You are here: Home > SEO > SEO: URL Optimization

SEO: URL Optimization

Posted by Atish Ranjan | 54 Comments

Hey Friends! Here comes the 4th part “URL Optimization” of the series Summarized SEO World.

URL which is also called the web address stands for Uniform Resource Locator. As we locate a home with its address similarly a website also has an address which we use to locate it on the www,  that address is called URL.

If you are give a long address of someone’s home you will have to keep it written on paper as its hard remember but if its short and simple you don’t need to keep a note of it, In the same way short and simple urls are always the best because they are easy to remember.

Being a website owner you would like to have people who remember your website address but for this you need to make it easy for them by keeping it short.

Now lets understand about the Elements of a URL:-

  1. HTTP: It stands for Hyper text transfer Protocol and it the most used data transfer protocol on WWW.
  2. WWW: It stands for World Wide Web. Now days we have started using urls without www too.
  3. Domain:- Domain is the unique part of a website on www. Domains are subject to availability. You can choose any domain name such as it may be brand name or a keyword domain.
  4. TLD:- Top Level Domain. It can be .com, .in, .net, .org etc.
  5. Subdirectory:- This is the directory which is placed in your web space which consist of files.
  6. File Name:- This is the requested file or page.

    url-optimization

    <Image Credit:Searchenabler.com>

https://www.domain.com/directory/Filename

Hence it would be as:-

Http://www.example.com/category/page

I have just stated the simplest form of URL. It can be different such as

https://domain.com/page-name

https://domain.com/subdirectory/page-name

https://www.domain.com/page-name

https://domain.com/2013/2/page-name

https://domain.com/2013/2/page-name.php

etc..

It can be vary as per the webmaster’s mind. But http, domain name and TLD will always be there, they cannot be excluded.

I hope now you have an idea about the basics of URL structure. Now we will move further to discuss how we can optimize the url to make it better for users as well as Search Engines. For this we need optimize the url which is called URL Optimization.

Now lets discus what we need to do for better user and search engine friendly URLs:

Domain

Domain name is the main address of a website and the most visible part of the url. Short and simple domains are easy to remember hence always try to get a short domain. Don’t put dashes in domain name because no one likes to type a domain name with dashes which results into less direct traffic to your site. Keep it short and simple!.

In old days people used to get a domain which has their primary keywords, those kind of domains are called keyword domain. It proved to be beneficial from SEO point of view for long duration but after Google’s EMD [Exact Matched Domain] update the game has been completely changed.

Getting an exact matched domain will put you in problems hence be careful while choosing your domain name. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot use a keyword in your domain. Nothing will harm as long as you don’t overdo.

TLDs[Domain extensions]

Domain extension has nothing to do with SEO but .com is one of the most famous extensions and widely used as Compared to other extensions. If I have to choose then I will go with .com only as its my favourite but don’t think that .in, .info, .net cannot compete with .com. Extension doesn’t matter, content quality and quality backlinks matters to get great rankings in SERPs.

However, if you have a local business then I would advise you to get a country level domain. Suppose your business is in UK only then you should get .co.uk extension for your domain. This kind of country specific domains don’t get very good rankings in other countries but locally it performs very well and brings tons of local traffic which you need to earn profits.

Sub-directories

Here I want to make one thing very clear about sub-directories/sub-folders and Sub-domains. Don’t misunderstand between these. These two are completely different.

https://blog.abc.com – Here blog is a sub-domain.

https://abc.com/blog – Here blog is a subdirectory/subfolder.

Google consider sub-domains as a separate site and hence you need to do the SEO twice but in case of subfolders, Google consider it as a part of the main site hence no need to do SEO twice.

When it comes to subdirectories then we should have to keep in mind about the URL Depth. For better SEO practices you should keep less depth.

abc.com/resources/internet/search-engines/google – Bad

abc.com/search-engines/google – Good

Sub-folders structure should not be too deep as it gets crawled by SEs less frequently. Lesser depth is good and crawled by SEs more frequently. Now at the time of choosing your sub directory name consider keywords rather than using normal words.

Page Name

It comes at the last of a URL. It can be a product page or any page on your website. It would be better if you write a product name there instead of using the product number.

abc.om/phones/nokia-6300 is much better than abc.com/N-6300

It’s always nice to have some words in page name instead of having digits. One more thing, always use Dashes(-) to split words in page name as I did here (Nokia-6300). Avoid using underscore(_) and plus sign(+) here.

Note: Always avoid using parameter driven urls such as abc.com/nokia.aspx?id=2&p=447. Use some generic words or phrase so that users can guess what is the page all about by just seeing the url. It gives better user experience as if someone knows about the page and then lands there, it shows that he is really interested which results into lesser bounce rates of your site which is quite good for site’s SEO. But if the user is not able to guess anything by checking the url and click to know if the page is all about he wants then if he doesn’t find anything like that he will leave the page instantly which results into higher bounce rates which is not good for your site.

