URL Structure for SEO: The Long-Term Impact of Choosing Your URL Structure

Over the last few years, messy, chaotic-looking URLs have given way to user-friendly ones.

A short, memorable URL is a great memory aid, making it helpful for providing the best user experience. No matter how you choose to structure your URLs, they’ll have a long-term effect on your online visibility.

A good URL supports your SEO efforts in many ways.

For the best chance at ranking for your target keywords, URLs should be:

1. Short

As a general rule, a short URL is better than a long one. Although most URLs won’t ever get typed directly into the browser, they could be copy-pasted, emailed, or used in social media posts. The shorter a page URL is, the easier it is for it to fit into these portable formats.

2. Readable

Users should understand what a page will offer them just by looking at the URL. URLs that look like machine code are inherently suspicious. Searchers want to be sure they’re going to the right place before they click, so URL is one of the key factors in making a link more enticing.

3. Keyword-Rich

It’s still a good idea to ensure a page’s main target keyword is represented within the URL. This grew more true when Google started highlighting keywords within URLs and it’s a major factor for people using mobile search. Resist the temptation to cram the URL with multiple keywords.

URL Structure’s Impact on SEO4. Clean

URLs with dynamic parameters appear fussy and potentially even unsafe. As users become more attuned to online security concerns, they’re more likely to look at search results with a bunch of numbers or tags trailing after the main URL and become suspicious. Eliminate these wherever possible.

5. Relevant

Last, but certainly not least, a URL should be relevant. It should typically reflect the main title you selected for the page. Ideally, a really human-centered URL should get to the point within the first word or two, which means eschewing fancy subdomains whenever possible, too.

When people search online, they’re on a hunt for something important. The main function of the URL is to reassure them that they’re on the right track. Anything that adds a sense of mystery will put them on alert. Luckily, it’s not hard to avoid mistakes that raise user anxiety.

After all, you’ve probably executed thousands of online searches yourself.

When you publish a page, always stop and look at the URL in relation to the content. Does it make sense? Would you be confident of the value the page offers based on the title, URL, and meta description text, as your users will have to be before they click?

If not, make edits. Soon, choosing an ideal URL will be second nature.