The Importance of Search Engine Friendly URLs


Using keywords in web site copy, meta tags, image alt tags and URLs is important for successful Search Engine Optimization efforts. Search engine algorithms place weight on the URL of the page when determining relevance. Your site stands a much better chance of ranking for a key phrase when you use small, tightly “themed” groups of words that are incorporated throughout the page in the areas mentioned above. If you’re not using keyword-friendly URLs, chances are, your competition is…or will be soon.

Most content management systems out there like WordPress and Joomla actually create the URLs for each of your pages automatically by plugging in the title of the page. This is important to know when you’re giving each of your pages/blog posts a title.

It should be noted that the keywords you select should be purposeful, specific and well-researched. Terms that are too broad will be too tough to rank for – you’d likely be competing with several different industries, service offerings or geographical areas. Researching terms with a traffic estimator tool like that of Google Adwords will ensure you’re targeting for words that will actually bring traffic to your site. Companies frequently make the mistake of using terms that are not widely known outside of their industry, missing valuable potential traffic to the site.

Other things to keep in mind when naming URLs:

  • -Use hyphens to separate URLs with multiple words – not all search engines recognize or index underscores or plus signs in the same way
  • -Be descriptive and enticing – name of the URL shows in search results and can affect whether or not a searcher clicks through to your site
  • -Keep it short – fewer words in the URL make it easier to copy and paste, speak over the phone, write down, remember, etc.
  • -Don’t overuse keywords in your URL (or in your meta tags or alt tags, for that matter)
  • -Use static, not dynamic, URLs whenever possible to help with ranking and indexing
  • -Avoid multiple subdomains in your URL
  • -The fewer folders in your URL, the better
  • -Use lowercase letters when naming URLs – avoid capitalization
  • -Avoid using .exe, .dll, .bin and .0 (zero) at the end of your URL to ensure your URL is indexed properly

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