5 Steps To Create An SEO Friendly URL
Most of the web developers think that the search engines do not care about how the website URL is formed. They claim that the search engines can fetch any type of URL, if other essential factors of the website are SEO friendly. The web developers generally focus on speed of the site, use of SEO friendly keywords and other technical details of the site, where SEO concern about ROI and the website rankings. The web developers may be satisfied with an URL format, but the search engines may find it as an unfriendly URL.
You must take care to implement all the SEO friendly arrangements during the initial or say development stages of your website. It will be better because you do not have to make any difficult changes after your implementation of the site. SEO rules state that an URL should be straight forward, meaningful and perfect in all means. Let’s look here how you can achieve an SEO friendly URL for your site.
1. Combine your WWW and non-www domain versions
The rule states that every domain is a perfect combination of www and non-www versions. You can combine both the two in different ways, but there is an effective, which you can follow to do it and that is what we are going to discuss here now. Most of the SEOs use ‘301 redirect’ to redirect one version of their website to the other and vice-versa. You have an alternate option too to do this. You can achieve the same by following Configuration >> Settings >> Preferred Domain in Google webmaster tools. However, you have some disadvantages in this method. One such drawback is it is applicable for Google only. The next drawback is you can do this only for root domains. To avoid such issues and to combine your www and non-www domain versions, just try to establish the link between the two clearly. You can do it either through redirect 301 or Google webmaster tools.
2. Do not use dynamic and relative URLs
It is always better to use static URLs than using the dynamic ones. Static URLs will be prettier and meaningful and the dynamic URLs are not so good. Static URLs will be more user-friendly. They contain keywords, which are easily understandable. If you use static URLs, then the visitors can easily understand what you have for them in your page just from the URL itself. Dynamic URLs make it too tough to understand what you are trying to say. Google also recommend that the URLs should contain hyphens instead of underscores because it will understand the underscore words as one single word. You must use absolute URLs instead or relative ones. The problem with the latter is it will be more content based. If there is a change in the content, then the link will not work. Make sure of the parameters you can add to the URL. Refer online for more details.
3. Create an XML sitemap
XML sitemap and HTML sitemap, both are different. HTML sitemap is for the users and XML sitemap is for the search engines. XML sitemap contains the list of URLs that your website has to be presented to the search engines. With that information, the search engines find your website easily and they use your sitemap as a reference while selecting preferred URLs on your website. Selecting preferred URLs is necessary because your site may contain duplicate URLs too. The search engines make use of special algorithm to select preferred URL and eliminate duplicate pages. The search engines also refer your sitemap to know which are preferred URLs and which are not duplicate links. Therefore, make sure you include only necessary links on your sitemap.
4. Conceal the unnecessary webpage with robot.txt
You may want to conceal some pages of your site from search engines. For example, the terms and conditions page, confidential information page etc. need not to be revealed as search engine results. You can achieve this through robot.txt filethat contains instructions to the search engines about what pages need to be revealed to the users and what not to be.Therefore, use robot.txt and conceal the unimportant pages that you do not want to share with people.
5. Specify preferred URLs using tags
Use special tags to mention your preferred URLs to the search engines. Mind that you should use special tags just for helping the search engines to select your preferred URLs and not for redirecting the pages. For that, you should use redirects. If you have paginated contents, then use rel=’next’ and rel=’prev’ tags. The search engines are really doing a good job in finding the preferred URLs, but sometimes it happens that they miss out avoiding all the duplicate links, which affects your site ranking. Therefore, make sure you specify your preferred URLs through special tags.
Janice Noel is a freelance writer and wallpaper enthusiast. She is interested on CulLogo where various cartoon desktop wallpapers are featured.