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  • Writer's pictureJessica Plant

URL Structure: 12 Best Practices for SEO-Friendly URLs

Crafting a successful online presence is akin to brewing the perfect cup — it requires the right ingredients, a systematic approach, and attention to detail. URL structure is a crucial element of this process. Much like mapping out the steps of your brewing process before igniting the kettle, establishing a clear and compelling URL hierarchy lays the foundation for a successful website. 


So grab your favourite mug, settle in, and let's explore the art of crafting SEO-friendly URLs. Like the perfect brew, it’s all about finding the right balance and flavour for success. 


12 Best Practices for SEO Friendly URLs


1. Follow a Good URL Structure

While there's no one-size-fits-all recipe, a simple, logical, and memorable URL structure are the key ingredients. URLs can be different depending on the site's purpose. Make it easy for both humans and search engines to navigate your site.


2. Use the HTTPS Protocol

As a secure fermentation process ensures a quality brew, HTTPS encryption safeguards your website's integrity. It inspires trust in your users and earns you brownie points with Google's ranking algorithm. 


Use the HTTPS Protocol

Pro Tip: To view more details about the connection, click on the icon next to your URL in the Chrome address bar.






3. Hide the Triple W Prefix

In today's digital age, the "www" prefix is like yesterday's stale brew—it carries unnecessary baggage. Ditch the triple Ws and let your domain name shine, embracing a sleeker, more modern URL appearance.

The Chrome browser hides the “www” and "https://" in its address bar because the information isn't all that important to display since it has the secure lock icon indicator (see above). If you want to see it, double-click inside the address bar; it's still there.


4. Edit Page URLs to be Relevant

When you publish a page on your site, it should have a clear purpose. Do not use randomly generated numbers that are confusing and irrelevant. Customizing your website's page URLs to describe the content within the page improves your user experience and can increase click-through rates.


points visitors to our specific service:

A browser window with the URL thebrandbrew.ca/solutions/branding

5. Keep URLs Short and Simple

Most website platforms automatically use the page name or blog post title as the default URL, but sometimes, it can be an unnecessarily long string of characters for the slug. Like a finely brewed ale, shorter URLs pack a more potent punch and rank higher. Trim the excess and keep your URLs concise and to the point for maximum impact.


6. Use a Meaningful Keyword

For a blog post URL, use one (1) focus keyword relevant to the page's content. This keyword tells Google how the page should show up in search results. Don't stuff your URL with more than that; it can come across as illegitimate or spammy.


In addition to the URL slug, you should add a keyword to your page metadata (title tag and description), body text, on page header (H1), and subheads (H2 or H3).


The Wix Blog interface showing the focus keyword and SEO settings
The Wix Blog interface showing the focus keyword and SEO settings

7. Hyphenate with Care

When separating words in your URL, hyphens are the hops of choice. URLs do not use spaces or underscores to separate words. SEO best practices use hyphens between words because this tells Google and users where the breaks between words are, and it's so much easier to read than words that are all smashed together.


Here is an example of the difference hyphens make to URLs: 


An easy to read URL with hyphens

8. Filter Out Stop Words

Stop words (the, and, or, of, a, an, to, for, etc.) do not need to be in your URL. Remove these words to make your URL shorter and more readable.


9. Use Lowercase Letters

URLs are case-sensitive for everything after the root domain name. 


For example, "TheBrandBrew.ca” will still direct you to "thebrandbrew.ca,” but "thebrandbrew.ca/Contact-Us" will take you to a 404 page instead of our intended contact page.


Always use lowercase letters for your URLs; if you use an uppercase letter, update your links and redirect to the new ones.


Wix, Shopify, and WordPress automatically default to lowercase, so if any of these are your website platforms, you have nothing to fret about regarding case sensitivity.


10. Redirect Wisely

As you tweak your website over time, your URL structure may evolve. When making changes, use permanent redirects to guide users to your new URLs without leaving them high and dry.


Use redirects as part of good URL structure
Wix URL Redirect Manager showing the interface of old vs. new URLs

Pro Tip: Avoid too many redirects, as they can slow down your site. One or two redirects are OK per URL, but it's best practice to make the page accessible without redirect loops.


That's why picking a good URL structure at the beginning of your website's life is essential—to avoid redirects!


11. Remove Dates from Blog Posts

Serve up your content without a side of dates. Removing postdates from URLs keeps your brew looking fresh and timeless, enticing visitors to take a sip. URLs without dates can improve click-through rates from search engines and help content rank for years. 


It also allows for evergreen content so you can go back and update high-performing posts with new information, then re-publish the post without redirecting the old URL. Refreshing and republishing old content is a sign of a strong SEO strategy.


12. Mind Your Numbers

If your business name or the root domain has a number in it, take precautions and purchase the spelled-out version of the domain name as well. Then, redirect it to the primary domain. That way, if visitors need clarification or learn the spelling, they will be guaranteed to end up in the right place.


7-11 example

For example, seveneleven.com redirects to their domain 7-eleven.com


Try to avoid using all numbers in your URL slug (or after the root domain) altogether. Think about how people write. When searching for something online, “four” can easily get mixed up in place of “for” or “two” instead of “to,” so it’s best to avoid unnecessary confusion.


If the number in question is a year or specific date, use the numbers and don’t spell it out. Most of the time, the longer the number, the more likely it's an actual number like 47 versus spelling out “forty-seven.”


Using numbers in your URL depends on the situation. Just make sure to weigh the factors and decide if it’s best to include or exclude them.

Enhancing Website Performance Through SEO-Friendly URLs


URLs are the building blocks of your website and, when optimized, can help increase your website traffic. Clean URLs perform better in search, appear more trustworthy, and make sharing easier. Like the perfect brew, crafting SEO-friendly URLs requires patience, precision, and a dash of strategy. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to brewing up success and attracting thirsty visitors to your website.


If you need help navigating how to set up your website most effectively, contact us at The Brand Brew™. We're your local and remotely connected digital marketing strategists in Waterdown, ON. Cheers to your well-crafted URL structure!




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