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What Is The Best URL Structure for SEO? (7 Incredible Tips)

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You are finally putting the finishing touches on that perfect next post when you lookup under the title in WordPress and notice that your URL reads, “yourwebsite.com/this-quiz-will-determine-your-hygeine-size-and-favorite-color”

Not exactly ideal, right?

So, What is the best URL structure for SEO?

Of course, what we mention above is an extreme example of what we would want to avoid. We want a easily memorable, very clickable, URL structure that both Google and searches on Google will like.

The reason for this is because the more ‘user friendly’ our posts look from the title all the way down to the URL, the more clicks we will get. The more clicks we get the leads and money we get.

This post will break down 7 ideal practices to make sure that your blog posts URL is ready for Google and social media to spread like wildfire.
Also read: 17 Powerful Website Factors to Optimize Your SEO

What is URL Structure?

This is a loaded question…

The Universal Resource Locator (or the URL) is the format or the protocol you use to display your website to the world. As a practical example, https://enstinemuki.com/check-website-hacked is about as simple of URL structure you can get.

enstinemuki.com would be considered the domain. The portion of the URL that says, “check-website-hacked” is what is commonly referred to as the slug. It is appended to the domain to help identify the webpage as being unique.

The issue that most of us run into is that websites can create their own URLs and most often they make no sense whatsoever. A page that has a title like this: https://twitter.com/enstinemuki/status/1011271973962506240 is hideous and no one will ever remember that outside of Twitter.

So now that we have established some ground rules, let is dive deep into the 7 hacks that we can use to pretty up our URL structure and ultimately drive more traffic to our site.

1. It Must Make Sense

Your URL slug has to make sense from a practical perspective. As an example, if you shiny new blog post has to do with Walk Dogs, you would not want the slug of your page to be /dog-toys.

Reason being is that people will associate the name of your site with what it is about. If it is not related, how to you expect anyone to remember it. It has to be done with the searcher in mind.

The relevance will also help your SEO efforts. 

Remember that Google is a large machine that is looking to provide people with the best user experience possible. Google satisfies user experience by providing the best possible results for whatever you and I type in their search engine. For further training on how to build a blog that can make money check out the training that I used right here.

If Google has a clear understanding of what your website is about, you can rest assured that Google will serve up your site to searches and increase traffic organically to your website. That traffic has the potential to lead to sales!

By having a site slug that makes sense, you can help Google along and let them know what your site is truly about.

2. Use Your base/parent keyword

As an extension to what we are talking about in number 1, is to make the keyword your parent keyword.

A parent keyword is the root of what is usually searched for on the internet. For example, if you search , “what is Spiderman’s web thingy”  the parent topic for that search string would be Spiderman’s Web.

That is ultimately what you are wanting to rank for to get the highest potential of traffic to your site.

So instead of using your new slug and writing it out like this, yoursite.com/what-is-spidermans-web-thingy, you can just have yoursite.com/spidermans-web.

That looks cleaner, is easier to type out, and most importantly allows you to update the post over time not have to keep updating the slug. No 301 redirects or anything like that. You are, in essence, “future proofing” your website.

best url structure for seo

3. Be Succinct

These things easily bleed into either other. So it is important to remember the core reason we are having this lesson… to make it more and more accommodating to people searching on Google.

Another facet of this is to keep URLs short as possible.

There has been evidence to suggest that Google just straight up ignores insanely long URLs. Why? Because it is another form of stuffing keywords.

The days of exact match are over… even when it comes to long-tail keywords. You need to be as succinct as possible when it comes to creating the URLs for your site. Do not be overly wordy for no reason.

Again, the point is for people to remember your post URL which makes it easier to pull up later for future reference.

4. Less is More

One of the biggest ranking factors that Google uses to know whether or not a piece of content worth people’s time is the Click-Through Rate or the CTR.

With CTR being a huge topic of discussion, no one will know that your content is awesome if no one is clicking on it. Do something that will stimulate interest and people will WANT to click on your web page.

One way to do this is to keep in mind the simple principle of ‘less being more’ .

Less words is less intimidating to new comers. It can also grab a larger number of clicks because the shorter something is, the more room for mystery.

Why do we need mystery?

Easy, because our goal here is to get as many people as possible to click on our websites. When we leave mystery and intrigue with a cleverly chosen select words, people will click on it just to see what the rest of the story is about.

As long as your content is awesome, people will land and engage, and likely become subscribers or sign up for your newsletter. 

less > more

5. Use Only letters and numbers

This one sounds like a no-brainer, but nothing can be taken for granted now-a-days.

