URL structure, perhaps one of the most neglected aspects plays a vital role in the overall performance of your website. Be it the popularity of your website, the traffic it pulls in or the search engine ranking it garners.
Here are some of the elements of the URL which have a great influence on the SEO of the website:
It is seen that URLs which contain 35 to 40 characters have better chances to dominate the search listings. Thus even though a few long URLs manage to get better search engine listing, it is recommended that you keep the length of the URL somewhere between 35 to 40 characters.
Keyword within the URL
Until recently, many websites preferred having a keyword rich URL in order to get better rankings. But now this trend is changing as Google is placing more importance on other search factors. Thus it is advised that instead of over stuffing your URL with keywords, it is alright if the URL does not have keywords or has less number of keywords.
There are many URLs which contain extraneous characters like %, @, $, & etc. These characters make it difficult for the search engines to crawl the website and thereby hurt the search engine rankings. Thus it is important to avoid these characters in the URL structure of your website.
Thus the structure of the URL does have an effect on the ranking of your website and thereby influences the traffic on your site and the conversion rates.
Below are some very basic things which will help you build successful URLs:
As mentioned earlier the length of the URL does influence your website rankings. Therefore it is recommended that you choose a shorter URL which is easier to copy and paste, can be easily read on a mobile phone and written on a business card. This way a short URL increases the brand value of your website.
Descriptive URLs better than Numbers
Instead of using numbers in your URLs, it is recommended that you opt for a descriptive URL. Even if the descriptive URL is not keyword reach or particularly informative, it is still advise that you opt for it rather than switching to a numeric/ alphanumeric URL.
It is important that you avoid using multiple subdomains for your website. Also you need to keep in mind that subdomains do have the potential to be treated separately from the primary domain, this can lead to loss of trust juice for your website.
Avoid being Case Sensitive
Avoid using uppercase letters in the URL structure. In case you have them in the URL then 301 them to all-lowercase versions to avoid confusion. And suppose you have a lot of type-in traffic you can consider a 301 rule in order to send all the incorrect capitalization permutation to its rightful home.
Most of all it will be helpful if you stick to the URL conventions and use fewer folders in the URL structure.
These are some very basic ways in which you can build successful URL for your website.