Friday, October 7, 2016

Top 10 Tips for Structuring URLs

The URL, commonly known as web address of your business, helps create an inspirational first impression. You might have experienced the simple, straightforward and easy to remember URLs of the famous brands. These are not set automatically but restructured according to the search engine requirements and consumer friendliness. There are tips and tricks for removing the auto-generated codes from the URLs.



In addition to the manual procedures, useful tools and plugins can also be used. Among the various plugins, SEO URL PrestaShop module is worth mentioning here, as it automatically removes the unwanted codes and special characters, and restructure the URLs for perfection. It also set redirection to prevent your store from losing customers. Some of the amazing tips are given below that can help you restructure the URLs for maximum online exposure and visibility.

1. Enhance URL Readability

Replace the ambiguous words and abbreviations with the meaningful words to communicate either the product, service or post title to the end consumer. Online readers abruptly switch between the browser tabs and don't bother to dig deep into a website that is not conveying useful information in the address bar. For example, compare

http://www.your-store.com/bg?654
with
http://www.your-store.com/birthday-gifts

and observe the difference in readability and understandability of both the URLs, so that you can alter the link address of your store accordingly.

2. Remove Auto-generated Codes

Transform the bad URLs into lovable link addresses by removing the auto generated codes and special characters. For example, the SEO friendly URLs in PrestaShop are accompanied with a default code. You can remove them either one by one or perform a bulk action through a module to achieve flawless readability.

3. Use Canonical Tags

A web page having two different URLs but contains the same content is considered duplicate in terms of SEO rankings. So, to avoid penalty and stay higher in SERPs, use canonical tags that tell the search bots to consider them a single entity. It will protect you from any updates that are penalizing websites for plagiarism.

4. Adjust Keywords in the URLs

Adding keywords to the URLs is a good old practice that helps the users as well as the search engines to know what a web page is about. For product pages, you can add relevant keywords in the URLs, whereas bloggers use a complete post title or a few words in the link address.

A moderate use of keywords is always recommended, whereas stuffing a keyword twice in the address or adding needlessly in the category and subcategory may harm the SEO rankings.

5. Maintain a Relevancy between Page Title and URL

It often happens that admin changes either the title or the URL after publishing a product or post, which shows irrelevancy when displayed in search results or shared on social sites. In return, you get an unfriendly response from customers. It reduces the click through rate of your website because the URL negates what the title say. So, to gain customers’ trust, you need to add matching content in the URL and the respective page title.

6. Restrict the Use of Stop Words

You can freely use stop words like and, of, the, etc. in the title and body of a web page, but you need to avoid them because search engines ignore most of them while indexing or ranking the URLs.  




There are no set rules either to use them or not, because most of the bloggers have to add a complete phrase from the post title as it is. To make the URLs readable they often ignore SEO requirements. You can also decide according to the varying needs of your industry.

7. Fewer Folders are Usually Better

Folders are added in the URL to clarify the categories and store structure to the consumers at a glance. An ideal link structure includes fewer folders as it let the customers know that the store is well-organized and easy to browse, whereas with excessive folders they perceive that the store includes many categories and it seems difficult for them to navigate through a long list of folders.

8. Separate Words with Hyphens

While adding a long tail keyword, a complete product name or posts title; the use of hyphens and underscores are recommended for separating the words for higher readability. Without this, the words are combined and customers face difficulty in scanning a complete phrase.

9. Set Redirections Sensibly

Redirections are usually configured to allow the users to land an alternate page if a specific product or service is not accessible. You can also set redirections for the convenience of your customers, whereas using them for looping the users to gain impressions and views may affect your website.

10. Merge www and non-www Versions into One

The search engines rank www and non-www versions of your store differently. It is just like doing business with two addresses. So, to save ranking and get traffic from both, you need to merge both the versions. You can either select a preferred URL in webmaster tools or set redirection from one to another.

The above-discussed tips can help you elevate rankings and user friendliness of the URLs, whereas, for implementation and further guidance, you can refer to the infographic compiled by the FME Team. 


10 tips for structuring URLs
Infographic by – FME Modules

Authored By Alastair Brian

Alastair Brian writer from "FMEModules" - a brand well known for top of the line reliable PrestaShop Add-ons, themes, extensions and services. Follow him on.
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