Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs
URLs are one of the most important aspects of any successful SEO tactic. Especially if you have a new website, how you structure your URLs is going to play a crucial role in your organic rankings. Whether your using blogging software or designing your site from scratch, it’s important to take the steps necessary to assure that your site has search friendly urls. While on page optimization and valuable content also play a large role (among other things) when it comes to organic rankings, when your URLs are optimized properly you create a page that’s easy for engines to crawl, and easy for web users to understand.
You will find that proper use of this strategy will reinforce other SEO strategies. The foundation of a well seo optimized pages begins with the url and continues with the other on page and off page seo strategies being used. The combination of these techniques will be sure to move you up in search rank.
URL Structure Matters for Websites & Blogs
If you use a blog template such as Wordpress or Joomla, you may have noticed that they give you the option to change how your URLs are actually named. By default, your posts are given a number and that number is considered the URL. Rather than that, make sure to change it so that your post matches the title of your blog entry. You’ll need to take an additional step here to assure that your title is relevant to your content and that it’s keyword friendly.
Categories, unlike posts, are given the name that you give the category. If you’d like to make your URLs for categories a little more search friendly, you can manually adjust the name of the URL when you create the category to include an extra keyword that’s relevant to the page. Take care to only do this when you’re creating the page or you’ll stir up a whirlwind of 404 errors that Google and other major search engines don’t like. If you must change URLs after the fact, make sure to use 301 redirects so that all SEO power is transferred to the new URL.
There are several ways that you can lay out search friendly URLs on your website. If you don’t plan on changing your category URLs at all, then make each post or item that you have on your page a sub-page of said category. If you do plan on changing your page over time however, you can opt not to include the category within the URL. This isn’t always the best option when you’re trying to make search friendly URLs, but it can save you a lot of time in the long run as you continue to build your website.