What is the URL? How to optimize URLs in SEO

What is the URL?

URL (or URL address ) is a special form of personal address of a given resource on the Internet. It could be a website, some specific documents or an image. Internet users only need to insert this code into the location bar to find necessary web pages, documents, folders or images.

What does the URL mean? URL stands for phrase Unified resource locator. It contains a link to the server hosting the resource being searched. It is also called a web address. URLs consist of several parts - including a protocol and domain name - that tell the web browser how and where to get resources.

End users use URLs by typing them directly into the browser's address bar or by clicking on a found hyperlink.

The URL is the most common Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) type. URIs are strings of characters used to identify resources across a network. The URL is essential for site navigation.

URL structure

URLs with a defined structure include:

  • The method of accessing resources is also named network protocol;

  • Authorize access;

  • Server - DNS address is recorded as IP address;

  • Gateway - a more imperative detail included in conjunction with the IP address;

  • Trace - identify information about how to gain access;

  • Parameter - internal information about the resource about the file

The URL contains the name of the protocol needed to access the resource, as well as the resource name. The first part of the URL determines which protocol will be used as the primary means of access. The second part identifies the IP address or domain name - and possibly the subdomain - where the resource is located.

So, why is URL friendliness important?
  • Understand what page content is all about

  • Navigate faster on the web

  • Memorize valuable pages

  • Share links easily

How to optimize URLs in SEO

  • Include exact target keywords: When possible include exact target keywords or phrases in your URL. This is usually done on service pages or blog posts.

  • Redirect the broken URL 301: If you have to change the URL, but it's already a Google site that is likely indexed and other sites that have linked to. You don't want search engines to remove a high-ranking website from search results because they can't find your content on the old URL. Just notify the search engines by adding a 301 redirect from the old URL to your new URL.

  • Upload to Favicon: The little icon next to your URL in the browser is the avatar. Adding one has many benefits. Search engines like Bing and Google Also include favicon in search results. Favicons also more prominent in browser bookmarks, help identify and trust the brand.

  • Add mobile URLs to Sitemaps: The goal is to tell major search engines like Google which websites on your site are mobile friendly in your sitemap. Mobile-friendly pages tend to rank higher in mobile search results. Here are Google's recommendations on how to put mobile URL into sitemap

  • Block bad URLs with Robots.txt: Avoid penalties for duplicate content by blocking search engines from indexing multiple URLs for the same content and other problematic URLs.

  • Top content in top directories: Search engines often consider websites in your root directory as top-level content and perhaps better content. So, be strategic about how you structure the URLs. The URL structure can signal the importance of a page on the site.

  • Use dashes, not underscores: If you want to separate words in your URL, use dashes or hyphens, instead of underscores. Google has been very clear about this. Their algorithm is written to read hyphens, not underscores. If you want to be ranked high in the largest search engines in the world, you have to play by their rules.

  • The URL must be 100% readable: If you can't read every single word in your URL, search engines can't. Search engines cannot rearrange cluttered URLs. Instead, it only reads the words in the URL, just like they read the content on your page. This helps n better understand your content, so they can connect you with your target market.


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