8 Best Proven Way to Structure SEO Friendly WordPress URL
Creating SEO friendly WordPress URL structure is the best practice to improve your organic search visibility. Follow these 8 tips to ensure that the structure of the WP URL is SEO friendly.
What is the best way to improve your WordPress SEO starting today?
Make sure you’ve SEO friendly URLs structure.
Well optimized URL structure is the best for SEO and user experience. Also, it is a super simple way to improve organic search visibility.
Creating SEO friendly URLs is an on-page SEO factor which is very important, specially, when you want to rank your post or page in Google or other search engines.
If you choose the right track, you’ll improve your search engine optimization, especially for low-volume long tail keywords.
Today, In this article, you’ll learn how to create SEO friendly WordPress URLs.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the world of eight best practices for creating SEO friendly URLs.
Table of Contents
What are SEO-Friendly URLs?
Web URL stands for “Uniform Resource Locator” which is the web address that we enter into a browser to access a web page or people enter into any post by clicking the page URL.
Importance of Creating SEO Friendly URL
The importance of creating a keyword-rich URL is a smart idea that will not only help you to rank better in search engines, but will also ensure people remember what your content is about long after they’ve clicked away from it.
An optimized or SEO friendly URL structure sends good signals to search engines and helps to understand what your content is all about.
For example, my one page URL structure is “https://urpn.org/gift/”.
In this page, I talk about gifts and people can easily understand by viewing this URL. It is easy to remember and understandable. The short URL makes the topic clearer.
The Best Practices for Creating SEO Friendly WordPress URL
In this section, we’ll see the important checklist for creating SEO-friendly URLs for blog posts or pages.
#1. Describe Your Content
A reader can easily understand or accurately guess about the content of a web page simply by reading the URL.
To write meaningful and easily understandable URLs, you should include an accurate phrase or term that pertains to the page content.
Let’s understand with an example:
Look at this two format for URL:
- Confusing and Unfriendly
Well, this URL is very confusing and we can’t imagine what this content is about. It is bad for SEO.
- Meaningful and SEO friendly
SEO friendly URL example:
This URL format is understandable and users can easily guess that this content is about on-page SEO. It is good for SEO.
What Google says about URL structure:
#2. Use Keywords in URLs
It is important to put keywords in the blog post or page URL.
You should include a focus keyword that you want your page to rank for.
Why should you put targeted keywords in the URL?
When you use a keyword in your URL, that URL tells Google: “This page is about that keyword”.
For example, here’s my post that describes the difference between source code and object code.
My focus keyword for that page is “difference between source code and object code”. And, you can see, my URL has that keyword in it:
Note: As search engine spiders do not give as much significance to words toward the end of a URL. Remember though, do not do keyword stuffing, search engines recognize overuse keywords and will penalize your websites for those actions.
#3. Separate Words In URL Through Hyphens
Using “hyphens” to separate words in URL phrases is crucial to both SEO and user readability. Google recommends using hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in URLs because when you put hyphens between the words then it is treated as spaces between words. While you use underscores then it is viewed as one word.
Let’s understood with an example:
You can see my URL structure (above picture). I use a hyphen (-) to let search engines say that “generatepress” and “review” are two separate words.
“Google always recommends using hyphens instead of underscores in the URLs.”
I could have used a URL like https://urpn.org/generatepress_review/, but Google does not recommend using underscores in the URLs. It sends bad signals to search engines.
You can also use a URL like: urpn.org/generatepressreview, but that URL is harder for search engines bots. So, don’t use this kind of URL for your web pages.
Hyphens are so important?
They’re the standard way of separating words in a URL and easy to understand by search engines as well as readers.
That’s why Google states that people should avoid using underscores or spaces in their URLs. Instead, they recommend hyphens.
#4. Use Lowercase Letters in URLs
Instead of using capital letters in URLs use lowercase.
Well, capital letters do not impact URLs but not using them is good practice and good for SEO.
For example, some servers will recognize these URLs as different.
So to walk on the safe track, use lowercase for all of the letters in your web pages URLs.
#5. Stick With Short URLs
Your URL should be as short, descriptive and brief as possible.
A short URL is easy to understand by search engines and quicker to type by users.
For example, this URL is confusing and not easy to read.
To Google, this page is about seotools. But it’s also about djdhu, search and home?
Also, long tail keywords are not easy to remember.
This URL is long but difficult to remember.
You can compress these URLs as much as possible and make it SEO friendly like this:
Now, people could easily remember and read this URL. Also, it is easy to understand by search engines.