Please, for the love of Ray-J, only use letters and numbers in your URLs.

There are plenty of times when you or I accidentally used an ampersand, or equals sign, or question marks.

Do not allow that to be you. Most people are not going to readily know what an ampersand looks like. Sure they can pick one out when they are presented one, but really know that the little squiggly line that represents “and” is called an ampersand can be a stretch.

Remember, you are trying to reach for the masses.

Do not get cute and add every symbol under the sun, including apostrophe’s and quotation marks.

best url structure for seo

6. get to the point (less slashes)

In silo structured websites, it is easy to fall in the trap of having constant forward slashes making your site harder to remember.

For absolutely HUGE website, I can see having the URL structure like yoursite.com/blog/my-blog-post. But let us not get carried away with yoursite.com/blog/january/1stquarter/2018/my-blog-post.

See my point?

Aside from not being very ‘pretty’ it doesn’t show the point of what we are trying to accomplish anyways… memorability.

Another draw back is that it dates your site.

Check out the URL example we had above. Google can and will read that and immediately assume that the information on that page will only be pertinent in January 2018. Do you really want Google thinking that?

Even if Google is smart enough to still show your helpful content years later, think about the user clicking on the search result. They will see January 2018 and likely immediately think that this content will not help them because it is too old. 

Even though the Silo structure for website is a great method to follow, be careful when it comes to allowing too many subfolders and making your URL structure too long and complicated.

7. Use Hyphens

​The human eye is a simple tool. It looks and perceives what is in front of it.

WhenYouSeeWordsThatArePutTogetherItIsDifficultToSeperateTheWords….

No worries, I will re-write that for those who may have struggled with reading that. When you see words that are put together, it is difficult to separate the words and get the full meaning.

When it comes to creating URL structures you must separate them with hyphens or (at worst) underscores.

This is essential for readability purposes. I cannot further state that you must look at this from the perspective of the searcher. Google searchers are a wild bunch. They will easily glaze over anything you have to say if you put it in a format that requires too much thinking.

This is also not to say that Google searchers are not smart, but it is important to realize that people who search for stuff are looking for answers to their questions fast and in a hurry, if you do not provide that, than it is off to something else that will.

So provide that to people and make your URLs readable for anyone at just a glance. 

What is the best URL Structure for SEO?: Conclusion

If you put together the tips in this post, your site will look clean, attract more clicks, please the SEO Gods, and boost your organic traffic in record time.

I want to thank Enstine for allowing me to post on his blog. Be sure to check me out over at blog.benjisdad.com or subscribe to my YouTube Channel. I constantly talk about different SEO hacks to help super charge your income and boost your readership.

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Chris Myles
 

Chris Myles shows aspiring entrepreneurs, practical steps for improving their income through blogging. Check out his free training guide and tutorials by clicking here now. The free tips and video tutorials he provides are sure to take your online earnings to the next level.

Daljeet Arora

Amazing post. Love to read the post. The best guide for url structure. everyone should recommend this.

    Chris Myles

    Thanks Daljeet, it is good information for any aspiring bloggers!

Ryan Biddulph

Sometimes I go pure SEO Chris with keywords and such. Other times I focus on being entertaining to lighten the mood. I feel a mood and run with it. I noted though; short and sweet increases my traffic and social shares. I remove all filler works and 1-2 keywords with nothing else seems to vibe with my readers the most.
Twitter:

Chris Myles

That is good stuff Ralph! Part of this is also doing what works for your audience. Test different ways and see what resonates. Thanks for the comment!

Brian

Hey Chris,
Would you recommend the category in the URL structure? I think it’s super cool and can also help in SEO? What do you think?
Twitter:

    Chris Myles

    Hi Brian,

    for simplicity sake, I would not. But for organizational simplicity, especially if you have a huge authoritative site, it could help. But even sites like backlinko.com and neilpatel.com do not really use catagories in their URLs. I would consider them the gold standards in the industry…

Monna Ellithorpe

Hi Enstine and Chris,

Great post. I guess this trend was one that I missed or overlooked. I know it may not be the best strategy but I’ve been making my posts with the readers in mind.

I get exhausted trying to figure out SEO especially when a well known plugin gives me a green check mark but a red check mark on readability. Then when you go to the plugin details, there are red dots that are connected to the green check mark above.

Sorry for venting. You did write a great post and I may delete my SEO plugin again.
Twitter:

    Chris Myles

    Hi Monna,

    I understand that SEO can be difficult to implement, but if your main traffic source is google, it is something that you would want to figure out.

