Today I want to talk about one of the most fundamental building blocks of SEO.
I am talking about the choice of the URL for pages on your website.
For those who aren’t sure a URL is this:
And every page on your website has a URL or address.
This address is critical to your website’s ability to generate leads.
Following are 3 SEO best practices when choosing your URLs for pages on your website.
1 – The more readable by human beings, the better
It should come as no surprise that the easier a URL is to read for humans, the better it is for search engines.
This is called “Accessibility” and has always been a part of SEO, but never more so than today, when Google can leverage advanced data to determine what people are engaging with vs. not engaging with.
Readability can be a subjective topic, but hopefully this illustration from Moz can help:
The requirement isn’t that every aspect of the URL must be absolutely clean and perfect, but that at least it can be easily understood and, hopefully, compelling to your prospective clients.
2 – Keywords in URLs: still a good thing
It’s still the case that using the keywords you’re targeting for rankings in your URLs is a solid idea. This is true for several reasons.
First, keywords in the URL help indicate to those who see your URL on social media, in an email, or as they hover on a link to click that they’re getting what they want and expect.
Second, URLs get copied and pasted regularly, and when there’s no anchor text used in a link, the URL itself serves as that anchor text (which is still a powerful input for rankings).
Third, and finally, keywords in the URL show up in Google search results, and research has shown that the URL is one of the most prominent elements searchers consider when selecting which site to click.
3 – Size Matters… (And Smaller Is Better)
Shorter URLs are, generally speaking, preferable.
You don’t need to take this to the extreme, and if your URL is already less than 50-60 characters, don’t worry about it at all.
But if you have URLs pushing 100+ characters, there’s probably an opportunity to rewrite them and gain value.
Google has shown time and again, all things being equal, it prefers shorter URLs to longer ones.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.