Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structure

Oct 26, 2020 Learn to improve your SEO as we head into the new year. With more than 3.5 billion Google searches per day, to rank high enough for potential visitors to come across your content, you will need to play by Google’s rules.

  1. Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structure Enables
  2. Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structure Example
  3. Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structure Examples
  4. Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structure Allows
  5. Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structures
  6. Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structure Link

In fact, that applies to most if not all of the popular URL structures. From an SEO point of view, I have seen nothing to suggest that any of the options mentioned previously have an advantage over the others. If one permalink structure was better for SEO, everyone would be using it. Google’s semantic ranking algorithm, however, does indicate. Headings are very important when working on SEO for blogs because they represent the main topics that you are covering in your post. It aids also in your blog’s readability because it brings a structure to your article. You can make use also of subheadings and try to insert your keywords in these headings and subheadings. May 20, 2014 This change improves your blog SEO by creating a simplified, semantic URL structure with greater keyword emphasis than previous URL formats. The new architecture also provides additional SEO control because your blog name now features prominently in the URL hierarchy. In addition to better SEO, this update provides some strong user experience. Consider this, the URL of a page is used both by search engines and humans to better understand what a page is about, even before they visit it. If you want to continue letting the system do the work and generate your URLs for you, that’s fine – modern search engines have pretty sophisticated algorithms they use when it comes to understanding URLs and you’ll probably get.

Today we are going to discuss creating a website url structure which is search engine friendly and adds to the usability of your website/blog.

First we will cover the Uniform Resource Locators (URL) system for those who are not familiar with the term url, give some quick pointers on url structure then further explain good practices when creating the url structure of your website or blog.

Uniform Resource Locators (URL)

A url is the location of your page on the web. It is shown in the address bar of the browser, in the search results and is used when someone links to your page within their website/blog, mentions your page on any of the social networking sites or bookmarks the page in their browser.

http://www.domainname.com/folder-name/web-page-file-name.htm

The above url is broken down into the following parts:

  • http://

    The first part of the url indicates the protocol of the url. There are different types of protocols but for this discussion we will keep things simple and refer to the HyperText Transfer Protocol (http).

  • www.domainname.com

    This portion is your domain name. It is also referred to as the host or server id.

  • /folder-name/

    As the name used implies, this shows that the web page referenced in “filed” in a folder on the web server.

  • web-page-file-name.htm

    This portion of the url is actual web page file name. The .htm at the end indcates it is a static web page. File names can have different extensions (the .htm part) or depending on how the web server is set up, it could end with a / or nothing at all.

    A web page does not have to be “filed” in a folder. It can be in the root of your web server file system. e.g. http://www.yourdomainname.com/web-page-file-name.htm.

Quick Tips for URL Structure

Quick tips for search engine friendly and user friendly urls:

  1. Keep things as simple as possible. This will improve the search engine optimization, usability and accessibility of your urls.
  2. Organize you website url structure logically.
  3. Use meaningful words for your folder and web page file names.
  4. Make your urls easy to remember.

Creating a Website URL Structure

Building on the quick tips above,

Keep Things Simple

A complicated url structure makes it harder for you to maintain the site and complicates the usability of the site for your visitors.

If you are considering the search engine optimization aspect of things consider what your url looks like in the results.

As you can see from the image above, your url will be truncated in the search results if too long. What does this mean? People may be less likely to click your result because they do not see a clear picture of where on your site they will be taken.

A shorter url shown in the search results could lead to more clicks if it is clear to the user where they are going to end up when they click your result.

The example above shows a more consise explanation of how the article/section relates to the user’s search.

  • Keep your web page file name short. Try not to go over 3-5 words. You could count the characters in the above examples to get an idea of the character count that works best.
  • If you decide sorting your web pages into folders, try to keep the url structure such that it is no more than 3 folders deep. e.g. http://www.yourdomainname.com/folder-name/folder-name/folder-name/ That being said, less is much better.

A Note About Using Folders: Don’t forget to create an index (home page) for the folder. An advanced user may go up to the address bar in their browser and backspace the web page file name out of the url to see what else is in that folder/category. If there is no index/home page/category page in the folder they are not going to see anything. A lost opportunity to have the user explore what else you have to offer.

Logical URL Structure

What is the best logical url structure for a site? The one that meets the needs of your target audience and the theme of your site. (smiles) Yes that is a vague answer but no one set up will work for all sites and audiences.

