Search Engine 101: SEO-friendly URL’s

Posted on February 9, 2012

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A great place to take advantage of a SEO opportunity is by making SEO-friendly URL’s.

When search engines “crawl” through the important aspects of a page to determine its place in the search results, one area that many people wouldn’t think about is the URL. Not only is a nice, clean-cut, descriptive URL more user friendly, it also helps with search engine results.

This site is hosted on WordPress, and the URL set up here is already optimized for SEO, but the URL for this post was initially “https://seojournalism.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/38/,” with the default setting categorizing the page title portion of the URL by date and post number. Luckily, it allows me to create custom URL’s. After deciding on the keywords “SEO, Friendly, URLs,” I just went and plugged them in, to make it https://seojournalism.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/seo-friendly-urls –  simple as that.

The importance of finding the right keywords can’t be understated, and this shows the many opportunities you will have to showcase your keywords.

It won’t always be as easy as WordPress makes it, and adjusting your URL may mean that you will have to reconsider the setup of your site. By configuring your URL properly in order to fit SEO best practices, the URL will have embedded keywords that also simplifies the URL. This information appears towards the end of the URL, and keywords can be separated with hyphens to make reading easier for both people and search engines.

Check out this nifty “URL cheat sheet” that breaks down the anatomy of the URL (from SEOmoz.org).

In cases in which the URL’s are not SEO-friendly already, the URL may look like seojournalism.wordpress.com/11789/seojournalism/s201.htm. Following the breakdown outlined above, that URL could be transformed into a more manageable and readable seojournalism.wordpress.com/SEO/Basics/SEO-Friendly-URLs.htm.

According to SEOconsult.com, a great way to see whether or not your URL’s are search-friendly is to test them out on people, as the search engines track results that they think will appeal to human users. The site points out that “The search engine tendency to give weight to well-worded URLs is another reflection of this. People like to know what they’re getting themselves in for before the click on a link, so search engines look for URLs that contain understandable words that are related to the search.”

And an added perk of SEO-friendly URL’s that can’t be ignored is the fact that your URL’s get simpler and more manageable. The more categorical and keyword-laden your URL is, the easier it is to, say, read it over the phone, jot down in a notebook or send in a text message – ultimately leading to more page views.

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Posted in: SEO Basics