By SiteEditor | Search Engine Optimization | 21 June 2017

SEO-friendly URL is the most basic yet powerful and important SEO concept. Despite being a ranking factor, many still don’t have a proper URL structure, which may affect their search engine ranking. I have seen it so many times, marketers don’t optimize their website URL and then end up hurting their search engine ranking.

When search engines analyze a particular website, the first thing they do is check the URL. If your website URLs are not structured properly, it may not get indexed in the search engine. If you are thinking that structuring a website is as easy as stuffing keywords and including some words in it then you are wrong. It’s not that easy. There are so many things that go into structuring URLs and making it SEO-friendly. Here I’ll be discussing some of them.

Keywords

The biggest blunder made is right here. Yes, with keywords. Stuffing multiple keywords won’t do any good for your SEO. In fact, Google doesn’t appreciate this and if you add too many keywords unnecessarily, you may get penalized or marked as spam. So should you at all use keywords? Well, yes, you should but in limits. According to Brian Dean of Backlinko and John Lincoln, CEO of Ignite Visibility, marketers should add one or two keywords per URL. Although it won’t give you a big ranking boost, it will be a small help for improving your SEO.

Readability

Now, you need to make the URL more readable. Besides, it is not just about impressing the search engine with a clean and clear URL but enhancing the readability for humans because ultimately, they are the ones who are going to read it. If a user finds the URL easily readable, you are more likely to receive a better traffic rate and if not, they will most probably consider it a spam link and avoid visiting your website.

Relevancy

It is essential for the URL to match the title of your post, not completely but somewhat related to it. For instance, your visitor checks the URL and expects to find a post related to it and if they don’t, they’ll move out, which can increase your bounce rate. So you need to ensure that you meet the users’ expectation by mentioning similar keywords in both URL and title.

HTTPS

Security is a major concern these days. With the growth in the Internet usage comes the need to improve online security. Besides, cyber-crime is increasing significantly and these attacks are becoming stronger than ever. Web users expect that the websites they visit are secure and have a good time at your site.

HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP that assures a safe connection between the web browser and the website. It encrypts all the data exchanged over the network and assures to keep the information safe. HTTPS not only assures a secure connection but also plays an important factor in terms of search engine ranking. Yes, you must be aware of Google adding SSL to its ranking algorithm where websites with HTTPS will get a minor ranking boost. And if Google has said that then you should get the SSL certificate.

Stop Words

One thing is that you need to match the URL with the title as closely as possible but then you must be thinking what about the stop words. Well, it is okay if you exclude stop words such as “and”, “the”, “but”, “if”, “a”, etc. from the URL. Besides, this will also help you shorten the length of your URL.

Length

The shorter the better. The length of the URL should be short and simple as shorter URL rank better than the longer ones. As Neil Patel described in his blog that using three to five words in a URL should be enough to give an idea of what the post is all about.

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