Posted on 14/03/2024 by Emir Haskic

Best Practices for Structuring URLs for SEO

In the world of search engine optimisation (SEO), every little detail matters. One element that often gets overlooked but holds significant importance is the URL structure of a website. It may seem like a small aspect, but a well-structured URL can make a big difference in improving your website’s visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). 

When a search engine crawls your website, it pays close attention to the URL structure. An SEO-friendly URL provides valuable information to both search engines and users. It helps search engines understand the content of your page and index it more effectively. Additionally, it enhances the user experience by providing a clear and intuitive path to navigate through your website. A well-structured URL can also contribute to higher click-through rates (CTR) and higher engagement rates, as users are more likely to click on a URL that appears relevant and trustworthy.

Understanding URL Structure

Before we delve deeper into the best practices for creating SEO-friendly URLs, let’s first understand what URL structure entails and how it impacts SEO. A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the web address that directs users to a specific page on your website. It consists of different components, such as the protocol (e.g., HTTP or HTTPS), domain name, subdirectory, and page name.

A well-structured URL should be concise, descriptive, and easy to read, both for search engines and users. It should provide a clear indication of the page’s content and relevance to the search query. A poorly structured URL, on the other hand, can confuse search engines and users, leading to lower rankings and decreased organic traffic.

Best Practices for Structuring SEO-Friendly URLs

Now that we understand the importance of SEO-friendly URL structures, let’s explore some best practices to ensure your URLs are optimised for search engines and user experience.

Simple and Descriptive URLs

Keeping your URLs simple and descriptive is a fundamental rule in URL structuring. A URL that accurately reflects the content of the page is more likely to be clicked on and shared. Avoid using complex and meaningless strings of characters or numbers in your URLs. Instead, use relevant keywords that describe the page’s topic.

For example, if you have a blog post about “10 Tips for SEO-Friendly URL Structuring,” a good URL would be:

This URL is concise, and descriptive, and includes the primary keyword “SEO-friendly URL structuring.”

Keywords in URLs

Including keywords in your URL structures can help search engines understand the topic of your page and improve its visibility in relevant search queries. However, it’s important to use keywords naturally and avoid keyword stuffing. Make sure the keywords you incorporate are relevant to the content and flow seamlessly within the URL.

For instance, if you have a service page for “SEO Leicester,” a well-optimised URL could be:

This URL includes the primary keyword “SEO Leicester” and provides a clear indication of the page’s content.

Word Separators

When it comes to separating words in your URLs, it’s best to use hyphens rather than underscores. Search engines treat hyphens as word separators, while underscores are considered as word joiners. This means that hyphenated URLs are more readable for both search engines and users.

For example, consider the following URL:

While this URL is still readable, using hyphens would make it more user-friendly and SEO-friendly:

Using hyphens in your URLs ensures that search engines can decipher the separate words in your URL and understand the context more effectively.

URL Length and Readability

URL length and readability are crucial factors in SEO-friendly URL structuring. Ideally, your URLs should be short, concise, and easily understandable. A long and convoluted URL can confuse search engines and users, diminishing the chances of your page ranking high on SERPs.

Here are some tips for optimising URL length and readability:

  • Keep URLs under 75 characters: Lengthy URLs can get truncated in search results, making them less appealing and informative. Limit your URLs to a reasonable length.
  • Use lowercase letters: Capital letters can lead to confusion and inconsistencies. Stick to lowercase letters to ensure URL consistency and clarity.
  • Remove unnecessary stop words: Stop words like “and,” “the,” and “a” add unnecessary length to your URLs. Remove them to make your URLs more concise and user-friendly.
  • Use readable words: Avoid using jargon, technical terms, or abbreviations that might not be familiar to users. Opt for simple and understandable words that convey the content accurately.

Avoid Dynamic URLs and Session IDs

Dynamic URLs, with multiple parameters and session IDs, can create complications for search engines in understanding the content and relevance of your pages. Such URLs can be long, complex, and difficult to read.

