When we talk about content optimization, we can not overlook the creation of an SEO Friendly URL, that is a URL optimized for both search engines and for the user experience. A correctly structured URL helps you both in organic positioning and in increasing CTR (click through rate).
So,without further ado, let’s see six techniques for creating an SEO Friendly URL that helps you to better position your content.
Remember, however, that in the SEO there are no strict rules: do not take these techniques as diktat but as advice to be applied with your common sense.
1. Keep it Short and Simple
A short URL is generally preferable to a longer one, although obviously, the exaggeration is not necessary. Creating a URL that is less than 50-60 characters is more than enough to optimize your content. What is certain is that when you are in front of URLs with more than 100 characters, you understand that you have to make some changes and go to rewrite it to increase its value.
This is a suggestion that I recommend you apply not so much in order to create a nice content in the eyes of the search engine, be it Google or Bing, but to improve the user experience and usability. Google is easily able to process a long URL, but a user will find it much easier to copy and paste, share on social networks and embed (embed) a short URL rather than a long one.
This in-depth research carried out by Marketing Sherpa, of which a report of a dozen pages in PDF is available, states that long URLs act as deterrents for users, who get tired of reading and deciphering them, preferring to go to shorter ones, even if in lower positions.
2. Add Your Keywords in the URL
Despite the great discussions about it and who still baffles this trick, using the keywords within their URL is still a good practice to get better positioning, for many different reasons.
Take https://heatline.com/paladin-for-pipe, for example.
As you can see from the image above the insertion of the keyword inside a URL is a first reference to the information contained in the link that will be opened. This is very useful when a user is having to do with links in social networks, in e-mails or simply in the anchor text of the pages, which can choose whether to open the link or to discriminate in advance the content.
A great way, therefore, to increase the CTR.
Secondly, when a URL is copied and pasted without this having an anchor text, what happens is that the entire link is used as an anchor.
The third reason is the most obvious and banal and, at the same time, probably the most important one, namely the fact that the inserted keywords appear highlighted in the search results. This is one of the factors that most causes a user to choose a particular result in the SERPs and to discriminate against others.
3. Use a Single Domain
To fully understand this, which is necessary in order to create an SEO friendly URL, it is essential to know the structure of a URL.
What I suggest is to try to use a single domain and to deprecate the use of sub-domains (or third-level domains). In support of this practice, read this post by Rand Fishkin of Moz, during which he explained his 15 best practices to create a Friendly URL. Fishkin has repeatedly stated how, by his own experience, moving content from a subdomain to the main domain has always allowed him to obtain a significant improvement in the ranking.
A well-known example is the guide guides.moz.com which in 2011-12 was only positioned at the seventh-eighth place for the keyword SEO Guide. The same, after having been moved in 2013 on moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo, has positioned itself between the first and second place, showing an improvement that is unbelievable.
4. Write Semantically Correct and Users Readable URL
The question is as simple as it should be the URL: the easier it is to read and understand the user, the more it will appeal to search engines. It is essential that in the formatting of URLs there are no query strings in Aramaic or, even worse, complex and articulate query strings such as:
Accessibility and user experience must be the cornerstones in your SEO strategies, because they have a great influence on search engines, which are able to analyze the engagement and readability of a URL.
You must also aim to invite the user to select your result in the various SERPs, and a clear, simple and readable URL will help the visitor to understand immediately what is spoken within the link. Doing so will be more likely to prefer it compared to more complex URLs.
5. Limit The Use of Folders
Consider the two different versions of the URL that may refer to the same content:
If you’ve read up to this point, I do not think it helps to tell you which version is better, is not it? Of course, the second one.
In fact, folders, or directories, do not directly damage performance but, as always, an abuse is risky, especially because you risk transmitting, to users and spiders, a high depth perception of the web page and, of course, you end up compose a URL with an excessively long string.
6. Watch Out for Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing operations have long been deprecated by search engines and repetition of keywords will not only help you in positioning your content but, on the contrary, penalize it and position it in lower positions in SERPs.
When you finish creating content or a webpage, be sure to double-check each aspect before publishing.
Creating a quality content that then goes to be penalized because of keyword stuffing is really a pity, so always be very careful not to over-optimize your content, to ensure the best results.
So, you have seen how to optimize your URL is really simple and allows you to get a decent improvement in ranking on search engines. An SEO friendly URL is nothing more than a talking and easy-to-use URL that communicates both the Google and the user to the content of the linked page.
If you use different techniques to optimize your URLs and permalinks, write your thoughts and tricks in the comments below, thanks!