When it comes to SEO, one of the main things to consider is what people will be typing. Whether that be in the address bar or the search bar.
Search engines, like Google, do look at the way in which the URL is formed. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator and gives an unique address for a given web page. When it comes to SEO, matching up the keywords here becomes essential. Assuming that you have already taken into consideration your website domain (something.com), the pages themselves also need to match the content you are hoping to be found for. For example, I want to promote my Pear website page in search engines. It promotes the sale of Pears in my local community of Shoreham. So some keywords here are pears and Shoreham. Putting this into the URL may look something like this: something.com/pears-in-shoreham.
Some websites automatically generate the URL’s and some are simply made by naming the appropriate pages in HTML. The danger with automated URL’s is that you can end up with something like: something.com/12434566933231?&gnjnjnnrgrrt8888900843 – just take a look at any given youtube video link! So when building a website, and formatting it in an SEO-friendly way – specifying your content within your URL is essential.
The question then becomes, how specific can you be? How about something.com/pears-and-other-fruit-in-shoreham-and-the-surrounding-areas…? Too long, or crammed full of keywords? And that brings us to our key question here: Short URL’s vs. Long URL’s.
The incentives of having a longer URl, means that search engines can pick up more keywords – making your page more likely to be found under specific criteria. But the trouble with this is simply that people will not recognise your page content easily. Many people will look at a URL to see the name of the content on the page as it often reflects the organisation of the website (and in many cases the company!).
A Google representative also stated that two or three words is perfectly normal – but more than that can cause Google to put less value on the words that you are using in your URL. A good amount of characters is 115 (or less!).
So when saving your pages, consider your content and carefully consider your URL. A perfect example of a well-organised business is the Quoakle Graphical Web Directory – which specialises in promoting businesses through SEO within its simple and colourful graphical interface. For example, if you were searching for a good day out in Gloucestershire, their URL for this is: quoakle.com/gloucestershire/days-out-and-leisure. It takes into account the location as well as the content of the page. The whole Quoakle directory is built around a very tidy, releavant and well-optimised approach to SEO and ensures that each URL is carefully utilised for maximum effect.
Length isn’t the only key to good URL’s. Realising that a web browser interprits an underscore (_) as a character helps you realise that if you add them within your URL – you are essentially writing a long word. For example: pears-in-shoreham would be recognised as “pears in shoreham”, whereas, pears_in_shoreham would be recognised as “pearsinshoreham” – which would have significantly less SEO value.
Other things to consider is not having too many subdirectories (eg: something.com/food/fruit/pears/sales/shoreham/uk/europe/earth/milky-way/universe), there’s just no point. Also sub-domains (eg. blog.something.com as well as about.something.com as well as shop.something.com etc etc), this doesn’t assist you in any way – you’d be better off adding it at the end like most other URL’s (at least from an SEO perspective).
Another two brilliant examples of URL’s are: restaurants in gloucestershire (quoakle.com/gloucestershire/restaurants) or home improvements in gloucestershire (quoakle.com/gloucestershire/home-improvements).