Illustration of Understanding URL Structure and its Best Practices

Understanding URL structure & its best practice in 2022

Understanding URL structure is very important to making a website SEO optimized. You must have to know what is URL structure and which URL structures are best for SEO.
 
In today’s episode of the Technical SEO Series, I will tell you all about URL structure for SEO. Apart from that here, I will teach you, the anatomy of URLs, the Importance and  URL structure best practices, etc.
 
Request to read and stay tuned with this tutorial till the end. Let’s get started.
 

What is an URL structure?

An abbreviation of URL is the Uniform Resource Locator. A URL can be defined as a link that points to a specific location on the World Wide Web(WWW).
 
The purpose of this URL is to provide a permanent address for any website and make it easy to remember where the information came from. To access information from a website, simply visit the given web address (URL).
 
In a word, a URL is an address, be it of a website or a blog, post, article, image, video, audio, document, or anything that exists online.

There are several ways you can choose to structure URLs on your website, and this method is called your URL structure.

Importance of URL structure for SEO

URL structure is important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because it helps search engines understand what content is being requested from them. Your URL should always reflect the specific page that is requesting the information on your site.
 
If a visitor is searching for something specific, they may not know where to find it, so they search by putting their search terms there.
 
For example, if someone searches for “Technical SEO checklist”, URLs that include those keywords will rank first in the Google search engine.
 
But how do you organize your URL structure? The answer is, understanding URL structure, you first need to understand the physical structure of the URL. Let us first teach you the physical structure of a URL and its best practices.
 

Understanding URL Structure & Its best practices for SEO

Let’s break down the URL below to see what supplements are inside its body:
  • Protocol: https://
  • Subdomain: www.
  • TLD: example.com
  • Path: /about-us
  • Slug: /team
  • Parameters: ?admin=rakib
  • Fragment: #services
Here I have broken down a complete URL into pieces. Hope you understand what part of a URL structure means.
 
So now let’s discuss in detail each of these broken parts. I hope you are learning things patiently. A detailed discussion of each part will help you to understanding URL structure and help your website do proper SEO. 
 

1. Protocol (https://)

There are two versions of the protocol, HTTP and HTTPS. If you want a secured connection, definitely use HTTPS.
 

Best Practices:

Of course, I recommend you create a secure connection URL using HTTPS. If your site is already HTTPS, congratulations. But if your site is still HTTP, convert it to HTTPS asap.
 
For this, there are various platforms from where you can buy SSL. Or there are various sites where free SSL is available for one year, you can get it from there.
 
Best of all, if your hosting company provides you with a free SSL. You must choose a good hosting company for this. I have written a detailed article about How to choose a good Hosting Company and who are the Best 5 web Hosting Companies, you can read it if you want. 
 
Example of a Secure website (https://)
Secured URL Example

Example of a Not Secure website (http://)

Not Secure URL Structure Example

2. Subdomain. (www.)

Should you choose the www subdomain or not?
 
Best Practices:
It is not mandatory to use the www subdomain in the URL structure of the site. But it is better to use it for a big website. 
 

3. Main Domain (example.com)

A domain name is an identity or a unique name for your website. Everyone will know your website through this domain name.
 
Best Practices:
 
When choosing a domain name extension you must look at the top-level domain (TLD). It could be .com .net .org. And if you want to add region then you can use TLD like .com.uk .com.in etc.
 
When choosing a domain name you should choose a name that is short and easy to remember. Another extra point is to give the niche-related domain name that you will be working with. 
 

4. Path/Directories (/about-us)

Understanding the path or directory or sub-directory is very important in understanding the URL structure. Just as it’s important to keep URLs as short as possible, it’s also important to group your website URLs using paths or directories.
 
If your website is 40 or more pages, be sure to use your permalink paths or directories.
 
If your website size is larger and you cannot organize your URLs using only one level path or directory; Then you can use sub-directories also. 
 

Best Practices:

Be sure to use short directories or paths to keep your URLs short.
 
This is an example of a good URL after using a path or directory:
This is an example of a good URL after using a path or directory

This is an example of a bad URL after using the path or directory:

This is an example of a bad URL after using a path or directory

5. Slugs/Pages. (/team)

Slug, It’s another name is Page. It basically identifies a unique page on your website. A slug is a part of your URL that is different for each page on your website. And it makes your URL richer and SEO friendly. 
 

6. Parameters (?admin=rakib)

Parameters are usually used to pass data. But it is better not to use it. You should try not to use it in your URLs. It does not convey any important message to Google or visitors. Also, it’s not very useful for SEO. 
 
On the contrary, using it makes your URLs bigger. So, why do you use parameters unnecessarily?
 

7. Fragment. (#services)

A page or slug consists of several sections. For example, you have a page called Team Members and you have introduced 10 of your team members. Then you have to create a separate section to introduce each team member. And, each of those sections will appear as a fragment in your URL. An example will make it clear.
 
Example of a full URL with a fragment:
Example of a full URL with a fragment
Here, ‘#‘ is the fragment and ‘rakib-hassan‘ is the fragment identifier. Fragments are basically used to go directly to a specific section of a page.
 
Can you explain the fragment? I hope you understand and you can explain it.
 
Understanding URL structure requires understanding each part of a URL. And the 7 things I said above are all important in building a URL. 
 

URL Structure Best Practices

A URL should be made as short, simple, and simple as possible. While creating the URL, it must be kept in mind that you are creating it for humans, not robots.
 
Also, your URL should be logical. Logical means, the URL should be related to the niche you work on or the niche you are writing about. Got it?
 
Make your URL make sense. Just by looking at the URL people can tell if it’s related. So how do you do it?
 
The following things you need to keep in mind to get the best URL structure:
 
  • Add keywords to the URL: Add a keyword or two to your URL. For long tail keywords, avoid using multiple keywords. This will help both search engines and visitors to understand the content of the URL.
  • Don’t stuff URLs with whole keywords: Keyword stuffing means over-optimization. Never append the entire keyword to the URL. This is considered by Google as keyword stuffing and not ranked.
  • Don’t use stop words: it reduces the readability of your URL. If your URL contains grammar mistakes, there is no need to fix them.
This is an example of a good URL:
Example of a good URL Structure best practices

This is an example of a bad URL:

Example of a bad URL using stop words
  • Use hyphens instead of underscores: Use hyphens to separate words in your URLs. Avoid using underscores.
  • Do not use dates in URLs: A URL is usually used for years. If you use a date in your URL, if the URL is a bit older, its value decreases. Visitors are always looking for something new.
  • Keep URLs as short as possible: Both visitors and search engines prefer short URLs. So, keep URLs short. Use as few paths or directories as possible. Again, do not make the URL meaningless by shortening it.
Example of another bad URL:
Example of a bad URL using Underscores and Dates

Conclusion: Understanding URL Structures Best Practices

What did you learn in today’s tutorial? Here I have explained your URL structure in detail. Along with explaining URL structure, I have discussed some URL structure best practices here.
 
Also, you have discussed how to structure URLs for SEO. And what elements are required in a URL and what elements should be omitted have been explained in detail.
 
Hope you benefited. If you don’t learn anything from this tutorial of mine, I’m a loser. Still, I tried to teach us the things I know. I hope I have learned a little.
 
Feel free to let me know if I have skipped any topics about understanding URL structure and URL structure best practices for SEO. Comment your likes and dislikes.
 
Thanks for patiently coming with me to the end. I am eternally grateful.

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