An often overlooked, yet key aspect of streamlined SEO processes is that of the uniform resource locator, better known as a URL. URL’s are the direct link to your website, and thus are possibly the strongest SEO tool available. Your website can have the best keywords, most informative content, and the prettiest and easiest to use interface ever, but if your URL’s aren’t structured properly, then you will get no viewers and your visibility will simply not exist.
We have come up with some simple tips and tricks to ensure that the structure of your URL’s matches the high quality of your on page content. Many may seem fairly obvious and self-explanatory, yet these problems are remarkably still evident in the virtual world.
Easy to Read
URL’s should be short, sharp and simple. The ideal length of a URL is anything less than 100 characters, exactly the length of this sentence! If your URL’s are longer than 100 characters, you’re running the risk of lowering the usability of your website, and potentially turning away potential clients and readers. Shorter URL’s are now more important than ever in the mobile device age, as long URL’s are much harder to copy and access when viewed on a smartphone or tablet.
Try to avoid writing the entire title of your pages and folders in the URL subdomains. Simple summaries often work best in this regard, whilst still providing the reader of your content with an idea on what they are about to click on.
The proper usage of characters in URL’s tends to be a grey area, and opinions tend to differ on each and every SEO related page out there. Characters to look out for when compiling URL’s are:
- Spaces – it’s important to avoid spaces at all costs to ensure the adequate length and readability of your URL, as spaces are converted as “%20” when typed into URL’s
- Hyphens over underscores – the use of underscores in URL’s was once fairly prevalent, however, due to refined search processes, they will now see your SEO drop considerably. Therefore, always use hyphens to break up words
- Hashes – hashes will negatively gear your SEO, as they aren’t read by servers. Some exceptions are present, such as using the # command to force the reader of your content to scroll down to a particular part of your page
- Capital letters – servers will treat URL’s as case insensitive, meaning that you run the risk of Google picking your URL’s up as duplicate content if there is a capital letter in place
Avoid Multiple Domains
When we talk about domains, we’re referring to the actual target name of the website, such as www.example.com. Google treats each and every website as its own singular domain, and frowns upon people who create separate domains for different parts of their website content. One exception to this rule is the use of domains targeting off page content.
Properly structured subdomains will always be better received by a collection of domains. Your subdomains should be organised, but not too organised, as a lengthy assortment of subdomain folders in your URL will once again tune down the readability of your URL.
At ITCC, we are the experts when it comes to streamlining your URL structure, cleaning up your subdomains, and making your website markedly more accessible than before. Call us today on 1300 770 119 to arrange a free, no obligation consultation with one of our expert website strategists, and see how cleaning up your URL structures can make your website more accessible and easier to use.
Do you have any other tips on proper URL structure? Feel free to let us know by leaving a comment below.