URL Structure & Its Importance In SEO – What, Why & How?

You’re ready with your webpage content and done with all the optimizations. But, wait! Aren’t you forgetting something vital? Yes, URL structure. Before uploading your content, web admins must consider the URLs and structure to frame the complete SEO strategy.

SEO experts generally ignore the importance of URLs. They are not mere web destinations. They tell search engines a lot more about your website. It is an excellent aid for Google analytics and provides a great user experience. Therefore, when your competitors are so lazy to work on their URLs. You can channelize this opportunity to improve your rankings.

Digital marketing has many aspects of dealing with hundreds of different web pages. So, we’ll smoothen your URL framing ride by covering everything about URL; what is URL structure, why is it important for SEO, and how to arrange URL structure.

What is URL structure?

URL is a short form of Uniform Resource Locator. It is a unique link to the address location of a specific web page. Additionally, URL acts as the interface between search engines and humans. When a user puts a URL on the browser, it fetches the web page from its location. Google saves IP addresses with itself while displaying URLs to the visitors.

The main characteristic of a URL is its human-readable form. Google generally prefers URLs with categories or breadcrumbs. It comes on the top of the title tag and descriptions in the SERPs.

What is URL structure

The first part of the URL is HTTPS or HTTP, where s stands for a secure connection. Google always gives preference to secure URLs for website rankings. It may also include words like “mailto:” for opening links to forward emails to clients and “ftp:” for transferring files.

Second, the URL is www which is the World Wide Web. WWW doesn’t make much difference to the domains. URLs can work very well without it. It’s just that it has been around since the onset of the internet. Sometimes, https://www.example.com could use a subdomain that can redirect to the main domain, i.e., https://example.com.

Then comes the ‘.com,’ ‘.edu,’ ‘.gov’ domain name. Here ‘.com’ is the Top-level domain name, ‘.edu’ stands for educational domain and ‘.gov’ for government sector domain. There are ccTLDs domains as well specific to countries like .au for Australia and others.

Why is URL Structure Important for SEO?

As we have covered, that URL is the name of your web resources. URL is the key element by which online entities can track, analyze, locate, and refer to your website. It requires a bit of consideration to understand the relevance of URLs. Further, you can take the help of SEO company India for structuring all your URLs as per SEO standards.

The primary areas where URL comes into the picture are:

  1. Backlink to your website through anchor text.
  2. Appear on all social media, emails, and print media like flyers, billboards, etc.
  3. Links form a significant portion of the word-of-mouth marketing by your consumers.

The other factors in which URL has a meaningful role to play are:

User experience

URLs are an essential part of the user experience. A well-arranged and structured URL does positively enhance user experience. Google recommends URLs to support the content and title of the web page.

User experience In URL Structure

We can see that users can easily make out from the URL itself about the context of the text.

Easy to share on other networks

Simple URLs are easy to share on social media, blogs, newsletters, magazines, and other platforms. On the other hand, complex URLs are not understandable. Thus, users will prefer to share URLs conveying their meaning by themselves rather than a complicated URL.

Ranking factor

Google doesn’t consider URLs as a significant ranking factor. Still, it is the determinant ranking factor for Bing and DuckDuckGo. But you can’t ignore its relevance. As crawlers first jump on to URLs, whether in the backlinks, internal links, or search results.

After understanding the importance of URLs, it is helpful to know their arrangement.

How To Arrange URL Structure?

URL structure is a bit different for blogs and shopping websites. Other than that, there are general criteria for arranging links that every webmaster can follow.

The URL structure for blogs is a domain name, category, and then subcategory.

How to arrange URL structure

If you have an eCommerce website, product, or service-oriented website, you can arrange the URL structure with the product’s most critical features, price range, or best buy.

Ecommerce URL Structure

URL Structure Best Practices

Number of characters in URL

According to a case study, the ideal number of characters in a URL ranges from 35 to 40. URL top-ranked websites in their fields keep URLs within this limit. So, what could be the logic behind this? Google ignores the trailing characters after these many words. Thus, why work extra on designing big URLs.

Use hyphens instead of underscores

The hyphens are most effective in separating words instead of spaces. Web admins generally use hyphens after the domain name. The use of hyphens may seem to be irrelevant. But, they are an essential element of user experience. They visually enhance the word spacing.

On the other hand, the underscores in the URL may look like an “underline” in the link. It could appear as space to the user. And the absence of character could be a decisive slip in the URL structure.

Avoid mixed-case URL

Capitalizing the first letter works well for titles but a real mess in the URL. It is the worst parameter for the user experience. Users usually don’t behave this way. Using shift or caps lock while typing and reaching your URL. Whenever the user types a URL in the browser, they use a lower case URL. Why add extra botheration for users by adding an uppercase URL? I can play havoc on your SEO.

Omit redundant characters

Sometimes we see extra characters in URLs like numbers, unnecessary spaces, parameter separators such as %, &, ?. Are they required? Or they make it difficult for search engines crawlers and users to understand your URL.

It is evident from these links which one is more user-friendly and which is not.

  1. https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=517098096409810&set=gm.926033904609337
  2. https://www.milkmaid.com/recipes/chocolate-cake

Make your URLs timeproof.

Do you add dates or years to your URLs? Yes. But, there is no relevance to it. You must consider these two reasons:

  1. Add more characters to the URL. Date like 21/7/2020 has nine characters. It means that we use 25% of the 35 characters in the URL.
  2. Furthermore, updated content is a must for SEO. Suppose you have added content on 1 January 2019. Then, there is some update on the topic on 15 May 2020 and again on 2 February 2021. So, updating the content with the same date in the URL doesn’t make much sense.

Therefore, it is better to keep your URL timeproof.

Conclusion

URL structure is a vital part of online digital marketing. SEO experts must consider URL structure for enhancing user experience, readers know web page context at a glance, and improve SERPs rankings. So, what are the changes you’re making in your URLs?

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