URL Structure – How to Build a User and SEO-Friendly URL

URL Structure – How to Build a User and SEO-Friendly URL

Professional website optimization makes it possible to rank high in search results. The ability to build user and SEO-friendly URL is the cornerstone of effective on-site activities. How to structure a friendly link and what should it look like? Keep reading our entry to discover answers to these and other questions!

Table of contents:

What is a URL?

URL is an acronym standing for Uniform Resource Locator. In simple words, it’s the address of a given online resource. Theoretically speaking, every URL should lead to a unique elements such as an HTML website, image, video, CSS document, and many more.

seo friendly url example

In real life, URLs aren’t so perfect as they frequently point to invalid pages or resources that have been transferred to a different location. It’s important to mention that the owner of a given online resource can manage both the resource and its URL.

Selecting an appropriate structure that is friendly both to users and search engine robots can bring numerous benefits to the page and its SEO process. SEO-friendly URLs are a part of technical optimizations of your website, so they’re an important element of a larger process.

URL Structure

URL is one of the elements shown directly to users both in the search results and in the browser toolbar. Its recommended length amounts to 115 characters. If it’s much longer, then Google may refuse to index it.

While optimizing your website and trying to boost its results, it’s crucial to create an appropriate URL structure, which requires the proper embedding of individual elements and separators. There are certain elements that should be avoided if you want to create SEO and user-friendly URLs. For instance, so-called special characters are a no-go. Diacritics are also banned, as they may cause problems with indexing. When dealing with language-specific diacritics, you should use related characters from the Latin alphabet. So, instead of the French “â”, go for “a”, and replace the Spanish “ñ” with “n”.

When talking about SEO-friendly URLs and their structure, we need to mention that the domain name should always be the very first element. Then, it’s time for e.g., a parent directory, containing the product in question, followed by a user-friendly product name. Such addresses can be easily navigated by users. However, it’s also worth keeping in mind that URLs shouldn’t be too long, as this won’t have a positive impact on their visibility in the search results.

A correct HTML document address should have the following structure:

http://site-address.com/category-name/product-name 

When talking about product URLs, it’s worth including the most important keyword in them. This has an impact on the ranking and informs users what to expect:

http://site-address.com/products/dog-leash

For documents, it’s recommended to use their own title. For example, the URL referring to a PDF document with terms of use could look like this:

http://site-address.com/terms-of-use.pdf

As you’ve probably noticed, it’s crucial to separate individual words to improve the transparency and readability of the URL. For this purpose, it’s recommended to use hyphens (“-“). Avoid applying underscores (“_”), as they have no real function and are treated as if there was no separator at all.

So, an URL like website_optimization_service.com would be interpreted by Google as a single word websiteoptimizationservice.com.

The correct URL structure is beneficial to your website, as it facilitates indexation.

Why is it so Important to Create SEO-Friendly URL?

A user and search engine-friendly URL is nothing but a simple and clear link, containing keywords referring to the content of a given subpage. URL elements, arranged in a logical way, have a positive impact on website visibility and positions, as they help both users and robots to navigate the page effortlessly.

This is what an ideal SEO and user-friendly URL should look like:

http://site-address.com/products/product-name

On the other hand, this is an anti-role model:

http://site-address.com/co/eod2817

Let’s discuss, what are the benefits of creating SEO and user-friendly URL?

Page Ranking

User and SEO-friendly URLs have a positive impact on website visibility. Placing an appropriate, relevant keyword in the link may contribute to improving your traffic and positions in the SERPs.

It’s worth noting that Google robots also analyze URL structure when indexing pages. Thanks to it, they’re able to assess whether a given piece of resource corresponds to the query entered by users.

Moreover, proper URL structure is a ranking factor, so if you want to reach top positions for a given phrase, include a content-relevant keyword in the link, index it, and observe how your rankings improve.

UX

It’s not a surprise that user-friendly, properly structured links have a positive impact on UX and may encourage people to enter a given site. A quality URL informs both Google and search engine robots about the expected content of the destination page. Therefore, an accurate and catchy link can attract the attention of recipients and inspire their trust.

Short and intuitive URLs with relevant keywords are much more attractive than long, complex links with suspicious-looking characters. Apart from being more trustworthy, such URLs are easy to memorize, and users may even enter them directly into the search bar.

