The Basics of URLs in SEO Practice | V3 Media

We talk about search engine optimization (SEO) at V3 Media all the time, but something we want to specifically discuss today is the Uniform Resource Locator, or URL as it’s most commonly referred to. Why do we want to talk about it? Because URLs are a big factor in your website’s SEO than you may realize. By further examining the URL and making proper adjustments, you can increase click-through rates and improve your website’s ranking.

Let’s go over the nitty-gritty details together.

First and Foremost: Your Domain Name

Naturally it’s impossible to set up a website without a proper domain name. Ensuring the URL for your website’s home page looks the way you want it to matters because it’s the most human-readable aspect of your website, both to the users looking for your services and to search engines ranking your website.

We chose the name V3 Media for our business and set up our domain address as https://v3media.ca/ for a number of reasons: it’s easy to type out, it’s short, it’s memorable, and it’s secure. These same reasons apply to several other brands you may be familiar with, such as Amazon. It’s also referred to sometimes as a root domain.

When it comes to reformatting the rest of your website’s URLs – for example, perhaps you have an ecommerce website you’re looking to improve, or you feature an events calendar connected to the root domain – it’s important to bear in mind Google’s continual changes in their algorithm. They do not prioritize ranking any websites with keyword-rich domains that are not of high quality. The top white-hat practices in SEO, which include avoiding keyword-stuffing and producing high-quality content, apply to a URL as well.

Why This All Matters

Think about this for a second: you need to find a website that has exactly what you’re looking for. Maybe you’re looking to replace your kitchen sink with a brand new one and neither social media nor your own personal social network hasn’t led to many good leads. So, to Google you go. Now, just as an example, which of these URLs would you want to click on the most?

Were it up to me, I would feel less inclined to click on the top link if on the off chance I need to write it down manually; I wouldn’t want to (and even if I wanted to I couldn’t, given that there are ellipses in the middle of the URL). For the rest, it’s more likely there will be click-through, because the URLs describe exactly what I’d be looking for. As for the #1 choice, it would be the bottom one based on how easy it is to remember and how relevant it is to my search for a brand new sink, not so much a used one.

Ideal URL Formatting & Practices

According to Moz, the standard URL length should consist of no more than 50-60 characters (including punctuation!), and the length should not exceed more than 2,048 characters, otherwise search engines will not be able to load the page properly. They should either contain hyphens or underscores – spaces in between words, such as this sentence, are not recommended – separating each word for best results.

To make your URL more keyword-rich and easier to read, considering following these do’s and don’ts:

  • Do explain what users can expect when they click on the hyperlink to access the page
  • Don’t keyword stuff the URL
  • Do try to match the URL with the title of the web page or blog post (when and where it makes the most sense)
  • Don’t go overboard with adding punctuation or characters in the URL
  • Do add a SKU number if that’s what your website ranks best for – this is optional and applies mainly to ecommerce sites, but it wouldn’t hurt if your website already ranks highly because of it and it results in sales!
  • Don’t go overboard with descriptions about your product or service in the URL

We hope this explains a little better about URLs and their role in white-hat SEO practice. If your URLs are a mess, or if you’re having too much trouble dealing with SEO in general, contact our professional webmasters and development team at V3 Media.