SEO TIP – Improve the structure of your URLs

Simple to understand URLs will convey content information easily.

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

Use words in URLs. URLs with words that are relevant to your site’s content and structure are friendlier for visitors navigating your site. Visitors remember them better and might be more willing to link to them.

URLs like the one shown below can be confusing and unfriendly. Users would have a hard time reciting the URL from memory or creating a link to it.

Avoid:
– choosing generic page names like “page1.html”
– using excessive keywords like “baseball-cards-baseball-cards-baseballcards.htm”.

Users will often link to your page using a URL as the anchor text.

Have your URL contain relevant words, this provides users and search engines with more information about the page than an ID or oddly named parameter would.

Create a simple directory structure. Use a directory structure that organises your content well and makes it easy for visitors to know where they are on your site. Try using your directory structure to indicate the type of content found at that URL.

Avoid:
– having deep nesting of subdirectories like “…/dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/page.html”.
– using directory names that have no relation to the content in them.

Creating descriptive categories and filenames for the documents on your website will:

– keep your site better organised.
– lead to better crawling of your documents by search engines.
– it can create easier, “friendlier” URLs for those that want to link to your content.

Visitors may be intimidated by extremely long and cryptic URLs that contain few recognisable words.

Provide one version of a URL to reach a document. Focus on using and referring to one URL in the structure and internal linking of your pages. This will prevent users from linking to one version of a URL and others linking to a different version.

If that people are accessing the same content through multiple URLs, set up a 301 redirect from the non-preferred URL to the dominant URL.

You may also use canonical URL or use the rel=”canonical” link element if you cannot redirect.

Avoid:
– having pages from subdomains and the root directory access the same content – e.g. “domain.com/page.htm” and “sub.domain.com/page.htm”.
– using odd capitalization of URLs – many users expect lower-case URLs and remember them better