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How to build friendly URL links in an online shop? Tips from IdoSell
A URL (uniform resource locator) is in most cases a pointer to a web page. What should a good URL look like? Which elements are important and what affects SEO? Check how to build Google-friendly URLs and be high in the search results. This will help you reach new customers and increase your sales as a result.
A URL consists of:
- a protocol (e.g. http, https or others such as ftp)
- host (on the internet, this is a domain name, e.g. google.com)
- path (a reference to the file location on the server, e.g. /electronics/headphones, or main.php)
- query (consists of "?" character of parameter name and its value. Further parameters are added after the "&" character)
- fragment (reference to a selected fragment of a page)
What should URLs be? Three most significant indicators:
- Descriptive - specify what the page contains. Preferably with an appropriate directory structure.
- Concise - meaning readable for robots and internet users.
- Easy to remember
Elements of a friendly URL. Learn a few rules:
- Words in the URL are separated by separators, preferably dashes. Avoid spaces, commas and other special characters
- Use a clear and logical directory structure. This will make it easy for both search engines and internet users to point out what is on a given subpage and what its content will be. Remember not to overdo it - avoid building complicated structures.
- Capital letters or Polish characters in URL addresses are fine. However, remember that most Internet users use only lowercase letters by default and do not use Polish characters. This means that pages with capital letters may position slightly worse.
IdoSell tip: In some cases, uppercase letters can cause problems with duplicate pages because uppercase and lowercase addresses can position separately.
- The recommended URL length is around 80 characters (various sources say between 60 and 120 characters). Longer URLs are often cut off on search results pages.
- Character limit - the most commonly cited limit on the length of a single URL is the 2048 character limit (but this varies from browser to browser).
How does a URL affect SEO?
A URL that contains keywords has a positive impact on SEO. It is a signal to the search engine that the shop contains content that corresponds to the keywords placed on the page. Therefore, it is worth including keywords in the address. What else should you keep in mind when creating SEO-friendly links? There are several elements:
- Do not overdo the number of keywords in the address. Such practices are considered by Google as so called keyword stuffing and may cause a drop in search engine ranking.
- The URL is a place where you can use synonyms and thus achieve the so-called long-tail effect. How do you achieve this? Place keywords or keyword phrases in the link that are more specific (i.e. longer) than the keywords you normally use. Long-tail keywords generate less search traffic, but usually have a higher conversion value because they are more specific.
What to watch out for when personalising URLs?
- Most important: avoid changing URLs frequently. If you already decide to change a URL, make sure it won't be changed for a long time. Constantly tweaking the structure makes no sense.
- Don't build URLs that don't say anything, e.g. consist of a string of random characters/numbers/letters,
- Separate individual words. There is a danger that a string URL will look like a spam to your client
- Avoid creating a cluttered directory structure. A complicated structure is not readable.
- Don't use overly generic page naming, e.g. calling a particular model of shoes "winter shoes" (there are many types of winter footwear). The naming should uniquely identify the page.
- Information that the URL should be as short as possible, or the page should be as close to the root directory as possible, are myths. The structure should simply be logical and understandable.
Why personalise URLs?
- friendly URLs have a positive impact on your shop's image
- a page whose URL is readable inspires confidence
- you build brand recognition, e.g. by adding links to menus
- links are easy to remember and encourage customers to return.
- an orderly structure encourages clicks, while too long on the contrary
What should you do after making changes to the URL?
- check if you have any pages returning 404
- verify if the old url directs to the new url (redirects)
- check the sitemap generation. In IdoSell you don't have to worry about it - the system takes care of sitemap itself
- monitor traffic volume for new and old URLs.
IdoSell helps sellers to improve their position in Google, also during migration. This is because we enable our merchants to import links and add redirects. In addition, we add automatically generated meta on various pages and provide the ability to define custom meta on individual pages. How else does IdoSell improve SEO effectiveness?
- Change of link structure to one of seven templates, possibility to define your own link structure
- Possibility to import products with meta, descriptions, product names and, most importantly, your own links.
- Define your own URLs in menu items, goods, blogs and news