Also Search Engines don’t like the urls of this kind. Hence make use of better key phrases in the page name/product name which comes at the end of the url.

Over to you. Share your views on this topic. I would love to have informative discussion with you.

About Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is a web enthusiast and blogger who loves blogging. He enjoys the challenges of creativity by providing information from the field of technology, SEO, social media and blogging. Connect him on Google+.

54 comments

  1. You have explained each and every part of url optimization, I loved to read Stoogles 🙂

  2. As usual, Atish. You are bang on target!!! 😀
    I got to know a lot about url optimization.
    Would it be alright to have more than 1 keyword in the url?
    Can we have a similar post from you on writing directly on WordPress?
    It is not very easy to manage that when I am using paragraphs an bullet points.
    I’d be thankful if you could do that for me..
    Hope you have a fabulous weekend. 🙂
    Thanks a ton once again.
    Ambika Choudhary Mahajan recently posted…Nearly 51 Known Bloggers Share Their Blogging MistakesMy Profile

    • Thanks for reading. in SEO just don’t do anything in excess. it would be fine. I will try to write about publishing directly on wordpress soon.

  3. Thanks for sharing the useful post Atish! I learned a lot about SEO here. Specifically I understand that ” how to choose a domain name” and also there is no need in adding the keyword to the url of the domain. Great explanation, keep explaining for newbies.
    Nirmala recently posted…Content creation and tips to generate web trafficMy Profile

  4. Hey Atish – I read your complete article and It is really very well written with all basics. Good for Beginners. Keep posting 🙂
    TechTips Guy recently posted…Best TV streaming devices you can carry anywhereMy Profile

  5. I just LOVE this kind of post, Atish – I’ve learned something today, never did know what URL stood for – and now I do, so thank you for educating me!

    I always try to make sure my page urls are reasonably SEO friendly by keeping them short and including relevant keywords – I’ve a plugin that gives me a score for this, so that helps keep me on the right lines.

    Thanks for the tip about avoiding plus signs and underscores – I don’t think I’ve ever used them, but it’s good to know for future reference.

    Just one query – don’t you have to be careful about using trade names? Is that permissible?

    Sue
    Sue Neal recently posted…Writing Tips: How to Turn Your Draft into a MasterpieceMy Profile

    • Thank you so much for your comment Sue. I like to get you reading my post. Its an honor for me. can you explore your question a bit with an example please. SO that I will be able to make it more clear if I can. I guess you are asking if we can use a trade name in the urls. I don’t think using a tradename in permalink has any issue but yes using a trade/business name of any company with a little tweak can put you in problems, such as Using Googles(Dot)com is not a good idea.

      Did I understand you right? If not then please make me understand your question with an example.

      ~ Atish

  6. Great post Atish, as usual. URL is one of the basic things which can help you get higher search engine rankings for different web pages. For WordPress, a shorter permalink structure such as %postname% should be preferred for higher rankings in the SERPs. What do you think Atish ? Which is the best permalink structure for WordPress ?

    • Yes, you are right Priyangshu. I love just /%postname%. But category/%postname%/ can be good too. thanks for stopping by.

  7. Hey Atish,
    First of all I am not a regular reader but from Facebook I come here!
    And your blog looks awesome, about article 🙂 Article is well written.
    Thanks for all the great information. I was not knowing about sub-category so I got more knowledge about it 😀
    Sohil Memon recently posted…Sony is heading towards launching of PS4 on Feb. 20!My Profile

  8. When you write about subdomains, Atish, you say:
    “Google consider sub-domains as a separate site and hence you need to do the SEO twice”
    What do you mean by do the SEO twice? Do you mean do the SEO separately from the main domain?
    Leora recently posted…Familiarize Yourself with CSSMy Profile

    • Yes, Subdomains are considered as separate site and hence what you do in SEO for ur site abc.com doesn’t give any SEO value to a.abc.com. Thanks Leora for your comment.

  9. If you’re referring to SEO friendly URL structure then really it is crucial to get a higher rank. even though generating SEO Friendly url usually do not neglect to use directory hierarchy or structures. Make an effort to place the focused Keyword in url additionally. And when you need to alter non-seo urls to seo-friendly url, then provide 301 permanent in case you have already executed some work in the past.

    Good luck.
    Regards,
    Amrik Virdi
    Amrik Virdi recently posted…How Can Indians Earn Money Online?My Profile

    • Yes whenever the alteration is made there should be a 301 permanent redirect to get the Link juices which you have created before. Thanks for stopping by Amrik.

  10. I visit your site first time I found you in Facebook, Great post.
    I leaned something new here. Thanks for sharing very informative post!
    Keep it up!
    Asad Zaman Khan recently posted…Superb 3D Street Art &#8211; ShowcaseMy Profile

  11. Cool man! This is perfect SEO tactic to get a good result in long term.! 🙂 Anything can be changed in your URL expect the URL itself. So better to be wise 🙂

  12. Url Optimization is one of the most important part of On page SEO as you let users and search engine know about the page. If you don’t proper keywords then it can misguide users to land on wrong pages. Hence Always use proper and relevant keywords in the urls.

