URL Optimization – Learn how to structure your website URLs
I am always up to date on the processes and processes used here at Agência Mestre. I like to understand the SEO area and what happens during the projects, from the perspective of the SEO assistant, through the SEO analyst and then through the project coordinator.
If you look at the entire SEO project outside, you can see, among other things, a pattern in the repetition of tasks:
In this scenario I am going to explain some relevant points about URL optimization today, but I also want to highlight two fronts :
- Friendly URLs: ] Where we need to structure the new set of URLs for the client and then validate the generated URLs individually;
- Redirects : where in the course of the project we need to redirect a url to another address and in many cases sent documents with many urls to be redirected.
What you should know before URL optimization
One of the topics we always deal with in the SEO course . or when we go through client projects it is about URLs. Although the subject seems very complete, it is very easy to understand. Always assume that an obvious URL is a great URL.
If you can look at your browser's address bar and figure out what's on the page, we already have a perfect URL before even loading that content. A single, simple line that carries enough information about content via emails, links including search engines, and gets itself noticed!
Tips for Optimizing URLs
While common sense is a strong indicator here, I've separated a few items that you always need to review:
1. Use Short URLs
Although there is no rule in search engines to keep URLs shorter, it is suggested here that the shorter it is, the easier it is to memorize, copy, distribute, and use the URL all kinds and facilitates its distribution.
It is more of a relationship of trust and easy assimilation.
2. Be very careful with parameters in the URL
In many cases the Site Management System (CMS) must include parameters in the URL in order to filter, search, or change the order of the information. This is quite common, but at the same time it leads to a certain problem with search engines, since the probability that duplicate content will appear increases.
3. Removing Session IDs
Session IDs in URLs like www.meusite.com.br/jsessid=15dfeg78w9 are mostly used only to tag users. If you revisit the same content, look for one new url that generates duplicate content.
If your CMS or code creates these session variables, I strongly recommend marking the user with cookies rather than a variable in the URL.
4. Use keywords for your URL optimization.
When looking for hits on a website, one of the most classic things that add to the SEO process of is to make URLs more user-friendly with the help of keywords. in the URL, especially if the competition within the keywords to be used is high. For dynamic pages with CMS, you will likely have the option to enable "Permalinks" or "Friendly URLs" to make the whole process easier. Now, with your project organized by hand, you'll need to create folders and file names that already think about what content each will contain.
5. Use words, not numbers.
Words describe content much better than numbers. Therefore avoid when creating "folders" or page names p123 / arq321 /… or /? P = 123 a da / news / sport / will be much more informative and contain the most important terms that can be found on the site.
If it is not currently possible to have URLs without numbers, do not worry as this is only a recommendation and will not result in loss of position.
6. Standardize URLs
Set a standard for your site and follow it! If it is decided that the separators are hyphens, then this is the case on all pages. The standardization helps to manage and understand the site as well as navigation.
URLs in upper and lower case
can contain both upper and lower case letters, but preferably lower case letters This creates a standardization and makes it easier for the user to read.
7. Use hyphens to separate words.
Sometimes a sentence becomes a URL. The best and most recommended way to separate words within this URL is to use hyphens. However, some developers use alternatives such as underline (_) and plus (+). However, the hyphen is widely accepted and used.
If we talk about the opinion of Google, engineer Matt Cutts has already stated that the use of hyphens is the best way to separate keywords from a URL, because search robots recognize the hyphen as a space separated from the underscore or underscore.
However, be careful not to use too many keywords that will make the URL too large and look like spam, e.g. E.g .: www.meusite.com. br / football / flamengo / the-return-of-adriano-to-flamengo-must-help-the-team-carioca-to-win more-games . You can watch Matt Cutts's video on the following topic:
8. Canonicalize URLs
One of the biggest problems with URLs today is the duplication of content, as we mentioned earlier in this article. The point here is to reinforce that you check whether or not adding parameters to the URL changes your content and whether the canonical tag is used so that duplicate content is not generated.
A simple test is check a url and add incorrect parameters:
- www.meusite.com.br / diretorio / o-nome-da-minha -page? utm_source = facebook
- www.meusite.com.br/diretorio/o-nome-da -my- page? test
If, in the test, pages in particular load exactly the same content, you must check whether the canonical tag is present in order to avoid duplicate content. Basically, this process is referred to as canonicalization of URLs .
9. Forward 301 during URL optimization
Avoid changing the structure of the URLs of your website as much as possible, especially if they have been around for a long time. However, in extreme cases, you must consider using the 301 redirect to the new URL to minimize the damage caused by the change.
An important point that many people make, which then becomes a major problem, is to streamline the process, do not redirect all of the old URLs from your site to the home page of your new site. This actually leads to a lot of confusion with the mechanisms and leads to all of your authority getting into the homepage.
A very common case in search engine optimization is redirecting one URL to another in order to move content from one location. Either to retire an old page or to remove the page from a product that is no longer available. In all cases, you can list what to do and what type of redirect to use. Based on this list, the IT team can make the necessary redirects.
The point here is to do 1 to 1, ie to redirect every old URL to a corresponding new URL.
Affect folder indexing?
Many people often ask me in courses about the number of “folders” or directories in a URL. I am telling you this will not affect your positioning. What influences and has significant weight is the depth to find a page, that is, it is related to the architecture and not to the number of folders.
Sentences in the URL
Sometimes a sentence ends up becoming a URL and the best and most recommended way to separate words within that URL is to use dashes ( News / Sports / Round goals ). There are alternatives like underlining (_) and plus (+). However, the hyphen is widely accepted and used.
The definition of URLs is a task that starts at the time of creating the website architecture, makes configuration easier for the development team and also helps project staff to understand which page is talking about which topic.
Although it is much easier to use friendly URLs these days, there are still projects whose URLs need to be changed. So always remember to change it, you'll need to use a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new URL and still lose some organic traffic.
Hope you enjoyed the URL optimization article and the shared explanation. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below!