Since Google uses advanced machine learning systems to analyze and understand users’ behaviors, a good URL structure helps to boost SERP rankings, as Google knows which features are important to people.

CTR

Describing your subpage content with the use of a transparent URL containing important keywords can help you boost CTR (click-through rate). As you probably know, the higher your CTR, the more people visit your website.

This, combined with other marketing and SEO activities may quickly translate into increased traffic, conversion, and sales.

High-quality domains are more likely to refer to pages with user-friendly URLs. Expanding your link profile and acquiring quality backlinks is a simple recipe for improving important parameters of your website, such as Domain Authority. Apart from that, it’s worth mentioning that having your links published on various platforms may help you increase traffic, and reach new recipients.

Try Link-building process with Delante

Keep in mind that properly structured URLs are anchors themselves. If a given website displays unformatted links to users, they may feel discouraged and they probably won’t click the URL. Therefore, it’s worth optimizing URL structure as it’s important not only to robots but also to users.

Users’ Trust

As time goes by, we become more aware of hacking attacks, viruses, and malware, which makes us more suspicious of the sites we choose to visit.

A transparent URL helps to increase user trust and is seen as reliable and safe. If you want to encourage people to visit your site, take your time to refine the structure of your URL to ensure that it’s attractive to the users and reflects the content of the page.

How to Create a Friendly URL? 4 Best Practices

1. Keep your links as simple, relevant, catchy, and accurate as possible to ensure that both users and search engine robots comprehend them correctly. Although theoretically speaking URLs can include various numbers and codes, it’s best to focus on keywords that are well-known to users.

A bad example:

http://site-address.com/dre294sses/red-model-19472

A good example:

http://site-address.com/dresses/red-wedding-dress

2. URLs should refer to the page content but shouldn’t be too long. Keep your links concise but make sure that both users and robots can get an idea of what to expect when they enter the URL.

A bad example:

http://site-address.com/blog/how-to-choose-red-wedding-dresses-and-what-fabric-is-the-best

A good example:

http://site-address.com/blog/how-to-choose-red-wedding-dresses

3.Apply hyphens to separate individual words. Avoid using underscores, spaces, or special characters.

A bad example:

http://site-address.com/dresses/red_wedding#@!_dress

A good example:

http://site-address.com/dresses/red-wedding-dress

4. It’s always better to apply lowercase letters, as pages like delante.co/Blog and delante.co/blog can be considered two separate URLs, which may significantly increase your internal duplicate content.

A bad example:

http://site-address.com/Dresses/Red-Wedding-Dresses

A good example:

http://site-address.com/dresses/red-wedding-dress

SEO-Friendly and User-Friendly URL – The Takeaway

Implementing a correct URL structure is crucial for the SEO process. Friendly links should have an appropriate length, and ought to include keywords informing users and robots about the expected content of the page the link leads to. Following the principles mentioned above will help you to improve your website navigation, visibility, traffic, and rankings.

Contrary to what you may think, SEO is about people. Provide users with needed information and give them simple, transparent solutions, and you’ll quickly see that Google rewards such an approach! How to make sure you’re doing it correctly? Try working with technical SEO specialists and benefit from their experience!

FAQ

A user-friendly URL is short, readable, and well illustrates the content of a given page (contains its most relevant keywords). It should be easy to remember and type in by a user.

Here’s an example:

  • user-friendly URL: http://website-adress.com/offer/service
  • non-friendly URL: http://website-adress.com/eng/se/eop233123

To create a user-friendly URL you need to remember a few important elements, like:

  • keeping correct URL structure,
  • keeping the right length of the address and using dividers
  • making sure URL addresses are unique,
  • including the most relevant keywords in the address,
  • ensuring URL safety (SSL).

We describe each element in detail in the article above 🙂

User-friendly URL addresses can have a positive impact on your website SEO (and its search engine rank), increase CTR (click-through-rate), and also contribute to UX (user-experience). What is more, friendly (easy to read and understand) links are more likely to be published by external services that -as you surely know- support your SEO activity.

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Author
Sr SEO Specialist - Paulina

Sr SEO Specialist

In Delante from October 2017. She approaches her work with passion and commitment, optimizing clients' websites. Lover of active lifestyle, after hours fitness instructor.
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