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5 More Tips On Structuring URLs for SEO
As you might remember from How to Structure URLs for SEO, a URL is more than just your domain name. A well-structured URL can help a user navigate your site and tell the purpose of a page. Since the targeted traffic from URLs is so important, here are 5 more tips to help you structure URLs for SEO.
Tip #1 – Use the Article’s Title
This provides a twofold multiplier, particularly when keywords and phrases are contained in the article or blog title, which is recommended. A perfect match is not necessary, especially when it counters tip #5. The expected outcome from the SERP is realized in the title and further elaborated upon in the text. The URL: http://anyurl.com/handcrafted-purses-gifts is a near match for the title, Handcrafted Purses make Wonderful Gifts, yet keeps the URL short, which is easily copied and pasted into other content, even for those unfamiliar with creating hyperlinks.
Tip #2 – Do not use Dynamic Parameters
Again, this depends on what the dynamic parameters are used for. When used as tracking devices it is imperative to weigh the need for that information versus a short, readable URL. Most SEO experts agree that the short readable URL is more beneficial. More and more content management systems such as WordPress and Joomla have built in remedies that produce readable static URLs, or provide free or inexpensive plugins. However, there are still those that do not, in which case it might be necessary to use tools such as MS URL Rewrite or ISAPI Rewrite to accomplish this task.
Tip #3 – Carefully Consider Case Sensitivity
Generally, it makes no difference to a server using a Microsoft Operating System (OS), but servers utilizing a Linux or Unix OS might conclude an URL using capital letters as a different site. Take for instance a website owner for Mary’s Apple Pies who wants to highlight that her pies are apple pies and not pumpkin, she might use: http://anyurl.com/my-favorite-APPLE-pie instead of http://anyurl.com/my-favorite-apple-pie. The best rule of thumb is to always consider servers define case sensitivity differently.
Tip #4 – Use underscores or hyphens instead of spaces
This is a simple case of readability – using a space rather than a hyphen or underscore will not change anything else except the length. When structuring the URL if a space is used the URL will look like this: http://anyurl.com/my%20favorite%20apple%20pie instead of the much easier to read and a bit shorter http://anyurl.com/my-favorite-apple-pie.
Tip #5 – Restrict using redirection hops to once or twice
To avoid having the content on a third or fourth page not counting toward SEO rankings, ensure hops are capped at two to the greatest extent possible. A redirection hop can be an effective way to send users to the right site when using dynamic parameters to track usage while using a shorter version of the URL for readability and ease of use or when a website owner changes the domain name and the information on the old site is migrated to the new site. This also works to preserve bookmarks for both users and directories. A redirection hop can be used rather than changing the URL on all directories on which it is listed.
Try utilizing these tips whenever possible while structuring URLs to improve SEO and readability.