#6. Stop Using Irrelevant Words in URLs
Don’t use any irrelevant words on your URLs and always focus on your target keyword.
Irrelevant words are those “stop words” which add bad experience to your readers.
For example, stop words are: as, at, about, a, the, of, etc.
The common words that you should always avoid using in your content.
Search engines skip stop words to save space in the database and also to speed up the crawling and indexing process.
So, a good habit is to avoid using irrelevant words in your URLs.
#7. Avoid Using Dates
Blogger.com automatically includes dates in URLs:
Even if you use WordPress CMS and haven’t changed the URL settings then automatically includes dates in URLs.
I’ve seen a lot of newbies using dates in their URLs. And it’s a very bad habit.
You should not use dates in URLs.
There are two main reasons for that:
First off, dates make your URLs longer.
For example, this URL contain three words keywords and the date:
The URLs contain 29 characters.
When you strip out the dates, the URLs length becomes 21 characters.
Second, dates make it harder to update your URLs.
For example, let’s say you published a list of top 10 best free seo tools in 2020.
And in 2022, you want to update this post.
Uh Uh oh oh…
The URL has “2020” in it.
So, if you update your page “top 10 best free seo tools in 2020” in 2022, still the URL has 2022 years and it is a little bit confusing for readers.
Users always want to read up to date content.
You can 301 redirect the page to a new URL. But you’ve to do the same process for all URLs whenever you update your new content. And, it will be time consuming for you.
Instead, I highly recommend not including dates in your URLs at all.
If you’re using the WordPress platform, then you can remove the date from URLs by doing some changes in settings.
To do this:
Go to WordPress dashboard >> Settings >> Permalinks >> Select Post Name.
#8. Single Root Version of Your Domain
Indexing one version of your site in Google is the most basic check but it is essential to ensure that Google is indexing only one version of your website.
Are you a little bit confused?
Let me clear…
For example, here are 4 different versions of the same site:
Those URLs are pretty much similar to you and me.
But not to Google.
If Google will consider them completely separate websites then it’s not good for us.
Fortunately, this is easy to check and fix.
Just type site:yourdomain into your browser.
They should all end up on the same URL (https://yourdomain.com)
In my case, all versions of my site redirect to https://urpn.org.
And when someone visits the HTTP version of my site, they get redirected to the HTTPS version.
If a version of your site isn’t redirecting properly, then don’t worry.
You should use only 301 redirects to the version for your site.
SEO-Friendly Permalink Structure in WordPress
If you’re using WordPress then your web pages URL should have focus keywords relevant to your topic.
For example, if you’re writing post about an “best business ideas for beginners”, make sure your URL looks like this:
Rather than this:
Think about both URLs, which would be more likely to click on?
The first one, right!
Because this first URL gives an idea about the content that it is about business ideas. Also, Google search bots will understand exactly what topic your content is about.
While the second URL does not give any idea for what content is about.
In other words, the first URL has a chance to rank in search engines because it’s an SEO friendly URL.
So, if you want to make an SEO friendly URL then you need to check your WordPress permalinks settings.
To do this, go to WordPress dashboard >> Settings >> Permalinks.
There are six common settings for permalinks in WordPress. You can choose anyone but few of them are good for SEO.
Well, if you want to create an SEO friendly WordPress URL then select “Post name” options.
This is the most popular choice for pro blogger WordPress users and it is SEO friendly also. It allows you to personalize your URL to match your content topics.
Once you’ve selected your “Post name” permalinks settings, make sure to click “Save changes”.
Subsequently, you can create unique and SEO friendly URLs for individual pages or posts
Important Checklist for SEO-friendly URLs
We’ve seen many factors above to create SEO friendly WordPress URLs in brief.
Now, let me summarize a few important checklists that we should keep in mind when it comes to creating SEO friendly URLs.
- Make sure that your URLs are focused.
- Don’t use “stop words” in the URLs like ‘a’, ‘of’, ‘the’ etc.
- Try to make 4-5 words long URLs not more than that.
- Make your URLs readable enough to give the reader an idea of what they can expect when they click on your link.
- Use ‘hyphens’ to separate words in your URLs.
- Don’t use spaces, underscores or special characters in your slug.
- There isn’t really an ideal length for URLs, but try to keep your slug as short as possible.
SEO-Friendly URLs Depending on Your Website
Now that you’re aware about creating SEO friendly URLs. You’ve an important checklist that you keep in your mind always when it comes to making URLs.
But, there are different factors to consider when you create URLs for different types of websites such as company, online, blog or news sites.
Each website has different rules for creating SEO friendly URLs which we’ll see in this section.