In the planning stage of your website/blog you should have done research about your target audience and learned what they are looking for and how they search the net for your particular product/service/information. This will give you an idea how they like things organized.

Do they like to search by brand? If so then maybe a url structure of http://www.yourdomainname.com/brand-name/product-name.htm would be the best url structure for your project.

Did you pick a subject where sorting into folders is not really required? e.g. http://www.yourdomainname.com/topic-of-page.htm Would work just fine.

Pick the url structure logic that best suits your target audience’s needs (keeping in mind the url length issues pointed out above). Make it easy for them to understand where to find things on your site.

Using Words for Folder and Web Page Names

When possible use words for the names of your folders and web page file names. Why? Because it is much more user friendly that is why (and may give a bit of a boost to your search engine optimization plan). Which of these are you more likely to click in the search results?

See how this previous example used words for folder (directory) names and web page file names:

Not only did they use words, they used keywords/phrases their target audience would use in the search box to find this information. Now just because we have pointed this out that does not mean you over use these phrases. That would be considered a spammy or over optimization technique which will not serve you well as far as getting found in the search results.

Url

This however would be a poor example of using words:

http://www.yourdomianname.com/store/item1.htm

Why is this a poor example? Because:

  1. Unless the store portion of your website or blog is an additional feature of your site the store should be in the root of your domain name. e.g. http://www.yourdomainname.com/product-name.htm Some ecommerce software does this by default on installation. Be careful on how you set up a new ecommerce site if selling is what you plan on being the focus of the site.
  2. item1.htm is not descriptive of what the user will find on the page if they click the result link. Something like queen-size-blankets.htm would be more descriptive. If you have various types of blankets in addition to other linen items something like http://www.yourdomainname.com/blankets/queen-size-blankets.htm would help the user see how your store is organized.

Use Hyphens (Dashes) Between Words

Notice how we included hyphens between words in our examples? This makes it easier for the user and the search engines to see each word.

Don’t use spaces! Some web servers (and browsers) do not like these plus it makes for a messy url listing in the search results. e.g. http://www.yourdomainname.com/queen%20size%20blankets.htm is really hard to read.

You will see some use underscores between the words (e.g. queen_size_blankets.htm). If your existing site already uses these it is not a huge deal but if you are starting fresh use hyphens. Here is a video from Matt Cutts, Head of Google’s Spam Department explaining the difference:

Aug 5, 2011
Matt Cutts explains the difference between how Google interprets underscores and dashes in a URL.

Refine Default Web Page Name

When using some content management systems you will notice that they recycle the title you give the page:

Depending on which content management system you are using, you can change the web page file name. WordPress for example has an edit button to the right of the url box which you can click to edit the name:

This is something you should look into if you are using something other than WordPress. You do not need to include the, and, a, etc. in your web page file name as they just make the url long and they are ignored by the search engines.

Lower Case Names for Easier Maintenance

You will notice we have used lower case for our folder and web page file names. This is because it is easier to maintain the consistency across the site (we also name images in lower case for the same reason). It is also easier to read in the search results.

Create a User (and Search Engine) Friendly URL Structure

Many things you do to accomplish one thing, like usability, also improves other things, like search engine optimization. A proper url structure is one of those things.

If you decide to give your existing site or blog an overhaul after reading this don’t forget to use 301 permanent redirects to guide incoming links and the search engine to your new improved url structure. Also have a custom 404 error page in place for those changes you forgot that you will fix once you run your site through a broken link check. Look for your internal links that reference the changed pages also. The broken link check will help find those.

Any questions? Ask away in the comment section below.

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Here’s a sad but true fact: URL Structures are not memorable.

They are something easily forgotten if not an afterthought. And often we spend time crafting an eye-catching headline which in the end doubles off as our URL permalink.

But whether is it intentional or unintentional, we are glad you landed up on our blog post asking this one question — “how does URL structure affect SEO?”

This means you are starting to consider what makes the best URL for SEO or at least interested in knowing if your website URL factors in search engine ranking and does it matter to SEO.

The answer is yes, the keywords you choose to include in the URL structure can definitely impact your SEO and rankings. Don’t let people tell you otherwise. Instead, you should ask – what impact then, does the URL structure have in boosting or hampering our search results?

Besides, if you think about it, we take great pains to craft a website that offers engaging, original content that carefully incorporates a selection of targeted SEO keywords. Each design element is carefully analyzed for its effectiveness in acquiring and retaining visitors.

