When it comes to search engine optimization, there are many measures that can be taken. Keywords, headlines, alt tags and title tags, page-speed and more are probably everywhere on the checklists. But one thing that is actually one of the basics and can make a difference in the fight for the best seats is often neglected: the design of the URL!
We all know: URLs should speak instead of any cryptic parameters so keywords should be used, which of course fit content. This is how search engines and their users in the SERPs see what it’s all about. So far the theory. In practice, however, it usually looks quite different, because the influence that a good URL structure has on SEO is underestimated. Of course, a good URL alone is not enough to get ranked # 1 in search results. But in combination with other measures, it can make a difference whether you use a good URL structure or do not care about it.
But what is the url structure about? Actually, the points that Google recommends here are quick and easy to implement.
- Title and URL match
A first important step to a good URL structure is that the keyword used in the title of the page also exists in the URL. For example, if you optimize a page on the keyword phrase “dating in the US” it makes sense to repeat that too in the URL.
For example: https://domain.com/dating/dating-us
- Use optimal keyword count in URL
Taking the example above, it’s pretty easy to put the keyword phrase in the URL. But how about the phrase being longer? When is it too much for the URL? At Google was once said: 4-5 words are perfectly fine. This is natural and therefore not considered negative. But if the keyword phrase and maybe the page title are only two or three words long, it’s also good to use the exact phrase in the URL. Anything longer than five words can be negative.
- Separate the words correctly
Rarely does one use only a single word as a keyword. Mostly they are phrases that consist of several words. Then the question arises: how are these best separated in the URL? Spaces? Hyphens? Underscores? Or maybe no separation? In this point, Google gives a clear answer: Use hyphens for separation. Everything else does not make sense.
- Map navigation structure in URLs
It is widely known that URLs should not be too nested. Nevertheless, it makes sense to work with a certain structure.
The above domain allows Google to represent the structure as a breadcrumb and the user knows in advance that he lands on a blog and probably there are several topics as well as several tips on dating. If he is looking for it, he will probably click right away!
With these tips can be quite a move and the URL structure can support other factors of Onpage SEOs. It’s not really complicated and expensive either – so there’s no reason not to put these steps on the SEO checklist, right?