If you’ve company websites where you provide information about the company and services (online shop or blog page not included), we would recommend going with the short URL as much as possible.
In the case of online shops, you’ve two options for creating SEO friendly URLs for your product page.
First, you can create a URL only with the product name.
For example, https://yourdomain.com/product-name/
Second, you can include the product category with the product name.
For example, https://yourdomain.com/category-name/product-name/
However, the question still remains what URL structure you should use when it comes to an online shopping site.
Well, you can use URLs that tell visitors more about your product.
For example, if you’re selling different brand shoes with different types on your site then you should use brand category name in your URLs. So that visitors can understand after viewing the URLs that band and type of shoes.
This URLs says, it is short shoes and the brand name of shoes is reebok.
Blogs or New Sites
Now, let’s see when you’ve blogs or news sites then what structure URLs should you use.
If your site is based on only the theme, you could consider focusing on the post title alone to create an SEO-friendly URL.
For example, https://yourdomain.com/post-title/
And, if you’re running new sites on which you’re writing about different category topics then you should consider category names in your URL.
For example, https://yourdomain.com/cricket/top-10-batsman
What is a Friendly URL Example
The benefit of creating a friendly URL is that it is easy to remember and it sends a good single to Google so that bots can understand what this URL is.
Example of SEO-friendly URL: Suppose, we’ve write a blog post about how to start a blog, and created the Original URL — https://example.com/jsunsue/sndu-sdfu/sdfn, Friendly URL — https://example.com/start-a-blog.
You can see, the original URL is hard to understand, while a friendly URL is easy to understand and remember.
Keep in mind, always try to make friendly URLs, this is good for SEO.
What is the Best URL structure for SEO?
To make an SEO friendly structure URL, you should remember these points below.
6 Important Checklist for SEO-friendly URL:
- Exclude Stop Word
To improve the readability, you should eliminate words that don’t add any significance to the URL. These words are sometimes called stop words. These words include “are”, “and”, “at”, etc. Click here to check the list of stop words for SEO.
- Add Relevant Keywords
Keywords play an important role in ranking factors because search engines and humans use them to gather information about web pages and their content.
It is therefore important that you include at least one or two keywords in your URL.
These keywords will be most helpful if they match the content of the page. For example, if your blog site is about “travel” then your site URL could be “protravel.com, or guidetravel.com.
Similarly, if you’re writing a content then add your targeted keywords in your content URL. Don’t do keyword stuffing (not good for SEO).
- Easy Readable
It is crucial that a URL makes sense. This is because search engines and humans can read it.
If a reader clicks on your URL, it should tell them what they will find. If you add many keywords, but remove the ones that are not relevant (as mentioned above), you’ll still get a URL that makes sense.
A URL should contain the domain, subdomain and keywords. However, it shouldn’t look spammy.
This is particularly important when you consider accessibility. It is important to make it easy for search engines and users to find your URL.
There is no reason not to take advantage of the power that is available to you.
- Utilize Hyphens and Underscores
You can separate URL words by using underscores or hyphens. It is strongly recommended to use the hyphens. This will improve the readability of the URL and make it easier for search engines and users to understand it.
- Remove Unnecessary punctuation
It’s easy to remove punctuation in URLs. Too much can cause confusion. They are not only difficult to read but also can cause problems for web browsers and crawlers. Only alphanumerics can be used, and only a few special characters need to be encoded when they are included in URLs. It is best to not use punctuation if it is not necessary.
- Shorter is Better
Shorter URLs are generally preferred to longer ones. It is fine if your URL is only 50-60 characters long. However, if it reaches 100 characters or more, it is likely that there are great opportunities to shorten it.
This is not a problem that is rooted in search engines. It is a problem for users. It’s easier to share them, and shorter URLs provide a more appealing overall design.
If you need a shorter URL, it can be easily typed and shared through any medium with a character limit such as twitter or text messages. Both of these platforms will truncate URLs that exceed the character limit.
Although there are a few important factors that you should remember when it comes to creating SEO friendly WordPress URLs. But, the best SEO friendly URLs depend on your site and content. Especially with a shopping or news site.
There are multiple factors to consider when it comes to creating SEO friendly URLs for shopping, blog, and news sites. We’ve already discussed the above.
Apart from this, we’ve discussed many things related to URLs that you should keep in your mind.
I hope this article helped you understand each and every aspect related to SEO Friendly URLs. You’ve to remember only ‘Important checklist for SEO friendly URLs’.
If you’d like to learn more about SEO, please visit our SEO pages, where I discussed many important tips for search engine optimization which will help you to take your blogging to the next level.