It’s best to use static URLs that are concise, descriptive, and include relevant keywords. A static URL remains the same even when the content of the page changes. By avoiding dynamic URLs and session IDs, you make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website.

However, certain scenarios, such as those encountered in e-commerce websites with colour variations, may necessitate dynamic URLs. In such cases, canonicalising the main page can mitigate potential issues.

Canonicalisation of Multiple URLs

URL redirects and canonical tags are essential tools to manage and optimise your website’s URL structure.

URL redirects are used when a page or URL has been permanently moved to a new location. By implementing 301 redirects, search engines are informed about the change, and users are automatically redirected to the new page. This ensures that both search engines and users can access the updated content without any disruption.

Canonical tags, on the other hand, are used to address duplicate content issues. If you have multiple URLs with similar or identical content, canonical tags help search engines understand which URL should be considered the authoritative version. This prevents duplicate content penalties and ensures that your preferred URL is indexed and ranked correctly.

Implementation of HTTPS

In today’s digital landscape, website security is of utmost importance. Implementing HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) not only ensures the safety of user data but also has a positive impact on SEO. Search engines prioritise secure websites, and having an HTTPS URL can give your website an edge over non-secure competitors.

HTTPS URLs are denoted by the padlock icon in the browser’s address bar, instilling trust in users. Furthermore, HTTPS is a ranking factor, and websites with secure URLs are more likely to rank higher in search results.

Limited URL Redirection

Excessive URL redirection can negatively impact your website’s SEO. When a user clicks on a URL, and it redirects to another URL, it adds an extra step in the user’s journey and can increase page load time. Search engines also consider excessive redirection as a sign of poor user experience, which can affect your rankings.

It’s important to minimise URL redirection and ensure that your URLs point directly to the relevant content. If you need to redirect a URL, use a 301 redirect, which indicates a permanent move. This way, search engines can update their indexes, and users are seamlessly directed to the new URL.

Monitoring URL Structure

Implementing SEO-friendly URL structures is not a one-time task. It’s important to continuously test, monitor, and analyse the effectiveness of your URL structures to identify areas for improvement.

Regularly check your website’s analytics to assess the performance of different URLs. Look for patterns, such as high bounce rates or low CTRs, that might indicate issues with your URL structure. Conduct A/B testing to compare different URL variations and determine which ones perform better in terms of rankings, user engagement, and experience.

By constantly evaluating and optimising your URL structures, you can ensure that your website stays aligned with the latest SEO trends and best practices.

How Can Loop Digital Help You?

Optimising your website’s URL structure and implementing SEO best practices are crucial steps in enhancing your online presence. With Loop Digital, you can streamline your web development process and maximise your website’s potential. Our expertise in web development and SEO optimisation ensures that your website stands out, attracts more visitors, and achieves greater success in the digital landscape. Partner with Loop Digital today to elevate your online presence and unlock new growth opportunities. Book a meeting

 with us at a time that suits you and learn more about what Loop Digital can do for you.

Emir is an invaluable member of our team, serving as one of our esteemed Account Managers. With a profound passion for on-page SEO, he possesses an exceptional talent for discovering innovative ways to optimise websites and enhance their rankings. Joining our organisation, Loop, in 2022, Emir brought with him a wealth of expertise gained from his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management and Advertising. Currently, he is eagerly pursuing his Master’s degree in International Marketing Strategy, further enhancing his comprehensive understanding of the global marketing landscape. Emir thrives on challenges and continuously seeks fresh opportunities to elevate our clients’ businesses to new heights. Aside from his professional endeavours, Emir has an unwavering passion for culinary arts and loves to cook up a storm. This ardour for cooking exemplifies his drive, creativity, and meticulous attention to detail, qualities that seamlessly translate into his work as a Digital Marketing Executive. His commitment to delivering exceptional results and his genuine enthusiasm for each project make him a trusted and highly sought-after professional. Emir’s profound expertise in on-page SEO, combined with his ambitious pursuit of knowledge and dedication to his clients, make him an invaluable asset to our team. His passion, both in and out of the office, reflects his commitment to excellence, leaving an indelible mark on our clients’ businesses.

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