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SEO Ground Zero: site URL Architecture

SEO Ground Zero: site URL Architecture

How to Optimize your site URL Architecture

Creating SEO-friendly URL structure is not hard to do and you don’t need to be a web programmer to pull it off. Optimized URLs not only provide digital signposts for web surfers, they can also boost a site’s rankings.

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a web address, but you can think of it as the GPS coordinates for locating a specific page of information online. They are made of readable text and identify the hierarchical file structure of a website.

For example let’s look at Chris Giarratana’s Website structure:
https://www.cjgiarratana.com/services/freelance-writing-services/website-content-writing-services/

not only identifies what is on the page it also shows the site’s organizational structure for how that page was reached.

That’s a great deal different from the mumbo jumbo that other sites display, which look more like someone laid across a keyboard rather than took the time to clean up their filing system.

For example:
http://www.example.com/view.php?m=tempo&c=web+url

Here are simple tips for how to optimize URLs for search engines and web users alike:

Be semantically sensical

Web surfers should be able to look at the URL and have a clear idea of what information will be found on that particular page. When pages appear on the search engine results page (SERP), descriptive URLs reassure surfers that they’ve found a site that is relevant to that they searched for.

For example:

  • if you are a company that offers yard services in Orlando your URL for the yard services should be: www.yoursite.com/services/yard-services-orlando

Include relevant keywords

Part of being semantically sensical involves including relevant keywords. URLs that are written with relevant keywords receive search engine-referred traffic, which boosts rankings and pleases web users and search engines alike. Just remember to use hyphens to separate words in order to increase readability.

For example:

After your keyword research you found that the best keyword for yard services in Orlando is “orlando yard work” your URL should read: www.yoursite.com/services/orlando-yard-work  this includes your proper site architecture and targeted keyword in your URL

Become Link-friendly

Encouraging other sites to link to your content is one of the best things you can do to boost your SEO. However, if your URLs drag on for hours they are more difficult to copy and paste. Correctly written URLs can serve as their own anchor text when they are copied and pasted as links in other corners across the internet. For example, if a URL contains relevant keywords and is copied and pasted into a blog post, search engines may give ranking credit to the page for containing those keywords.

Be as brief as possible

Never surpass 2,048 characters or Internet Explorer will be unable to the load the page.

If your URL for some reason is long provide a shorter URL for your viewers to share, by doing this you might loose some of the seo benefits but you will gain more clicks and shares as site visitors are more likely to click and share a shorter URL. some tools to use are:

  • https://goo.gl/
  • https://bitly.com/
  • tinyurl.com

Limit parameters to two or less

Parameters are elements of a URL that provide data to a database allowing the correct records to be achieved. Parameters may look like: ?StoreID=8463637234. According to search engineer representatives, URLS with more than two parameters may not be crawled by search engines. Whenever possible replace unsightly parameters with descriptive words.

Many web platforms (such as WordPress) generate URLs automatically as content is added, but it’s important to double check that no URLs are tripping you up. Clumsy wording and thoughtless organization can be stumbling blocks for customers and search engines, making it harder for you to share your content across the web. Use these simple tips to keep your site on the right side of SEO and consider working with an SEO manager during the early stages of your site’s development can save you from making costly corrections later down the line.

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Alex Alexakis

Get expert feedback and practical tips to optimize your site when you stop by the monthly Orlando Site Clinic Meetup group! Join the largest Meetup in Orlando, FL for business owners, web developers, SEO enthusiasts, designers and digital marketers for hands-on workshops and expert advice to help you up your game online.


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