    If you focus on getting trafic from social media and youtube or any other traffic source,s than SEO may not be huge for you.

    The URL tips above can help your SEO, so this could be the first step.

    Keep with it Monna, SEO benefits work themselves out in the long run and is highly profitable.

Fazal Aasar

I myself optimize slug of the url with keyword but I also try to make sense with it. Url optimization is much important but many SEO’s just take meta title and meta descriptions as only things to optimize but in actual, there is a lot to optimize from internal linking to url structure each and everything can be optimized.

    Chris Myles

    A trap that a lot of people fall in us optimizing for robots. Do not optimize for Google specifically. Optimize for humans and if you satisfy them, the Google algorithm will follow.

    thanks for the comment

Sandeep Reddy

Seem’s Interesting. I love the font of this page.

Awesome post, Chris Myles. The title made me impress. Just wanna thank you for solving these kinda issues where newbie bloggers like me get doubted with.

    Chris Myles

    No Problem, glad you found value in it.

Mr. John

Thank you, Chris, for sharing these tips for better URL structuring.

I fall victim to the topic in question, Reason being that I build my blog on Blogspot Platform.

Though i realize the side effect very late. The Blog has already gain audience and Search engine Positions.

Moving out from blogger will cost me lost of SERP and Link breakings (in my opinion) But would welcome any advice from you

Thanks again for joining us at Enstine’s blog.
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Moss Clement

Hi Chris,

What an informative post you have here. When I started blogging, I used to make this URL structure mistake. But as time went by, I began to understand how to structure my URL for SEO. Then I started using the “yoast SEO” plugin. It has been truly amazing.

wasim akram

Hi Estine Sir,
Suppose I have a Internet related technical niche blog. And if i want to rank my blog using any keyword. Then i should apply that keyword in posts.
And can we again use that keyword? And I am noticing that Google is searching my blog using url. When I search the url which i have created for my post. Then it comes in first page 1-5.
Please guide.
Wasim rently posted..What is seo and why it is necessary?

Anil Agarwal

Hey Chris, excellent tips about URL optimization.

As you said, one should care about both people and search engines like Google while optimizing their URLs. Here’s where a SEO friendly platform like WordPress comes into handy where you can easily optimize your URL structure however you like. Keeping it short and sweet is always the best option.

Whenever optimizing URL for my blog posts, I make sure to remove all the numbers (such as 2018, top 10 list etc) from the URL to make it clean and short. Also I make sure to exclude the most commonly used adverbs (such as not, also, often, together, sometimes etc) as they are not helpful for both people and search engines.

It’s always a smart idea to include your primary keyword within your URL for better search visibility. Just make sure to include a keyword that really makes sense to people. Just don’t include a keyword phrase for the sake of getting traffic from search engines as it kills the overall reading experience.

Also make your URLs as short and concise as possible. It takes time to master the art of URL optimization though. But it is worth your time and you get better with time.

Thanks so much for writing this amazing guest post Chris. Thanks for publishing it Enstine. Keep up the great work guys.
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rabin

Great things starting you. I have understood your matter former to and you are just too wonderful. I really like anything you have developed now, surely like anything you are saw and the way in which you about it. You style it enjoyable and you silent care for to keep it smart.
https://www.minicro.in/technology/cyber-security/

Maria Tayler

Hey Chris,

I would say many people do not give attention to these things. I saw many blogs that have pathetic urls. I don’t know why they ignore such important things. I utterly agree with your points. the URL should be simple, with focus keyword. Adding many stop words isn’t good.

Thanks for writing about this topic. I learn so many new things here. Appreciate the great work.

Thanks & Regards
Maria

Jagdish Adhikari

Hi Chris,
Awesome post to understand the best practices of URL structure. I do recommend your post. I also noticed that some bloggers suggest to use numeric at the begging of the URL like ” 5 best methods to create URL Structure’ etc. What is your opinion Chris on this practice? Have a great day ahead.
Thanks

Mani Sharma

Hi Enstine Muki

I am glad to see your fine piece of article great knowledge you shared, its very helpful and interesting. Excellent article with very good information .

Thanks Have a nice day 🙂

Rick Martin

Dear Chris
Exciting read.Hats off.Keep contributing more.
People like you make blog reading pleasurable.
Expecting more articles.
A good piece of article is always appreciated in blogging community.you can inspire and train others in same manner.
Keep writing more.

Regards
Rick

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