What Is A URL And Why Do They Matter For SEO?
If you’re wondering how exactly can URL impact SEO, this article is about to answer that question. Although SEO is complex and doesn’t depend on URL specifically, it is still very important to have a clear and readable URL to make your website user-friendly.
That said, a good URL is a part of the overall SEO strategy you plan when you’re starting an online business, blog, or website. Let’s give it some more thought.
The definition of URL
Although we’ve all heard of this name, let’s define the URL to make it more clear.
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator), also referred to as a “web address,” indicates where on the internet a resource (such as a web page) is located. The “protocol,” also known as the method for retrieving the resource, such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, etc., is also specified in the URL.
It’s the address you share with those who are supposed to look for you and find it on the internet. Knowing this, it makes sense to make that address more visible and reachable to attract more visitors. Computers use IP addresses to communicate with servers, but URLs are more human readable.
URL consists of protocol, domain name, and path. Here’s an example:
Let’s see how a proper URL can benefit your SEO.
Better user experience
Imagine you have to visit a friend but he’s not picking up the phone and the Google navigation is misleading. It will take an hour to get to his place. A URL is like an address in a certain way. So making it simple, people will be able to reach out to your website more easily and faster.
Not only that but also Google engines will be able to reach out faster and make your website one of the top visited ones. More traffic means more potential clients or leads, so it’s highly valuable in a digital world. For example, using hyphens instead of underscores can bring you benefits because Google crawlers will react better to hyphens than to underscores. It’s a small thing that can be significant long term.
Besides, once you’ve worked with one URL, it sticks with you, so it’s important to think about it well and come up with a good one. What is a good URL? It is an accurate and semantically correct one. In one word it’s clear. Think of it this way. If you remove the title tag, would your URL still clearly indicate what your site is about? If the answer is yes, then your URL is unambiguous.
Your link is your anchor text
Let’s give a brief explanation of an anchor text. It’s the clickable text in a hyperlink. Generally, it’s blue and underlines, as you have already seen many times. A good SEO practice implies that an anchor text should be related to the content from your website for best results. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can hire a professional SEO agency to obtain the optimal results.
Now that we know this, we can conclude that a readable and relevant URL can serve as an anchor text as well, especially when you share the link on social media and other platforms. If its text is clear and content-related, people will find it more trustworthy.
Furthermore, if you think of this, are you ever dubious about weird websites such as example.com/g-4-6f-8tj-3, or something similar? This example doesn’t look trustworthy compared to example.com/5-essential-elements-for-laptop-repairs/, right? In the second example, you can see what the website is about.
Short URLs are more beneficial to SEO
Keep your URLs short and it will bring you more benefits than longer ones. If you think about it, URLs are already not very memorable. It’s something you copy and paste, it’s not supposed to be memorized. Making it long and complicated will only make it less memorable than it already is.
That said, be reminded that a URL should be indicating what the website is about. So, this means that if it’s too short, it might be lacking some information. Thus, a perfect URL should contain between 35-45 characters. Two characters more or less are not a big deal so don’t be stressed over that.
Keywords in URLs can be used for SEO
In addition to what we said about URLs serving as anchor text, we can add something else. Not only are people more prone to click on links that are more readable and semantically correct, but also they will click on a URL that contains the most relevant keywords.
For example, if you sell golden jewelry, including those exact words will make your URL not only correct, but also it will contain the pertinent keywords for that exact business. It depends on the business you do, but keyword research with the implementation of the most relevant one to your URL is a beneficial thing.
That said, if you already have a website that doesn’t contain them, don’t be stressed because although beneficial, it’s not crucial for the business. If it can be done, then go ahead, but if you came up with something more original and brandable, then keep going. By no means should you stuff your URL with many keywords.
Your domain can impact SEO
Using keywords to rank higher is a fundamental SEO approach, and adding keywords to your domain name extends this strategy to your domain name.
Furthermore, this strategy will focus on searches for your location or the goods and services you provide. For instance, registering a domain name like newyorkdentist.tld can help you rank for the search “New York dentist,” which is probably what most people in New York search for when they’re looking for a dentist.
Don’t forget about the branding though, which envisions a different form of search. In this case, people specifically search for you on Google after learning about your company through your marketing efforts. Choosing a recognizable brand name that people will search for on Google after seeing it on a billboard, hearing it on a podcast, or seeing it on a t-shirt is the strategy most startups use.
To sum it up, the path of a page should be brief, descriptive, and include a keyword. Maintaining focused and pertinent URL routes is crucial. That will aid in building your website’s brand on the actual search results page and make it easier for users to recognize your website as the one that will provide them with the information they need.
Make sure you have a reliable SEO agency along the way and obtain the best results.