How Should I Structure My URLs?

Setting up your URL structure can be a bit tricky at times. Should you keep it short or chance a couple of extra keywords? On the other hand, if you put in too many keywords, is that considered stuffing? And then there’s the question of how to make URLs SEO friendly. It’s enough to make your head spin and want to throw your hands up in surrender. But never fear, there are a few simple rules that everyone should follow when setting up URLs.

No matter if you have a blog, an e-commerce site, or a simple informational site, there are some guidelines to follow as you set up your URL structure. These are the basics that you should implement not only as good practice, but will also help with SEO.

1. First and foremost, your URLs should be focused. You want to strip your URL down to the barest of necessities. Words like ‘a’, ‘of’, ‘the’, and so on add absolutely no value. While you’re condensing, take out verbs as well. All these words do is take up space. They are not needed to describe what your page is about. 

URL Structure

2. It’s not that you HAVE to have short URLs, but it is recommended that they be as short as possible. This stems from keeping your URL focused and to the point. Google won’t penalize you for a more lengthy URL, but keep in mind that shorter is often more efficient. Remember that Google bolds the keywords used in search, so make sure your URL follows a sensical structure. 

3. To go along with the point mentioned above, length isn’t much of an issue with Google. However, they will only show what they think is important for a visitor. Meta title descriptions are cut off at 512 pixels along with your URL. 

4. This is a very simple rule to follow - never use underscores. Always use dashes. Underscores connect words together and make them into one. This generally isn’t the preference of most people when setting up URLs, so better to be safer than sorry and stick with the dash. 

It’s helpful to create SEO friendly URLs, but it’s also important to keep in mind the visitor. How are they searching for you? How will they remember you? This will be the greater influence for you as you create URLs for your website. After all, you’re in business because of those very visitors you are wanting to attract.