URLs play an important role in determining your search engine rank. Rather than being left for the later stages, URL structuring should be given special importance in the early stages of website development. This saves you’re the hassles of reworking on your URL once the site is already up and running. But, for those who’ve come in late, remember restructuring the site is not an impossible task either. Here are some vital tips to optimize your URL.
Simplicity and Positioning matters: Words closer to the domain receive more weight age by Google’s crawlers. Use short and relevant keywords and avoid symbols, for increased search engine compatibility. Shorter URLs are accessed more often, so place your keywords in the first five spots. Preferably use keywords in the filename position, instead of subdirectories.
Avoid keyword stuffing: Rather than cramming up every known keyword in your URL, stick to the top 3-4. Overuse of keywords negatively affects search engine results. Moreover, they run the risk of being identified as spam.
Be consistent: Try not to constantly change your URL so that your search engine is able locate previously indexed pages. If you do, ensure that the old URL is directed to the new URL so that your PageRank gets transferred by the search engines, without affecting your site.
Hyphenate to separate: Hyphenated keywords are reader-friendly for man and search engine. It helps understand the structure of your URL as well as the different keywords used there-in.
Reduce directory depth: Some search engines attribute most importance to pages closest to the domain and overlook directories with bigger depths. Try and limit your content to around the 2nd—3rd sub folder level in the URL, using hyphens to separate keywords.
Avoid multiple URLs: To maximize traffic, some opt for multiple URLs for the same web page. This increases your risk of being viewed as duplicate. Counter this issue by creating a permanent 301 redirect, which then directs the URL of your home page to the preferred domain.
Don’t let the I.D. affect your site: Every URL is viewed by the spider as a unique page and the unique session I.D. of a URL gets reported as a duplicate page for which it’s given zero importance by search engines. Additionally, everyone linking to your page will be linking to a different URL, which ultimately will downgrade your page rank.
SEO and your website go hand in hand; and the important role that URL plays is evident from the points cited above. Simply put, all your investment and energies in content generation will be in vain if a carelessly structured URL impedes your ranking. A final word of advice – retain uniformity in your URL structure throughout the site.