Even the colors we choose are influential over the success of the website. Because the whole point of SEO is to optimize every single page element to get the maximum SEO juice out of it and get ranked as highly as possible.

When it comes to URL structure and SEO, you need to understand how your URL address can affect PageRank.

Does Google really care about URLs?

Before we start this, let’s get one thing straight.

While proper URL Structure isn’t exactly the holy grail of SEO efforts, it is still possible that creating SEO-friendly URLs can let you gain an edge over your competitors in rankings.

Therefore with this in mind, let’s understand the definition of URL and what are the different parts of a URL.

What is a URL?

URL stands for “Uniform Resource Locator”, which means it tells you the specific address of a piece of content on the web.

The URL is stored in the Domain Name System (DNS) database that connects it to a specific IP address. When you enter the URL into the navigation bar of a browser, it sends a request to the DNS server for the IP address of the URL.

The Anatomy of a URL

URLs have particular structural rules to which they must adhere for the sake of historical IT design choices. They may not, for example, contain spaces or a few other specific characters. Forward slashes indicate directory layers, and the starting phrase of the URL informs you of the sort of content it is you are accessing.

There are 4 main parts of a URL and here is the breakdown:

1. Protocol: HTTP stands for ‘hypertext transfer protocol’, it’s the most commonly used application protocol. (Learn more about HTTP vs HTTPs here)
2. Domain Name: The domain name is your address on the world wide web.
3. Subdirectories: These are the categories or subfolders that you create for your pages.
4. Specific Page Name: The specific name of your page. It is the easiest to adjust compared to the domain name and directories.

How do URLs affect SEO?

If you take a look at Google Webmaster’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, you will see that Google says it is important to create descriptive categories and filenames to keep your website better organized, in addition to leading to better crawling by search engine.

Also, this can create easier or friendlier URLs for those that want to link to your content. Besides if your URL contains relevant words, this provides users and search engines with more information about the page than an oddly named parameter would.

And you have to admit, when you look at most of the results that queries return, it often includes the relevant keywords in their URL structure. Then again, it’s not that simple, here are some tips on how to create SEO friendly URLs.

7 URL Structure Best Practices

So we know that URL structure SEO is important, and that begs the question, “How?”. Let’s examine all the ways in which you can produce a quality URL that gets your website traction:

Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structure
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1. Keep your URL length Short & Sweet

Lengthy URLs are a detriment to social sharing. While people are able to use shortening services such as TinyURL or Bit.ly to shrink down lengthy links to character lengths that won’t take over your tweets, most people are hesitant of clicking on links that don’t clearly indicate where it’s going to take them fearing it may be a malicious link or spam.

Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structure Enables

How you go about making a URL useful and short involves a host of factors. Are your folders well organized and named appropriately? Did you pick a concise page title that lines up with the content on the page? Can your potential visitor get what they need from the URL at a glance? Most of it is common sense once you start really digging into the subject.

Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structure

Research:

If you still don’t think URL length is a big issue, look at these data taken from a research conducted by Quicksprout. They calculated the URL length of top 100 results of 1000 keywords and here are the results:

  • The average length of URLs ranked in top 10 result is 37 characters
  • The average length of URLs ranked in top 20 result is 35 characters
  • The average length of URLs ranked in top 30 result is 39 characters
  • The average length of URLs ranked in top 40 result is 41 characters
  • The average length of URLs ranked in top 50 result is 36 characters
  • The average length of URLs ranked in top 60 result is 32 characters
  • The average length of URLs ranked in top 70 result is 48 characters
  • The average length of URLs ranked in top 80 result is 45 characters
  • The average length of URLs ranked in top 90 result is 41 characters
  • The average length of URLs ranked in top 100 result is 38 characters

Based on these results, it is clear that URLs that contain 35-45 characters dominated the search pages. While this isn’t a clear indication of how Google looks at the length of URL, it’s definitely worth noting.

Aim for a length of around 35 to 45 characters. If you are near that, don’t sweat it. If you find most of your URLs are exceeding 80 characters or more, you should seriously consider rewriting them. You may be losing potential traffic to bad design. Try not to overuse abbreviations, since too many will result in ambiguous meanings that you might not intend.

2. Make it Readable

Enjoy better seo with the new blogging url structure example

This should be quite expected as Google has been rewarding websites that are user-friendly. So making your URL easier to read for humans is also making it better for search engines.

