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SEO Friendly URLs: Read Some Essential Tips and Best Practices

Posted on the 17 November 2017 by Burim Bekteshi @AllSEOBasics

What are SEO Friendly URLs and what is URL Structure?

It's important for the users to know the structure of the URL.

By the structure, I mean, even if the user cuts keywords on the URL and enters it on the address bar, it should return to the page where it meant to be.

Image: SEO Friendly URLs

Image: SEO Friendly URLs

A site's URL structure should be as simple as possible. 

Sub-pages should also be easy to read

For example, use

instead of 

A poor site structure doesn’t only send your visitors away, it also confuses the wits out of the spiders that crawl your website to index different pages.
Read also: A Few Quick Tips to Help You Find the Best Domain for your Site

SEO URL Best Practices with Tips about URL Length and Rewrite - Search Engine Friendly URLs

URLs should be SEO friendly. You may use URL rewrite techniques to make URLs to be SEO friendly.

SEO URL Dash or Underscore ?!

As an SEO standard, only the below two symbols are accepted from search engines.
1.Colon - :
2.Forward slash - /
Tip: Underscore - _ (Do not use this character in your URLs because its not SEO friendly)

Search Engines treat hyphen as word separator, they do not treat underscore as word separator.
1.Help search engines to better understand your URL, eventually will benefit your page`s ranking.
2.Use hyphen "-" instead of underscore "_" to optimize your page URL.

Clean, Short and Relevant URLs are favored by users and search engines.

Creating descriptive categories and filenames for the documents on your website can not only help you keep your site better organized, but it could also lead to better crawling of your documents by search engines. Also, it can create easier, SEO Friendly URLs for those that want to link to your content.

Choose a URL that will be easy for users and search engines to understand!

Some users might link to your page using the URL of that page as the anchor text. If your URL contains relevant words, this provides users and search engines with more information about the page than an ID or oddly named parameter would.

Use words in URLs

1.Don't use lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters and session IDs
2. Don't choose generic page names like "page1.html"
3.Don't use excessive keywords like"improve-structure-urls-improve-urls-improveurls.html"

Create a simple directory structure

1.Avoid having deep nesting of subdirectories like ".../dir1/dir/dir/dir4/dir5/dir6/page.html"
2.Don't use directory names that have no relation to the content in themProvide one version of a URL to reach a document
1.Avoid having pages from subdomains and the root directory access the same content - e.g. "" and ""
2.Don't use odd capitalization of URLs - many users expect lower-case URLs and remember them better.
A reasonable number of links (below 100) per page will give a better user experience.
Search engines may not follow all the links if you have too many of them on a single page.

Consider using punctuation in your URLs.

Search Engines recommend that you use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in your URLs.
Overly complex URLs, especially those containing multiple parameters, can cause problems for crawlers by creating unnecessarily high numbers of URLs that point to identical or similar content on your site.
Other symbols than these used by us are not suitable for better click rates, the sites will be avoided by the search engines. And even SPACE and ASCII characters are not accepted.

Steps to resolve these problems:

1.Check your site for broken relative links.
2.If your site has an infinite calendar, add a nofollow attribute to links to dynamically created future calendar pages.
3.Whenever possible, shorten URLs by trimming unnecessary parameters.
4.Wherever possible, avoid the use of session IDs in URLs. Consider using cookies instead.
5.Consider using a robots.txt file to block Search Engine bot's access to problematic URLs. Typically, you should consider blocking dynamic URLs, such as URLs that generate search results, or URLs that can create infinite spaces, such as calendars. Using regular expressions in your robots.txt file can allow you to easily block large numbers of URLs and allow only SEO Friendly URLs.

Summary of what you should remember:

1. Use URL rewrite to turn dynamic pages with query parameters into SEO friendly static pages.

2. Good URLs are not only user-friendly but also SEO friendly URLs.

3. Put your important keywords in the URL.

4.Avoid using STOP WORDS in your URLs.

5. Keep the number of links per page below 100.
  Make sure you always choose a small and good URL with some keywords (don't overdo it!) related to your post, to get clicks to your site.
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photo credit: Sitemap via photopin (license)

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