SEO Friendly URLs

SEO friendly URLs is a topic for substantial discussion. Should you include the keyword? Should you include the category? Should you include the service or product name? How short does it need to be? In this post, I’ll discuss some of the basic guidelines for a strong SEO friendly URL.

Basic Ground Rules

  • URLs should be focused – Remove words similar to ‘the’, ‘of’, ‘or’, ‘in’, etc. Typicaly, these words add no value to your URL.
  • URL Length – Keep URLs as short as possible, however don’t strip away important words. Keep the URL focused on the main content of the page.
  • Do not use underscores, utilize dashes. This is true for any name conventions, using dashes is a true separation of words. Some instances an underscore can be interpreted as a continuation of the word, thus combing the words.

SEO Friendly URLs for Your Company Page

If your website holds information about your company and/or services and that is basically it, no matter how many pages you have, I’d go with the shortest URL possible.

  • http://example.com/contact/

SEO Friendly URLs for Stores

If you have a store on your website, we recommend the following naming conventions:

  • Minimal categories and products: http://example.com/product-name/
  • Optimal: http://example.com/category-name/product-name/

SEO friendly URLs should also be helpful URLs for your visitor. If your shop contains categories that make your visitor’s life easier, by all means include these categories in your URL as well. This will remind the visitor where they are in your website:

SEO Friendly URLs for Blog or News Site

For a blog or news website, there are multiple ways to construct the URL:

  • http://example.com/post-title/
    Consider focusing on just the post title if your site already has a strong unity and is focused on a very specific area.
  • http://example.com/category-name/post-title/
    With a news website and you’re writing about different topics, adding the topic (as a category name), will make even more clear what the page is about.
  • http://example.com/mm/dd/yyyy/post-title/
    For a website that features daily news that is date specific, be sure to include the date in the URL. If someone is looking for the latest news, the date in the URL will show if the page is recent or not. If the date isn't important, don't use it. Using the date in URLs should only occur with strict reasoning.
  • Google News’ technical guidelines clearly state: “To make sure we only crawl new articles, please make sure your URLs are unique with at least 3 digits, and are permanent.” This is best accomplished by using the date and remember permanent means it won't ever change...for any reason. Reminder: Google News is only for news that matters to the world, which doesn’t apply to most company news. 

Credit: This post originally appeared on Yoast - we applied our interpretation to the factual data

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