    Thanks

  13. thanks for sharing your thoughts on Important topic so many of us knowingly or unknowingly ignore it but after reading your fruitful thoughts and the importance will definitely follow these guidelines

  14. Hi Atish,

    Great Post Atish – I’ve definitely learned something today, I never knew what URL and HTTP stood for – and now I know, so thank you.

    Thanks for these educational posts Atish! Lots of value.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat
    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted…Attraction Marketing: Is it Effective for your Network Marketing Business?My Profile

  15. Great post and very nice topic about URL and Url Optimization is very important part of On page SEO .

    Thanks for sharing

  16. Great post and very nice topic about URL and Url Optimization is very important part of On page SEO .

    Thanks for sharing

  17. Very helpful post and great work continue Atish …………..

    Thanks for sharing

  18. I was directed here to find out more about the Google’s EMD update but got a lesson about URLs and how it was composed. It is a great post indeed, it is something that most people will sometimes overlooked and will probably will forget about but it is a good read if you are optimizing your URL. Thanks for sharing this my friend.

  19. Url optimization is must because this is one of the top most factor for better ranking in Search pages. You have made it very clear by giving examples. Thanks for posting.

  20. Atish, Good information provided, Before we start writing contents or build website it is important to select the right domain name and understand all the elements in the URL. Just wanted to know how does new extension impact in search engines. For example, purchasing domain ending with .co extension?
    lokesh recently posted…History of Social Media before FacebookMy Profile

    • As far as I know that domain extension will not make too much effect but yes .com looks more brandable and nothing else. If your content is right. SEO is good then your site will rank better whether it is .co or .in or .info etc. Thanks Lokesh for stopping by

  21. URL Optimization is the part of SEO. URL should be concise. Nice tips for getting good results from search engines. EMD is make a keyword rich domain get in to trouble. So we have to be careful about all this.

  22. This is what I call a great post on URL optimization. This is one of the best practices to get quick results in SERP. Thank you very much for writing such a cool piece of information. I always like the posts which has proper examples. 🙂 Love it

  23. I see most of the e-commerce sites fail to optimize their urls. But I would suggest not to ignore this part of SEO as its one of the most necessary thing in SEO. A good urls also improve the user experience.

    • Hello Diana, You are right you can always see dynamic urls on e commerce sites. Ignoring this part is a big mistake. thanks for your comment.

  24. Great, very descriptive post. Now I understand about few new things like url depth should not be more and dash is good to separate words in url. Learned a lot. Thank you for writing such a nice informative post on SEO.

  25. Thanks siddhartha for your comment. Yes url optimization is indeed the most important art of SEO.

  26. Very well-explained article Atish – always wondered what TLD meant! It’s interesting also what you say about Google’s EMD update – didn’t realise that those types of domains were being penalised.

  27. To Atish Ranjan,
    Nice tip for newbie who are learning about SEO in-particular on page SEO. Thanks for sharing..
    Thangaraju recently posted…Best 3D android Games for Samsung Galaxy Y-Android GingerbreadMy Profile

  28. hello atish
    nice to see you here. optimizing the URL is one of the essential things if you want to make full use of SEO. it helps in SEO if you are having your primary keyword in it. or the SLUG. one small step can make a difference
    prabhat recently posted…Free Download Temple Run for PC: iEatTrafficMy Profile

  29. Hello Atish
    Great job i loved it. it’s good to know about URL-optimization and all the basic tips are so useful.You have made it very clear by giving examples. Thanks for posting.

  30. Your writing technique makes your articles so easy to understand even for a layman. This is indeed resourceful and informative and i am glad i read this article, thanks for sharing such great knowledge.

  31. Url optimization i one of the most important thing that a website owner should be aware about…One of my website was lost in the google last EMD update, however now i am trying with my blog and hopefully will get success, and url optimization will be one thing i am going to keep in mind..
    Thanks..siddhant
    Siddhant recently posted…How to change your default web browser and media playerMy Profile

  32. Well said Atish,
    url optimization is really an important aspect for every website owner, and i have discovered it helps with an increase in click rate for your website in search results and helps in SEO too.
    Thanks for the post,
    Ajit
    Ajit recently posted…Do you want to get free itunes code?My Profile

  33. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I try to figure out SEO. It is a mission and a half. Well I wish everyone the best of luck. I usually use back link explorer sites to help me out.

  34. Hello Atish Ranjan, this is good information for me because m new blogger right now and m finding all tips for my blog. this is good one for me . Thanks bro

  35. Hello Atish – I read your complete article and It is really very well written with all basics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

CommentLuv badge