Why the URL Structure for SEO Matters & What Changes Are Needed

Monday, June 12, 2023
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Blog by Lucy
Lucy Benson
Why the URL Structure for SEO Matters & What Changes Are Needed

SEO is a constantly changing game. Almost like cat and mouse. As search engines like Google continue to change the way they rank websites, so must we continually adapt. SEO is always evolving, so to stay relevant and to keep ranking, it’s vital that you keep on checking the way you do things.

In this blog, we take a look at SEO URL structure, find out what makes an SEO friendly URL, and highlight some of the URL best practices for SEO.

URL Structure SEO: Do Keywords in URL Help SEO?

This one’s not so straightforward to answer, as over the years, the importance of URL in SEO has changed. In 2016 for instance, John Mueller of Google stated that the ranking factor of keywords in URLs was ‘very small’. Fast forward a few years to 2018 and Mueller continued to state that keywords in URLs are of minor importance for ranking. However, now, in 2023, Mueller has confirmed that keywords are a ‘small ranking factor’. So, does URL matter for SEO? Well, in terms of keywords, it might not give you ground-breaking results. Though now that Mueller has confirmed they are taken into consideration on a small scale, it’s definitely worth ensuring you’re doing everything you can in order to rank as highly as possible. So, add the keywords!

Now, let’s take a look at more URL structure SEO best practices...

Are Long URLs Bad for SEO?

How long should a URL be for SEO? There’s been a lot of thought around the best URL length for SEO, but according to experts the actual length of your URL doesn’t really matter when it comes to SEO. URLs are used to identify a webpage, and how long they are is irrelevant for SEO purposes. However, overly complicated and lengthy URLs can often be confusing to users and have a habit of making things look sloppy. Experts recommend trying to aim for around 50-60 characters in your URL.

Are Shortened URLs Okay for SEO?

Long, short, who cares? You should. That’s because, up there at the top of the best URL structure for SEO list, is nice, neat, short and readable URLs. Shorter URLs are easier to read, easier to type out, and therefore easier for website visitors to use. Longer URLs are the exact opposite. It’s also thought that shorter URLs tend to rank better than longer URLs, so if you’ve got long and complicated URLs, it’s a great idea to take a look at them and tidy them up.

Changing URL Structure SEO

How to change URL without losing SEO? Is it even possible? If you’re considering changing your domain URL, you’ll need to make sure you’ve put a few things in place if you want to minimise the SEO impact of changing URL. In order to ensure a change that goes as smoothly as possible, you should -

  • Stick with the same domain owner
  • Let Google know about the change and inform of your new name
  • Produce a site map and ensure its accessible to search engines
  • Set up 301 redirections to your new webpages
  • Make sure backlinks are updated

If you implement all of these steps, then you should ensure the answer to, ‘does redirecting a URL affect SEO’ is a resounding ‘no’. Here’s hoping!

How to Create SEO Friendly URL

So, we’ve covered a few of the essentials, but what else can you do to ensure you have the best URL optimisation in SEO terms. Here’s what -

  1. Make sure you accurately describe the page’s content in your URL
  2. Include keywords if you can
  3. Make URLs easy to read by using hyphens
  4. Keep things minimal – lowercase letters are the best
  5. Ensure your URLs follow the ‘shorter the better’ protocol
  6. Steer clear of URL parameters and stick to using static URLs
  7. Keep folders in your URL to a minimum with a maximum of two

Does URL Structure Affect SEO: The Sum-Up

We’ve unpicked everything to do with ‘how important is the URL for SEO’, and we hope you’re now in a much better place to understand the ins and outs of URL structure best practice. If you’re not, and you still feel like you’re massively out of your depth in the world of SEO, then fear not.

Get in touch with our SEO agency at Creative Ideaz and we’ll be able to sort things out for you. We’ve worked with numerous clients to boost their website’s visibility, increase their web traffic, and deliver the results they were craving. See what we could do for you and speak to us today.

Lucy Benson

SEO Executive @ Creative Ideaz