URLs build search engine history

A common SEO practice is to rack popular keywords and fancy snippets; meanwhile a descriptive URL is often all that is needed. The neater the URL, the easier it becomes for people to remember WTH is the page doing in their bookmarks.

URL is the peephole to your content

Examples of URLs
URLs: the good and the confusing.

How do you go about making a URL memorable? Well, use keywords that will grab the attention of the user right from the start. But these keywords should also tell the story of the page. Crawling a page will definitely reveal the presence or absence of connection between the keywords in the URL and the content of the page.

To further help with memorisation, it is important to simply cut the URL short. There is no need to use common words (“and” + “the” = duh!) or even specialised characters (i.e “à”, “&”, “@”). A minimal number of characters will always have the preference, but it is most important to have a static descriptive URL rather than a dynamic qualitative one.

The URL effect

The immediate consequence of a clear and explicit URL is that it becomes easy to index and share. Search engines will see a URL that links to a domain and is not repeating content from elsewhere. People will see a URL that speaks for itself and is not showing obscure file extensions. But the long term effect is even more beneficial: the website will have a solid foundation for future filing and upgrades.

Graph of a URL readability
A readable URL creates a findable webpage.

But we don’t always get everything right from the start, even with good intentions. Prior to starting a webpage, it is good to investigate the specifications of the web development platform. The hosting server should allow developers to create 404 error pages and 301 redirects. The CMS should also allow creators to make changes to their permalinks as well as the file extensions of URLs.

Ultimately, the main obstacle that stands between a website and its potential visitors is sketchy findability. When there are so many resources available on the subject, it would be a bad decision to leave it all to the wheel of Fortune.

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