How to Create an SEO Friendly URL

  July 10, 2008   Category :     Search Engine Optimization | SEO   Directory One

Author: Eric Brantner
SEO Copywriter

This is SEO at its most basic level. SEO 101, if you will. URLs are one of the most important factors in your overall SEO strategy. A poorly constructed url can send you spiraling down the SERPs into oblivion. But you probably already knew that, right? So, you know you need a good url for SEO purposes, but do you know how to make one? Here are 5 tips for creating the most SEO friendly url.

  1. Keyword Rich- One of the most elementary principles of search engine optimization is you need to create keyword rich urls. Suppose the keyword for the page you are posting is “Houston flower delivery.” Your url extension should look like this: Houston-flower-delivery.htm. The reason to use hyphens over underscores is due to the fact that Google sees the hyphen as a word separator.
  2. Keep it Simple- Some people get carried away with the idea of creating keyword rich urls, and they end up with a mess on their hands. Don’t stuff your url with 25 long tail keywords. In other words, don’t use: Houston-flower-delivery-service-florist-in-houston-same-day-delivery.htm. Keep your extensions short and sweet. Personally, I try to keep them around 3-5 words at most. Long urls appear spammy and unprofessional.
  3. Leave Out Apostrophes- Apostrophes and urls do not mix. Apostrophes and other unusual characters don’t keep their form when they become urls. Instead of displaying like an apostrophe, a url converts it to something like this: %e2%80%99. You need to keep this in mind when blogging because most blog applications create urls based off your title. Therefore, try not to title your post with words containing an apostrophe. It looks messy, confuses users, doesn’t rank well, and is difficult to bookmark.
  4. Remember the User- You should never get so caught up with optimizing your website that you forget your user. After all, what good is it to have a site ranking well in the search engines if no one wants to look at it? Keep your user in mind by creating unique, compelling urls that grab their attention. The url should give them a clear explanation of what is on the page. That way, if the link is sent to them in an email they will see houston-flower-delivery.htm and know if the page interests them or not.
  5. Avoid the Numbers- Many webmasters like to use numbers in their urls. You see this a lot with newspapers. Each story has its own number, and the url extension looks something like this: articleid-7891356.htm. To the search engines and visitors articleid-7891356.htm means absolutely nothing. It doesn’t help with search ranking or usability. Your url needs to serve a purpose. It should either be serving the search engine’s needs or your users- ideally both.

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