Failing to consider your URL structure is mistake #5 in Hubspot’s 6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid During Your Next Website Re(Design).
One of the most important search engine optimization techniques is using SEO-friendly URL structures to help the indexation of your website. A good domain name is simple and short so that visitors can easily remember it. Search engines, like users, prefer URLs that make it easy to understand what your page content is all about.
From an SEO point of view, a site’s URL structure should be:
- Straightforward: URLs with duplicate content should have recognized URLs specified for them; there should be no confusing redirects on the site. (Search Engine Journal, 2014)
- Meaningful: URL names should have keywords in them. Avoid numbers and punctuation marks. (Search Engine Journal, 2014)
- Emphasis on the right URLs: SEO-wise, not all URLs on a site are of equal importance as a rule. Some even should be concealed from the search engines. Ensure the pages that should be accessible to search engines are open. (Search Engine Journal, 2014)
Separate words in your URL with a hyphen, or an underscore?
Search engines treat hyphens and underscores differently from one another. Google has made it clear that you should always use a hyphen to separate words in your URLs. Google treats a hyphen as a word separator, but treats an underscore as a word joiner. So, for example tips_for_advisors (using underscores) would be understood as tipsforadvisors. Using tips-for-advisors (hyphens) search engines can identify the different words and return them in various combinations (ex. tips for advisors, tips, advisors) Using hyphens is better for SEO, making it easier for search engines to identify what your page is about.
Keep your URLs short and simple. Your user prefers it, and so does search engines. When it comes to choosing a good URL – if it’s good for users, it will generally be good for search engines.
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