Creating SEO Friendly URLs

Creating a website is a major undertaking and sometimes the smaller details get lost or put on the back burner until a later date. One such detail is your URLs. It’s important to think about structuring your URLs into a user friendly manner as well as taking into consideration SEO. Now remember, your URL structure won’t instantaneously make your SEO rankings, but they many give an edge over your competition on Google’s first page. You not only want to create URLs that are friendly to users, but also to Google as well. 

1. Use Short URLs - shorter URLs actually tend to rank higher on Google’s first page.

2. Only 1-2 Keywords Per URL - Let’s think keyword efficiency here. It’s always a good idea to put in a couple of your targeted keywords as Google can give you a slight ranking boost. However, keep it only to 1 or 2 keywords as Google will frown and not award any extra credit for keyword stuffing. 

3. URLs Are For Humans - Make sure your URLs are friendly to the human audience, i.e. readable. This will create a better user ranking experience. 

4. Use HTTPS whenever possible - If you’re wondering whether to use HTTPS or HTTP - go with HTTPS. Google has confirmed that it is a positive ranking signal. 

5. Subdomains vs. Subfolders - Another tricky question - which one to use? If you go with subdomains, Google may consider them separate websites, so the safety bet would be subfolders. With that said, try and use only 1-2 folders per URL. When naming your folders, use descriptive names that will help Google and users alike understand your page’s topic. 

6. Domain name choices - Your top level domain may not have a direct impact on rankings, but .com is generally more trusted and gains more authority. 

7. Use Safe Characters and Avoid Reserved or Unsafe Characters:

  • Safe: A, B, C, D, etc. $ ! ?
  • Reserved: & + / : ; (If you find yourself using such characters, make sure to encode them)
  • Unsafe: “” < > # %