Can you construct the ideal URL? What if I say you can?

When you optimize all the text on your website, it’s natural that you’re curious to build the perfect URL. In this article, we’ll go through what a URL consists of and how constructing it can impact your website’s traffic.

Before that, let’s look into what doesn’t make a good URL and fix some basic mistakes.

How to ‘NOT’ create a Website URL

Just like text and media, URLs follow specific standards. Consider these as standard unspoken rules that top websites always follow.

#1 Drop The Fillers

Most often URLs have phrases and rarely have single words. We have hyphens, underscores and spaces in our hands to deal with this.

It’s easier for search engines to crawl if you use hyphens over underscores. Spaces are outright not recommended at all.

#2 Catch Those Naked Links

Another thing about URLs is how they’re used as naked links. Naked links are actual URLs inserted directly without anchor text. Naked or bare links can go unnoticed. Before publishing, you need to go through your text to catch these naked links.

#3 Never Stuff Keywords

“If URLs help with SEO, stuffing keywords help, right?”

Absolutely no. What’s the point if you smash keywords if users want to find them legible and easy to read?

Apart from these, Google lists out standards and recommendations. Here are a few:

  1. Use only ASCII characters and use UTF-8 encoding for unsupported characters.
  2. Country-specific domains are appreciated.
  3. Long numbers and alphanumeric phrases aren’t appreciated.

Optimize Components of your Website URL

There are certainly ways you can improve your URL to help you rank higher. Keep in mind that the user comes first and the steps here will create an optimal URL that will aid them through your website.

#1 Shorter URLs Win

Here’s John Mueller’s take on URL length:

“The direct answer is no. The URL length doesn’t matter. We use URLs as identifiers, it doesn’t matter how long they are.”

Even though he suggests keeping it under 1000 characters and that it’s not a big deal, Google considers it among its top 200 ranking factors.

Keep this in mind. When the visitor reads your URL, it should be clear what the page is about.

For example, you want to redirect them to a blog on the best nut butter to make at home. This is how the URL can look like:

Site URL:

Every reader will know what the article will be about without reading the title. So how long should a URL be? The top 10 search results have an average length of 66 characters. This is your first step in URL optimization.

#2 Rank Higher With Fewer Folders

There’s something called nesting a webpage and it is about positioning your webpage from your homepage.

As you can see from the above example, the article comes under the “blog” folder. You can place that article deeper with multiple folders in between but it will confuse the user more than the web crawler.

The closer the page is to your homepage, the more authority it has of getting ranked. This means that the page has a higher chance of getting clicked.

#3 Use Keywords With Caution

We saw that stuffing keywords doesn’t help. However, if you use them appropriately, your URL will favour you in the rankings.

Using a keyword lets them know what the page could be. Say you want to write a guide on building a business website using WordPress. This will be a comprehensive guide with a step-by-step approach.

With that being said, the URL for that guide can be constructed like this:

The primary keyword here is “WordPress business website” and it comes under the folder how-to guides. This conveys what the guide is about yet it’s simple, effective and meaningful.

#4 Stick To Small Case Letters

We now know that hyphens or underscores are the way to go. You also should know that a small case over uppercase is the way to go too.

The domain name of your website is case-insensitive. What matters is the path or query you use.

Here’s an example:

The search engine doesn’t care about your website name; that’s not the case for the path “luxury-watch-store-chennai”. To keep it simple, stick to small case letters because that’s how people naturally type in the address bar.

If you have two URLs with the same text but in different capitalization, search engines will consider that as two different pages. This creates an issue of duplication that’s something you can easily avoid by sticking to the ground rule of going small cases.

SEO benefits of the perfect Website URL

Most users don’t navigate to a webpage just by the page’s title. The next big factor apart from the title is the page’s URL.

That is why using keywords in the URL helps the user (we saw this before).

This helps in cases where the user clicks when it’s an internal or external link in a webpage. They don’t know what page will be available. The only way to find out is to hover over and read the URL that loads below.

#1 Aids In Ranking In SERPs

When you think about it, you essentially create a smaller URL. The room to add keywords is small yet you can sneak in one or two. That primary keyword you add and the simple URL helps you rank higher.

Source: Backlinko

Backlinko did the research and proved this to be true and concluded that shorter URLs correlate to higher rankings.

#2 Improves Click-Through Rate

You love fast cars and follow all the latest updates on supercars. Bugatti and Rolls Royce are your favourites. While you were browsing online, you come across this link:

You are surprised that Bugatti conducts live events. Won’t you be inclined to know what it is and click it?

This is how descriptive URLs increase the click-through rate.

Not only that, it is one of the few pieces of information that a visitor sees in a search result along with the title. If it was a bunch of alphanumeric jargon, chances are users will skip your page.

And finally, a descriptive URL means it’s from a legit website. This also helps to identify and stay away from spam or malicious links. Nobody wants to click a link like that.

Do better URLs mean better SEO results?

John Mueller from Google considers URLs as “a small ranking factor”. Small or not, it does play a role.

Nonetheless, one clear takeaway from this article is that your URL is as important for the user as to the search engine crawlers.

Consider the URLs part of your web content and it’s best to create optimised URLs right from the get-go. If you feel your URLs need some repair, hire a good SEO strategist so you can make the most out of it.