First impressions are everything. When it comes to your website, your URL is often the first thing customers and Google will see. URLs can make or break the success of your ranking, so you want to ensure you create an effective one on the first try. URLs are so important that the Google SEO starter guide has a whole section dedicated to them. So, what does it look like to make the perfect SEO friendly URL for your website? There is no one-size-fits-all concept when it comes to this, but there are some simple rules to follow when thinking out your URL.
Use Your Keywords
Every page on your website should have its own separate purpose. You want your URL to reflect this so that you attract the right people and crawlers. You may want to do some keyword research to ensure you can make the most of your URL. You will want to include the most descriptive keyword for your website in the URL, close to the root domain.
Avoid Excess Words and Characters
You always want to ensure that a user can understand what your website is about from simply looking at the URL. Most users on the web want to see simple, easy to read URLs, so you don’t want to overcomplicate yours by adding excessive words or characters. Words like “and” or “the” can be distracting and add volume to your URL that you don’t need. As long as a user can understand what your topic is without those words, then you want to try to avoid them altogether. Google will easily be able to understand the meaning without those words as well.
You want to steer clear of keyword repetition. It may sound like a good idea to increase ranking chances, but instead it will only cause a spam-like structure, which will turn Google away from ranking your site.
Another tip is to keep your URL length short. After 512 pixels, Google will shorten your URL in search results pages. Keeping it short will also help with keeping it simple and easy for users to read.
Build a Solid Structure
When deciding on a URL, you want to choose one that will be timeless so that it can serve you as long as you need it. You will want your URL to flow from domain to category to sub-categories when clicking around your site. Laying out the structure that you want in advance is key. You first need to talk about what the future of your business looks like, then start putting it all together. Don’t stress over it being perfect, that rarely happens. However, the more you plan, the less mistakes you’ll have.
Create an XML Sitemap
You want Google to crawl all of your important pages on your website. An XML sitemap lists all of a website’s important pages so that Google can find them to crawl. When deciding which pages are the most important to include in the sitemap, you want to think of the relevance of a URL. If you want users to land on a particular URL, then you should include it in the sitemap.
Leaving any URLs out of your XML sitemap does not mean that Google won’t find it. If Google can find it by following links, it can index the URL. The sitemap really just helps when there is a lack of internal links on your site. Although you don’t necessarily need it, we recommend using the XML sitemap since is more helpful with SEO.
Creating a SEO friendly URL will not only appeal to Google, but to users as well. By making them SEO friendly, they produce higher search results and more traffic, which will increase potential business.
If you’re ready to learn more about SEO friendly URLs and get help to start creating one, talk to us! We would love to help make your website more appealing for SEO and potential customers. Visit our SEO page to get started!