The next articles in our series on SEO in 2016 focuses on URL structure…

First of all, what is a URL? Let’s keep it simple, it is the address of your page on the internet. For example, the URL for this page is www.telescopegroup.co.uk/seo/url-structure.

Using clear URL’s on your website makes it easier for Google and other search engines to ‘crawl’ your pages. ‘Crawling’ is the process whereby Google’s computer (known as a Spider) finds your web page and deciphers the content within it, before deciding whereabouts in the search results to rank it. So, it is just common sense to make your URLs clear, because Google’s spider needs to know what your page is all about.

For example, this page is all about SEO, and in particular, URLs, so we have made the urlwww.telescopegroup.co.uk/seo/url-structure.

If we had left the URL as a default, or just let it be generated by a CMS or a human with no understanding of SEO, it could have ended up something like this – www.telescopegroup.co.uk/98597334/gobledigook/makesnosensetoanybody

Get the idea?

In addition to helping search engine spiders, creating ‘friendlier’ URLs make it easier for people who wish to link to your page. It also makes it less intimidating for visitors, who may read your URL and not understand any of it, causing them to avoid your page due to a fear of it being spammy or corrupt, or just not cared about.

You must also remember that your URLs are displayed in Google search results, just below the meta title and description. If the users search word appears in the URL, it is highlighted in bold. So once again, another reason to make sure your URLs not only make sense but contain the words that your user might search for (keywords).

And finally, make sure that if you have more than one page with the same/similar content (which you should avoid, but it isn’t always possible), that you use the rel=canonical tag in your pages <head> section. This indicates to Google which is the page that you want it to view as the ‘main page’ for that content (more about this later).

How to produce good page URLs…

  1. Use real words in your URLs, trying to make sure they have relevance to what the page is about.

  2. Keep your page structure as simple as you can. Try to make sure that none of your pages is too far away from your ‘index’ page.

  3. Use the rel=canonical tag in the <head> of your page if that page can be reached by more than one URL. For example, on a shopping site where a product page could be reached by it’s category ie. t-shirts, as well as another category ie. sale.

Again, this is a very basic, but true SEO technique that passes a lot of people by. Click through to some random pages on your site, see what the URLs look like, and if you think they need work, get in touch with us on 0113 238 3066 or email us at [email protected].

Thanks for reading, please subscribe to our blog and come back for article number 3 in our series on SEO.