Did you know that Google processes 79,456 searches every second? Imagine the number of searches multiplying in a day, week, or month … The popularity of Google offers website owners tremendous potential to drive more traffic to their sites and increase conversions.
However, in order to take advantage of this search traffic, you need to make sure that all of your SEO elements on your website are properly optimized. An important step is to use SEO-friendly URLs for your web pages so that users and Google understand what it is about.
So what are SEO friendly URLs?
In short, SEO friendly URLs are hyperlinks tailored to the needs of users and search engines. They’re usually short and keyword-rich and can help you rank higher on Google.
Wait! Let’s start from the beginning and first explain what a URL is.
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator and is the address or domain name of your site. Each URL is associated with a webpage on your website and helps organize the content of your website. It’s basically the connection between your content and your website visitors.
But what does a URL have to do with SEO?
SEO friendly urls explained
Along with your meta tags, link anchor text, and the content itself, search engine bots use your webpage’s URL to understand what your content is about.
SEO-friendly URLs are easier for the Google bot and other search engine bots to index and crawl. And search engines need to be able to crawl and index your website in order to rank it in search results.
Correctly optimized URLs can also increase the click rate on your website and promote the divisibility of your content. These actions will ultimately increase the page views for your website and help your content rank higher in the search engines.
SEO friendly url structure
So what should an SEO friendly URL contain?
There are many elements to consider when creating an SEO-friendly URL structure. For example, your url should:
- Include your target keyword
- Describe what your page is about
- Be easy to read for users and search engines
- Use hyphens instead of underscores
- Be short and sweet
- Use HTTPS secured URLs
- No dates or years included
- Use only lower case letters
- Get people to click and share
When creating your URL structure, always think of your website visitors first, as ease of use is a top priority at Google.
Google states that:
“URLs with words that are relevant to the content and structure of your website are friendlier to visitors who navigate your website.”
If you take these factors into account when creating your permalink structure, you can greatly improve your chances of ranking higher on search engines.
SEO friendly vs. non-SEO friendly URLs
It’s always easier to understand theories when you break them down into simple usage examples. So let’s show you examples of SEO friendly and non-SEO friendly URLs.
First, here is an example of an SEO friendly URL:
It includes the post’s target keyword, “Social Media Marketing Statistics,” and clearly describes what the page is about. It uses HTTPS for extra security, and the dashes between words make it easy to read. The clean appearance will attract more clicks in search results and encourage sharing.
On the other hand, a non-SEO friendly URL might look something like this:
By looking at it, users and search engine bots could understand that this is a news article. But these numbers and symbols don’t tell what the article is about. Also, this hyperlink would not look good in search results and would entice users to click on it. In addition, not using HTTPS secured URLs can affect the chances of that page ranking on Google because it is not considered a safe page.
However, if your URLs look similar to the second example, you can edit this in your WordPress settings. Next, let’s show you how to do that with ease.
How to change the url structure in WordPress
To change your URL structure, also known as the permalink structure, go to the permalinks settings page in your WordPress settings. Set your permalinks to Post Name, and WordPress will use the title of your post or page as the URL structure.
Your url would then look like this:
Now that you’ve established the URL structure, you can edit it for each post and page to include all of the elements for SEO-friendly URLs.
And there you have it. The ultimate goal with an SEO friendly URL structure is to make it easier for users and search engines to understand, navigate, and share the content of your website. Creating SEO friendly URLs is a step in improving your website’s usability and ranking on Google.