12 Must Follow Tips to Optimize URLs

A URL is known as a web address, but for online marketers, it carries a lot of information. It may include the domain name, sub-domains, folder name, post date, product name and category. Search engines read that information from a URL to evaluate the content, aim and target market of a page, which form the basis of the URL optimization.

The readers and search engines are likely to evaluate clean URLs more than the ones that are not structured for readability and reliability. Following are the most important factors that need to be considered while optimizing the URLs for SEO in PrestaShop.

  •          Make the URLs Scannable

The readability of a web address matters a lot. Due to the insecurity around the web, most of the online users are careful enough to click on a link. They take a glance of the URL and click to proceed further only when they are sure that the website and safe to browse.

In an eCommerce store, you may often have experienced a web address with lots of numbers, signs, and marks that are added by the default settings. For example;

http://www.fmemodules.com/en/6swvsvgt/?234sdgg/pretty6785urls.html

The easily scan able of the same product page could be this;

http://www.fmemodules.com/en/49-pretty-urls.html

  •          Add keywords

Keywords are the combinations of words or a phrase that defines your products and services in a bit. Using them in page links is highly recommended by professionals. First of all, it helps the users to know what the page is about; secondly, it’s an effective strategy of SEO.

Online users search products and services on the internet, and among thousands of websites, the one with most relevant keywords becomes eligible to appear on the first page.

  •         Separate words with hyphen

Hyphens and underscores are the commonly used word separators in URL. For better visibility, hyphens are highly recommended, as beginner users often consider the underscores as spaces between words and could not reach a website.

Web surfers often feel difficulty in reading the business or product name which is written together. For example; http://www.fmemodules.com/en/49prettyurls.html seems to be complicated than http://www.fmemodules.com/en/49-pretty-urls.html

  •         Keep the URL short

There is not a major issue in keeping the URL short or longer, but a moderate number of characters are always desirable. Businessmen often spent hours and days to coin a domain name that is easy to remember, as the search engines do not have difficulty in scanning URLs of any character size, but it affects user experience. 

  •         Avoid capital letters

The URLs are case sensitive, but the users are hardly aware of it. The use of capital letters in your web address can create ambiguity and may lead the user to another website similar in name. Users find it difficult to remember the capital letters that’s why the use of it is not appreciated.

  •         Redirect Broken URLs

Whether you move to another eCommerce platform or change web address of a product, you need to inform the change to search engines, so that visitors can be taken to the right page. Redirection allows you to maintain the page rank by connecting them to old ones. It also helps you to serve customers who are visiting your business website with the broken URLs with the same products, services or content pages.

  •         Add a Favicon

Though Favicon do not have any direct impact on URL optimization, but it can brew lots of other benefits for your business. The same icon that appears before the URL in the browser is helpful in establishing your brand identity, as images are easy to be remembered.

  •         Highlight Mobile URLs

With the fast focus on customer ease and convenience, mobile friendliness has become the core element of search engine optimization. To let the search robots know the mobile friendly pages of your website, you can include the URLs to the sitemap. This will count towards the rank elevation of brands, products and services.

  •         Block Harmful URLs

The URLs that are bad or do not qualify for optimization, may harm your online identity, or get you penalized. Such links do not contribute towards the betterment or high rankings, but may devalue your brand like show the web content duplicate due to multiple URLs. You can get them blocked with the help of a robot.txt file.

  •         Match the URL with Title

You might have experienced that the page title, URL and description are displayed altogether whether the customer confronts them in search results or over a social media platform. There must be a logical consistency between all the three factors; else the customer will no longer dare to visit a website that is displaying the title of Bakery Shop with a URL of sports accessories.  

The URL must add a word or phrase that defines what the product or service is about. The domain is often general, but the suffixes can be used to match the URL with the page title it belongs to.

  •         Carefully use stop words

Stop words (such as and, a, but, or, of, the, etc.) are often ignored by search engines, so these shall be carefully used in URLs. Somehow, it may create hurdles for stopping search robots in reading a URL exactly like its associated title or it may help you to shorten the URL as well.

You can review this matter by judging the readability of URLs and included accordingly. If it makes sense and seems perfect for targeted users, then forget about the length of the URL.

  •         Keep Away from Repetition

The repetition of words is common among domain name, category, and product names. The general commonness of words may seem obvious, but repetitive keyword stuffing may harm your reputation. It may be annoying for the users as well.

Conclusion

The simple structure of a URL means a lot to search engine and readers. A layman is unable to judge such factors, but may unintentionally ignore your website for the same reasons, just because they do not feel comfortable with browsing. Hope so, the above tips will prove helpful for URL optimization and user experience. 

URL Optimization Infographic: