Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is a necessary ingredient in creating a successful online marketing strategy. eCommerce SEO may seem like it’s all about whisking together keywords, links, content, and more, but that’s not where it stops. The URL of your website plays a big role in whether or not it rises to the top of the search engine or falls to the bottom. In fact, understanding the SEO URL best practices will allow you to stand out instead of being beaten by your competition. This is what’s known as URL SEO.
What is URL Structure?
Before we get into the thick of it, you need to know what URL structure is and why it matters.
Like a cake, A URL is made up of three layers:
- The “protocol” is the http:// or https:// part at the beginning. It gives the browser the information it needs to find your page.
- The “domain name” can be split further into domains, subdomains, and top-level domains. The “www” part of the URL is a subdomain, and while it’s not common, any three letters could be used there. The domain is the main dish, the unique part of the link that actually provides your website with its name. The “top-level domain,” or TLD, is the “.com,” “.net,” “.org,” etc.
- The “path” is the exact location the link is going to. It’s not just extra fat – it pinpoints the exact part of the website someone is on.
The other important thing to remember is that not every website has the same URL structure. They can be different, depending on the purpose of the website itself. Instead of milling over the exact format, you should instead be wondering how to create a recipe for the URL your website needs.
SEO URL Tips
The URL isn’t just the link at the top of the page, nor is it just about navigation. A URL is the spine of your website’s cookbook, keeping everything in order so your customers won’t get lost. The best URLs are made to keep the visitor experience sweet while keeping your website in the search engine. If you want to know the secret recipe behind making the most out of your URL, there are some things to sprinkle in.
1) A Delicate Mixture: Keywords in URL
SEO has a lot to do with keywords. They’re the filling for a lot of content, sprinkled into the batter wherever and whenever they fit. However, if you go overboard, you’ll end up with a mess. This is also true when it comes to putting keywords into a URL. Stick to one or two necessary keywords and chop away the rest.
You’ll want your keywords to be relevant, memorable, and easily typed. It’s best if they’re words that are necessary for describing the page in question; it’s even better if they’re taken from the title. Don’t fry your readers’ brains; make it easy for them to navigate back to the page because the best URLs can be typed out in a pinch.
2) Health and Safety: Follow HTTPS Protocol
HTTPS is more secure than HTTP; that’s what the “S” stands for. If you want your website to be seen as credible by internet users and search engine bots, you’ll make sure your website is secure and trustworthy. Otherwise, people will feel like they’re being burned somehow — even if you’re entirely reliable. Take advantage of HTTPS SEO and attract more people to your website.
3) Simple and Sweet: Staying Brief
Nobody wants to see a massive, over-stuffed URL in their search bar. People tend to avoid them and prefer shorter URLs. So do search engines, which rank the shorter URLs higher. You may think your long and creative URL adds flavor, but it just sours your chances.
4) Just a Dash: Using Hyphens
You can’t separate words in a URL with spaces, and underscores aren’t ideal. Instead, a few hyphens will do the trick. They’ll tell the search engine, and your readers, how the words are sliced up. This makes it easier to read; just don’t go overboard, or it’ll appear random instead.
5) Keep it Fresh: Avoid Dates
Readers don’t want stale content — they want something fresh out of the oven. You can’t keep your blogs new forever, but by scrapping the dates from your URLs, you can stop readers from avoiding content just because it’s been on the shelf for a few years.
Cooking Up a Marketing Plan
At CakeCommerce, we can help you optimize your online marketing and eCommerce store. We understand the best eCommerce SEO practices, the best ways to handle an online store, and the ins and outs of online marketing.
You don’t need to worry over whether you’ve put the wrong ingredients into your marketing mix; we’ll make sure you’re feeding your demographic with the right stuff and leaving them hungry for more. Contact us today to get started!