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Best Practices for URL Optimization for SEO – Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Ranking

URL optimization is a crucial aspect of SEO as it helps search engines understand the content of a webpage and improves the user experience. In this blog post, we’ll cover the best practices for URL optimization for SEO and provide examples of good and bad URLs.

  1. Keep URLs simple and short, reflecting the content of the webpage.

Good URL: https://www.example.com/article-title 

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/123456789/article-title

  1. Use relevant keywords in the URL, but avoid keyword stuffing.

Good URL: https://www.example.com/best-ways-to-optimise-url-for-seo 

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/postid=12345

  1. Use hyphens to separate words and lowercase letters in the URL.

Good URL: https://www.example.com/blog/seo-tips/ 

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/Blog/SEO-Tips/

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/Blog/seo_tips/

  1. Avoid parameters and overly complex URLs.

Good URL: https://www.example.com/products/accessories 

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/products/products.asp?N=200063&Ne=500955&ref=foo%2Cbar&Cn=Accessories

  1. Consider localization with country-specific domains or subdirectories.

Good URL: https://de.example.com/produkte/akkuschrauber 

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/de-DE/produkte/akkuschrauber

  1. Use canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content issues.

Good URL: https://www.example.com/blog/how-to-optimise-url-for-seo

Duplicate URL: https://www.example.com/post-1 

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/blog/post-1

  1. Use descriptive anchor text when linking to pages. 

Good Anchor Text: Learn how to optimise your URL for SEO 

Bad Anchor Text: Click here

  1. Use descriptive URLs for images and videos.

Good URL: https://www.example.com/how-to-optimise-images-for-seo.jpg 

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/media/12345.jpg

  1. Optimise URLs for mobile and voice search

Good URL: https://www.example.com/article 

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/mobile/article?id=12345

  1. Use keyword-rich URLs where appropriate but don’t sacrifice readability or user experience for the sake of SEO.

Good URL: https://www.example.com/seo-best-practices-for-url-structure 

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/post/12345

  1. Use consistent URL structure across your website.

Consistent URL structure: https://www.example.com/category/subcategory/post-title

  1. Use 301 redirects for broken links.

Old URL: https://www.example.com/old_page 

New URL: https://www.example.com/new-page

  1. Avoid using stop words.

Good URL: https://www.example.com/best-laptops-business-personal-use 

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/top-10-best-laptops-for-business-and-personal-use

  1. Avoid using special characters.

Good URL: https://www.example.com/discount-offer-new-customers 

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/$discount-offer$-for-new-customers

  1. Avoid using subdomains and minimize URL depth.

Good URL: https://www.example.com/blog/how-to-optimise-url-for-seo

Bad URL: https://blog.example.com/how-to-optimise-url-for-seo

  1. Use a descriptive URL structure: Use a URL structure that clearly and accurately describes the content of the page. For example, if the page is about “best SEO practices”, the URL should be something like “www.example.com/best-seo-practices” instead of something like “www.example.com/page-1”.

Good URL: www.example.com/seo-tips-for-beginners

Example of a bad URL: www.example.com/article12345

  1. Keep URLs short: Try to keep your URLs as short as possible while still being descriptive. Shorter URLs are easier to read and remember for users, and search engines tend to favour shorter URLs.

Good URL: www.example.com/on-page-seo-tips

Example of a bad URL: www.example.com/10-on-page-seo-tips-to-improve-your-website-ranking

  1. Use hyphens to separate words: Use hyphens (-) to separate words in the URL. Avoid using underscores (_) or spaces, as these can create confusion for search engines and users.

Good URL: www.example.com/seo-checklist-for-small-businesses

Example of a bad URL: www.example.com/seo_checklist_for_small_businesses

  1. Avoid using stop words: Stop words are common words such as “and”, “the”, “of”, etc. that are often ignored by search engines. Avoid using stop words in your URLs as they add unnecessary length and can confuse search engines.

Good URL: www.example.com/on-page-seo-checklist

Example of a bad URL: www.example.com/checklist-for-on-page-seo

  1. Use descriptive filenames and URLs for images and videos to help search engines understand the content. Example:

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/media/12345.jpg

Good URL: https://www.example.com/how-to-optimise-images-for-seo.jpg

  1. Use subfolders within your main domain rather than subdomains to avoid diluting the authority of your main domain and confusing search engines. Example:

Bad URL: https://blog.example.com/how-to-optimise-url-for-seo

Good URL: https://www.example.com/blog/how-to-optimise-url-for-seo

  1. Keep URLs as shallow as possible, ideally no more than 3-4 subfolders deep, to avoid difficult readability and diluting the authority of your main domain. Example:

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/category/subcategory/subsubcategory/post

Good URL: https://www.example.com/category/post

  1. Use descriptive anchor text for links to help users and search engines understand the context of the link. Example:

Bad Anchor Text: Click here

Good Anchor Text: Learn how to optimise your URL for SEO

  1. optimise URLs for mobile by using responsive design and ensuring URLs are easy to read and interact with on mobile devices. Example:

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/mobile/article?id=12345

Good URL: https://www.example.com/article

  1. optimise URLs for social media sharing by using shorter URLs or custom URLs that include the title of the page or article. Example:

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/123456789/article-title

Good URL: https://www.example.com/article-title

  1. Use canonical tags to indicate the preferred URL for a page and ensure any duplicate content is properly redirected to avoid confusion for search engines and users. Example:

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/blog/post-1

Duplicate URL: https://www.example.com/post-1

Good URL: https://www.example.com/blog/url-for-seo

  1. Use descriptive URLs for pagination to make it clear to search engines and users where they are in the pagination sequence. Example:

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/category?page=2

Good URL: https://www.example.com/category/page/2

  1. Use breadcrumbs in your URL structure to help users navigate your website and understand the organization of your content. Example:

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/category/subcategory/post

Good URL: https://www.example.com/category/subcategory/post (with 

breadcrumbs showing “Home > Category > Subcategory > Post”)

  1. Use the “nofollow” attribute for URLs that you don’t want to pass PageRank to, such as affiliate links or sponsored content. 


Bad URL: https://www.example.com/affiliate-link

Good URL: https://www.example.com/affiliate-link (with “nofollow” attribute)

  1. Use hyphens to separate words in your URLs instead of underscores or spaces, as hyphens are easier for search engines to read and interpret. Example:

Bad URL: https://www.example.com/summer_clothing/filter?color_profile=dark_grey

Good URL: https://www.example.com/summer-clothing/filter/color-profile/dark-grey

By following these best practices for URL optimization, you can help improve your website’s search engine visibility and provide a better user experience for your audience.