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May 15, 2022

What is a URL & How to Create an SEO-friendly URL for Your Site?

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What is a URL & How to Create an SEO-friendly URL for Your Site?

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A domain name is considered the address of your site. It is the identity of your website. But, it may often be confused with a URL.

But, URL is often synonymous with a web address. It is the address of the web page that you need to type in the web browser. So, what does URL mean, and how do you create a URL for your webpage? Is URL important for SEO?

In this blog post, we will answer these questions and find out how to structure a URL.

What is a URL?

What is a URL?

According to Wikipedia, A URL is colloquially termed a web address, a reference to a web resource that specifies its location on a computer network and a mechanism for retrieving it.

URL is an abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is simply the address of a certain unique resource on the Internet. Each valid URL, in principle, links to a specific website. These resources can include HTML, a CSS document, a picture, etc. 

Users can type URLs into the address bar of a browser or click on a link on a website, bookmark list, email, or from another application to get to a website.

Here is an example of a URL:

https://www.scalenut.com

Structure of URL

Structure of URL

A typical URL can be of the form: 

http://www.example.com/index.html, with a hostname (www.example.com), and the file name (index.html).

The full URL includes the name of the protocol used to access a resource and the resource's name. The first portion of a URL tells which protocol should be used as the main access method.

The second portion specifies the resource's IP address or domain name (and, in certain cases, subdomain).

Let's understand the parts of a URL by dividing it:

Scheme

The scheme is a part of the URL, which identifies the protocol that the browser must use to request the resource, and is the first component of the URL. 

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) or HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the most common protocol for webpages (its unsecured version). Web sites require one of these two, but browsers can also support additional schemes such as mailto: (to start a mail client), so don't be shocked if you encounter more protocols.

Authority

Authority is separated by scheme using a colon.

The authority includes the following:

  • Domain name
  • Port

The domain identifies the Web server that is being accessed. This is usually a domain name, although it might also be an IP address.

The port is the technical "gate" that allows you to access the web server's resources. If the Web server grants access to its resources using a conventional HTTP port number (80 for HTTP and 443 for HTTPS), it is instantly removed.

Path to resources

It represents a physical file location on the Web server. Path to a resource is represented by /path/to/myfile.html on the webserver.

Parameter 

The server receives the additional parameters “?key1=value1&key2=value2.” The & symbol marks a list of key/value pairs in those parameters. The Web server might do additional operations before returning the resource using those parameters. The only credible way to find out how a specific Web server deals with parameters is to ask the Web server owner, as every Web server has its own unique set of settings rules.

Anchor

Anchor tells the browser where to find a specific bit of the document when it renders that document. An anchor points to a designated point in the source code on your own computer, not to some external resource or file on the Web server. Anchor information is usually embedded in the HTML markup of documents. A simple way to find out where an anchor has been set on a document is to use your browser's "find" function.

HTTP vs HTTPS

HTTP vs HTTPS

To view content in a browser, both HTTP and HTTPS are employed to retrieve data from a Web server.

HTTP is the transport protocol used to communicate with the Web server. HTTPS uses a different security protocol and creates an encrypted connection between your browser and the Web server. This protects your data from unauthorized access by third-party entities.

URL vs. URI

URLs are the most common type of URI. URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) are character strings used to uniquely identify a resource across a network. URLs are important for navigating the website.

How to Create an SEO-friendly URL for Your Website?

How to Create an SEO-friendly URL for Your Website?

Here is how you can create a search-friendly URL that search engines like Google and Bing may find easier to navigate:

Use target keywords

It will be important to choose a target keyword that best fits the content on your website's page. Target keywords help Google understand the relevance and contents of your website.

Including your target keyword in the URL is one of the most important things you can do to make your website more search engine-friendly. However, make sure that there is no keyword stuffing in the URL.

Keyword stuffing is a "black hat" SEO tactic, which means Google will penalize you and reduce your search engine ranking if they discover you using it.

Keep the URL short

Users and search engines like shorter slugs because they can read them more quickly. When people can see the whole URL link, they are more likely to click on it.

Shorter URLs are more readable and more overwhelming for the readers.

Avoid using stop words

Stop words are common words that search engines like to ignore because they don't help index your page. You may simplify your slug by omitting stop words while keeping their basic meaning. Readers will still be able to comprehend what the web page is about as a result.

Some of the common stop words are:

  • “the”
  • “and”
  • “in”
  • “at”
  • “as”
  • “for” 

Use hyphens between words 

Use a hyphen to separate all of the terms in your slug to increase readability even further. You may use other sorts of legitimate punctuation instead, but hyphens are the best option for SEO purposes.

This is because they are the simplest to read.

Avoid dynamic parameters in URL 

Dynamic parameters in the URL instruct the web browser to navigate to a specific portion of your web page.

A URL containing dynamic parameters seems messy and is more difficult to understand. It also makes keyword optimization harder. Google will fail to understand the target keyword in a URL containing a dynamic parameter.

A dynamic parameter includes the following: 

  • Question marks (?)
  • Ampersands (&)
  • Equals signs (=) 

Furthermore, dynamic parameters lengthen URLs, which is a negative SEO strategy.

Minimize the folder in your URL

SEO-friendly URLs should be as simple as possible. This means it doesn't use folders that it doesn't need. To find a folder in a URL, look for the forward slash: "/."

Let's say you own a mechanic service website that has a service page. Your website contains a service page divided into bikes, cars, and bicycles.

For each of these services, the URL will look like this:

  • https://website.com/servicing/cars
  • https://website.com/servicing/bicycles
  • https://website.com/servicing/bikes

A better practice is to remove the "servicing" folder and only use the target keyword in the URL.

Unnecessary folders divert attention away from the main keyword of your web page. By using more unnecessary terms (such as those in the folder), Google will evaluate your web page to be less relevant for the web page's target keyword.

As a result, your website will rank lower than competitors that just employ the target term in their slug.

FAQs

Q1. What is a callback URL?

Ans: A callback URL redirects to your website's main URL when the user clicks a link that sends them outside of your website. The browser will automatically send the user back to your site after retrieving any necessary resources, such as scripts or images.

Q2. Can I use a question mark in the URL?

Ans: Yes. The query in a URL begins with a question mark; the question mark serves as a separator and is not part of the query string.

Q3. Can I put a URL inside a text in the content?

Ans: Yes. SEOs term it a hyperlink when a URL is put inside a text. When someone clicks on the text, they will be redirected to the same URL inserted.

Q4.  What are TLDs?

Ans: TLDs or Top-Level Domains refer to the last part of the domain that comes after the dot symbol. For instance, in the URL www.example.com, ".com" is an example of a TLD (Top-Level Domain).

Q5. Is URL important for SEO?

Ans: Yes, URLs are important for SEO because they're the only way to identify your website in search engines. When someone enters a URL into their browser, the engine looks for a web page with that name.

Q6. Is an IP address the same as a URL or web address?

Ans: No. An IP address is a unique number allocated to each device on a network. When a domain name is an input, DNS converts it into an IP address that routers use to locate the webserver. 

Conclusion

URLs are one of the most important aspects of website design, as they provide an easy-to-remember way for us to access a domain. They're like easy-to-remember names for our favorite websites.

We have shared the tips to create SEO-friendly URLs with the target keyword. You can use a Yoast SEO plugin or Rankmath plugin if you are a Wordpress user to create your slug. 

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