So how do you determine whether a URL is readable or not? Look at the illustration below to have a rough idea:

The general idea here is that your URL doesn’t need to be absolutely perfect, but it should at least be easy to understand and at the same time, look interesting enough to make people click on it.

3. Make Good Use of Keywords

Research has shown that people make decisions about the sites they click through based on the relevance of keywords present in the URL. Including pertinent keywords improves the likelihood they’ll choose your site among their options when you fill their need best.

When they encounter your link through social media, email, or a website, they’ll get a clearer picture of what your link offers. This can build enough trust and engagement that they click through.

In websites where your link is not included with anchor text, the URL itself becomes the anchor text. A readable, keyword-focused URL can drive traffic to your site by both boosting your rankings and encouraging click-throughs.

That’s the reason why you also need to make an informed decision when it comes to deciding the keywords in your URL. Choose your URL keywords by taking into consideration the keyword volume, search trend, and intent.

Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structure Example

Here is the tool that allows you to do so; Keyword Intelligence by BiQ. You may see all the insights that you need when considering which keywords you should use in your URL.

At the same time, always do in-depth keyword research and content silo strategy planning when you start on a topic. This would help you avoid creating duplicate content that is targeting very similar keywords.

You can plan your content ahead using Keyword Intelligence, which will also provide you popular questions and trending searches that will help you craft your content.

Another thing is, with BiQ, you can also evaluate your content and compare its contextual relevance to the Top 10 rankings on the SERP by using Content Intelligence.

Just enter your content’s keyword and URL, and it will compare it with the top 10 rankings to give you the advice you need for optimization.

Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structure Examples

What I love the most about this tool is the line-by-line analysis. It tells me the relevancy of each paragraph and prompts me if there is any revision needed. This is how it looks like:

4. Avoid Pointless Duplication

If two URLs are providing the same content, you are at risk of dividing your signal and reducing your traffic potential. It’s simple to resolve this with a 301 redirect (assuming the secondary page is of little independent value) or by using a rel=canonical (great if the second page has a use, like a printer-friendly option for the original content). This focuses all the search engine traffic to the first page and helps boost your visit potential.

Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structure Allows

Likewise, don’t fluff URLs with repetitive keywords. You are doing yourself no favors either in search result rankings and are discouraging some searchers from clicking on your link.

5. Use Hyphens instead of Underscores

Let’s start with Google’s own plea for web designers to use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) to separate keywords. Using hyphens makes it easier for their web crawler analytics to parse relevant information and produce solid results. The less your URL resembles gibberish, the greater the chance it’s going to positively impact your search engine placement.

Here’s Matt Cutts explaining how Google sees hyphens as a separator and ignores underscores:

6. Eliminate Excess Words

Stop words like a, the, etc, and, or, but and others are unnecessary in a URL. They don’t necessarily hurt you, but they can make a URL unwieldy in some instances. Use your best judgment. If removing a stop word is going to confuse the subject, it’s worth leaving it in unless that will push your link to excessive length.

7. Avoid Folder Mania

You might be confused now if you still remember Matt Cutts saying that having your page deep in multiple layers of subfolders do not affect SEO in this video:

New

While having too many subfolders in your URL doesn’t hurt your SEO, you really don’t want your URL to look something like this:

This is just plain old sensible advice if you understand that shorter URLs are better and readability is important. The more folders you add, the longer your URLs will be by necessity and the more ambiguous your content may become. Streamline your content within sensible and well-named folders for the best results.

Extra URL Optimization Tip: Have Reoptimization in Mind When Creating Your URL Structure

Remember your blog post is a living document, you can always go back to edit and improve it for your audience. So imagine the tragedy that happens when you forgot your listings or numbering in your blog post URL structure.

Enjoy Better Seo With The New Blogging Url Structures

We can always edit the headline to change it to 14 tools but when it comes to the URL (https://seopressor.com/blog/15-best-social-media-marketing-tools/), it no longer matches with the content.

Of course, this still can be fixed by adding another social media tool but what if we want to lengthen the list to feature 18 social media tools instead? Well, things just get awkward.

So always remember to go without listings and numbers to make sure your URL link stays evergreen!

Key Takeaway: URL Structure Affect SEO

Google does care about URL construction. Your potential visitors care even more than Google does. So next time, do not forget your URL permalink and use these SEO URL tips to create an SEO-friendly URL. By the way, what unique tips, ideas, or suggestions do you have regarding URL structure SEO?

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Updated: 24 January 2021

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