SEO FRIENDLY URL
Search engine optimization is one of the most crucial parts of promotion. It helps you bring more hot potential clients organically while they look for similar products online. But modern B2B and B2C businesses face intense competition, so it’s pretty hard to achieve TOP rankings just with fine products and useful text.
Thus, it’s vital to optimize every aspect of your website. It applies to the URL too. Some sellers still mark them as insignificant but, at the same time, complain about low rankings.
So, you should pay special attention to the tiniest details of SEO strategy to gain popularity in 2023. To save time, do not hesitate to ask an expert what you can do today to become popular tomorrow. Use those tips and watch the results!
The Anatomy of a URL Address
URLs consist of many parts.
If you want an optimized URL, you should take care of all its parts. They all are significant, no matter what old-school marketing teachers may say to you. Usually, it consists of 6 parts:
- Protocol — it’s HTTP or HTTPS. The first one is the usual web application protocol for data communication. It’s open to anyone, so your site may be easy to hack. HTTPS — a secured web protocol that shows users and search engines that you use additional security to save and store the data. Thus, sites on HTTPS protocol get higher rankings.
- Subdomain — helps to distinguish big sections of the website from each other.
- Domain — the main part of the website. Usually, it’s the brand name or something relatable to it.
- Top-level domain — shows the search system your website’s type (sometimes location). If the subdomain has COM as TLD, it’s a commercial website. If you see GOV.US as the TLD, you are surfing the site of some government institution.
- Subfolder — helps to distinguish subtopics of the website. For example, you have the blog right on the website. And this blog has three major topics: how to choose, how to use, and tips. You can sort all articles in those subfolders, so it will be easier to distinguish them and find other articles with similar types of information.
- Slug — the name of the page. It should be easily readable, with the most popular keyword about the topic in lowercase.
It may be hard to decide what you should fix first. So we gathered five useful and feasible tips you can implement today!
1. Create a Single Version of the Domain
Sometimes, websites automatically create several variations of the root domain. Each of them gets some part of the traffic, competing with each other. It leads to low numbers of visitors because search engines count different root domains as different websites.
If you don’t want to lose existing traffic, you should add redirects from additional versions to the original.
Imagine that you are selling electric generators, and you made a site with https://seofeatures.com as the address. WordPress may automatically create some additional variations like:
Users may not catch the difference, so they will click on any version that looks similar to your domain. Search engines count those as clicks on different sites, so your main domain may get fewer clicks than it could.
Moreover, those domain variations made your branding less consistent, which may affect your sales. You should pay attention to those details to keep your branding perfectly tailored. It will improve the rankings.
2. Create an SEO- and User-Friendly Structure
If you want search engines to associate your content with a certain niche, create a fine permalink structure. Let’s imagine you are the owner of a tourist agency and create a guide with five tips on travel to Paris. So, your URL should look similar to this:
Forget about auto-generated URLs like:
Modern search engines are user-centered, so their machine-learning algorithms are highly likely to promote sites with user-friendly structures. To change the structure, go to Settings → Permalinks. You’ll see six options:
- Plain — it’s the number of the page in this folder. So, if your post about Paris is the third on the blog, your URL will look like mycoolagency.com/europe/3. Nothing special and no space for additional promotion.
- Day and name — it adds the date of publication to the permalink. If you decide to publish your post about Paris on 15 January 2023, your link will look like mycoolagency.com/2023/01/15/Paris.
- Month and name — it has a similar structure as the above, but without an actual date, just with a month. So, your travel post will look like mycoolagency.com/2023/01/Paris.
- Numeric — basic and non-friendly structure. It’s similar to the Plain and shows the number of this page on the website. So, if you have a small website with 4 pages, and the Paris article will be the fifth page of the whole website, it will look like mycoolagency.com/5.
- Post name — it’s the most popular structure with great SEO. It doubles the Header, but you can customize it. So your URL for the Paris trip article may look like mycoolagency.com/5-paris-safely-tips.
- Custom — you can create whatever structure you like, adding multiple WordPress-specific tags. It will give more information to the search engines, so you can promote yourself more effectively.
Once you choose the preferable structure, click on the Save Changes virtual button. From now, all new pages will stick to this structure. But it won’t apply to already released pages. You can change their URLs manually or with some third-party tools.
3. Make a Slug as Short and Simple as Possible
Remove any irrelevant words from it. Use third-party SEO tools to find “negative keywords,” and don’t use them in your URL. If you are selling only Apple accessories, including genuine Lightning chargers, you don’t need users looking for an Android micro-USB charger. So, in this case, “Android charger” will be a negative keyword.
Don’t use a brand name in the URL unless you are an authorized reseller. You may violate the law in some regions, so it would be better to “play it safe” and stick to all copyright measures.
You can also remove or reduce prepositions and articles (e.g., “at,” “below,” “into”). So, returning to the Paris article from the previous tip, you can give this article an address similar to this mycoolagency.com/europe/travelling-paris-tips. Users will see the potential benefits of the article even before clicking on it.
Implement this knowledge in your SEO strategy and remove all negative keywords from the URL. They may lead to some extra clicks, but they will be irrelevant. So, it is highly likely to lower your rankings.
4. Avoid Numbers Where Possible
Especially if you create a blog post that is not related to the news, you may want to update it in the future to keep it relevant. It helps maintain content recency with minimal effort. You should keep content relatable and fill in with the most recent information, adjusting it from time to time. It’s one of the main SEO 2023 trends. If you have numbers in the URL, you should change them too to match the title.
Let’s revisit previous examples. If the generator shop wants to create an article “5 budget-friendly generators under 7000 Watts”, they should give this URL budget-friendly-generators-under-7000-watts/.
They can skip the number of generators in the URL, so they can update the article when they want. They also can change the number of products in the article because the shop isn’t tied to some number it URL address.
5. Replace Spaces and Underscores with Hyphens
URLs can’t include spaces because browsers rewrite them to “%20”, but search engines will read your phrase as one word. The same thing happens with underscores. So, if you try to make “Useful Paris traveling tips” the URL of the article, the search engines see it as “usefulparistravellingtips”.
It will be better to create a simple slug with 2-5 relevant words divided with hyphens rather than mixing everything in one address.
The main SEO trend in 2023 is to become a user-friendly business. And all URLs should adhere to this recommendation. Create short, readable, and catchy links to grab the user’s attention. Add a few popular keywords and avoid numbers, so you can adjust the article without changing links.
Yes, you have three methods on how to do this. You can use the MySQL database or create a PHP script. But if you are looking for a simpler solution, choose the Better Search Replace plugin.
Only if it’s some news or historically related content. Otherwise, your content will pretty quickly be marked as old and irrelevant. But you can still use them in the header, title, and description.
It would be better to keep it simple. Technically, you can fit up to 2048 symbols there, but it would be better to prefer short URLs up to 75 characters.
No, it’s OK if your title and URL don’t match. They need to be similar but not identical. You can slightly change the URL without any fear.
Yes, if it identifies some characteristics of the product or service. Don’t use numbers to count: years, months, tips, etc. You may want to change those numbers in the future. And if you change numbers in the URL, it will break the link and all its statistics.