Anyone who already has some experience with SEO knows that keywords are a fundamental part of being able to rank high on search engines (but of course SEO is not all there). This is why we must also be careful to create SEO Friendly URL, that is URLs that are “friends” of SEO.
THE SEO Friendly URL allow Google, but also users, to immediately understand what the article is about and therefore to know if it answers the question posed in the search query.
Let’s see how they are built.
How to create an SEO Friendly URL
A SEO Friendly URL is represented by the construction of the URL focused on the use of the keywords for which you want to position the page.
The primary domain name does not matter at the keyword level, although it has had it in the past. At the moment, Google does not distinguish between domains with keywords and domains that do not contain them.
You can then focus the entire content of your site on a certain group of keywords, but use your first and last name as a domain, or your company name.
The important part that needs to be built according to the SEO Friendly URL rule is instead the slug.
The slug is the final part of the URL, which appears after the domain and which specifically identifies the page we are on.
The first step for build an SEO Friendly URL is to set the WordPress permalinks with the structure “article-name”. In this way, a slug will be automatically generated that takes up the title of the article or page, separating the words with a hyphen.
Clean up the URL to make it even more “SEO Friendly”
Once your URL is automatically generated, you need to manually take action to “clean” it of all that is not necessary.
In fact, the shorter and more concise it is, the more effective it will be.
Eliminate all prepositions, articles and conjunctions and try to be as telegraphic as possible. These words are also called “Stop words” and they are quietly negligible because they do not enrich the meaning.
There may be exceptions such as, for example, “How to travel from Milan to Palermo”, where “from” and “to” can have a precise value as they indicate the direction of travel.
Also avoid using more than 4 or 5 words in the slug.
Let’s see some examples.
Suppose we have an article titled “The best hiking boots of 2020 for sale on Amazon”. The automatically generated URL will be mysite.it/i-migliori-scarponi-da-trekking-del-2020-in-vendita-su-amazon.
As you can see, the slug is very long, even if it still contains the keywords for which we want to rank the article.
- First step – we eliminate all prepositions and articles: mysite.it/best-shoes-trekking -2020 -sale- amazon.
- Second step – we eliminate all words that are not strictly necessary to understand the content: mysite.it/best-shoes-trekking-amazon.
If we wanted to highlight that the guide is related to 2020, we also leave the year: mysite.it/best-shoes-trekking-amazon-2020 or mysite.it/best-shoes-trekking-2020-amazon.
We then generated an SEO Friendly URL.
More tips for your slugs
- Do not use punctuation, other than the hyphen to separate words. Symbols could create character encoding problems that would make your page unreachable.
- Avoid using long paths such as chains of categories and subcategories. Better to have the simple domain + slug structure. So, no a it / category / sub-category / my-article, be mysite.it/my-article.
- Use lowercase characters only. Using uppercase characters can confuse the server and in the event of an error the page may not exist.
- Use the hyphen (-) and not the underscore (_) to separate words. In reality, it would seem that there is no difference between one and the other, but WordPress automatically uses the hyphen, so it’s better to conform to a single standard and avoid confusion.
- In any case, avoid URLs that contain alphanumeric strings such as slugs, i.e. avoid structures such as mysite.it/abcd1234efgh5678.
You can learn more by visiting the Keep a simple URL structure page of Google Search Central.
Use the SEO Friendly URLs technique it is definitely not a positioning factor so important that it can completely change your situation. However, it is still a small brick that will help you achieve the goals you have set for yourself and increase your visibility on search engines.
Never neglect all other aspects of SEO!
Did you know the use of SEO Friendly URLs?
How did you generate your slugs before you knew this technique?
If you have any questions or want to contribute some other advice, leave a comment!