URL is just a range of characters that locates the page of website? If you still think like that, change your mind now! A URL will provide search engine information of the page, therefore its structure also affects SEO status of your webpage. Some URL will be more informative for search engine, some are not.
So what is a SEO friendly URL structure?
A SEO friendly url structure can be described in 4 words: short, simple, straightforward and meaningful. The most important fuction of url is to describe main content of the web page. A url will appear in search result and will be the very first thing of page that users see before deciding to click. The more clear and relevant url they see, the more chance they will click in the link. Therefore to make sure a url is friendly and optimized for search engine, make sure it is friendly with users first.
To create SEO friendly url structure, you can double check with some following tips:
Include focus keyword
In some cases, you may not put the focus keyword into the url if it is too long or unnatural, However, it is recommended to include the focus keyword in the page link whenever you can so that search engine and also users who is searching for that keyword can recognize that your page content is relevant.
Use readable expression
Do not think that you are writing for the bot so no need to write a meaningful url. Remember your url needs to be friendly with users. Make your url is short and readable that can tell them right away what will be in the web page.
Only use hyphens
Google cannot read underscores. Instead of www.yourwebsite.com/my_web_page, use hyphens for your url like this www.yourwebsite.com/my-web-page.
No capital letter
There’s no sense to use capital letter in a url. It may not only affect search engine but also confuse users. In most browsers, capital and lowercase letters are treated the same, only for some browser such as Linux, it will become another link with capital letters. Besides, it’s hard to remember a url containing both lowercase and capital letters.
Use canonical URL
Duplicate content is not good for SEO. It may split your score and lower ranking. If you have 2 or more urls link to the same content, you should canonize them. Use 301 redirect link and remove the duplicates or rel=canonical if you still want to keep both pages.
There are a lot of other tips and tricks for a SEO friendly URL. After all, to optimize url or any kind of content for serach engine, don’t forget to optimize it for better user experience as well.