple and Concise 

Create a structure that is understandable, compelling, accurate, and, more importantly, relevant. Insert a single keyword instead of stuffing several in the structure. You can include more keywords on the anchor text instead of Uniform Resource Locator.
The best practice is to create it for SEO. SEO-friendly structures demand you create simple but short URLs for search engines and users to understand them easily.

Remove Stop Words 

Stop words such as the, but, and lengthens the uniform resource locators and reduces readability. As a result, users fail to understand what the destination web page is all about. Instead, drop all the unnecessary stop words to make them readable and easily understandable.

Utilize hyphens and underscores 

You cannot use space to separate words in the Uniform Resource Locator structure. However, if you write your words together, no user will be able to read them. The SEO-best practice is to use hyphens or underscores to separate words. Hyphens are more common. Underscores and hyphens signal the search engine where the breaks are for easy understanding and indexing.

Use a primary Keyword 

There are various reasons you should insert an appropriate keyword. One, the keywords in Uniform Resource Locators indicate the value and assures the user that their expectations are met in the content provided on the page.

In addition, it serves as an anchor text in the absence of an anchor text. Lastly, keywords in URL are a key factor influencing a user’s decision to click on a site. Using too many keywords makes you appear like spam and lowers rankings.

Avoid Parameters

Some parameters are used for tracking performance. However, using them on your structure makes it longer and awkward to read. Besides making the structure longer, they also create issues with duplicate content. In situations where you must use parameters, ensure that you use them sparingly.

Improving your URLs is the best practice for SEO but may require time and planning. It is recommendable to look for a professional to guide you on customizing and attaining better results. It is vital to keep your structure relevant and precise to make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website. Optimizing for SEO will increase visibility and clicks.

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