URL Optimization

A free guide to the basics of optimizing the URL structure of your website.

Although search engines have worked hard to improve their ability to crawl and index dynamic sites, URL structure remains an obstacle for many website still today.

By implementing a few simple URL structure best practices your site can avoid or overcome many indexing issues.

Best practices for URL structure include limiting the number of directory levels from domain to file, limiting the number of name/value pairs or rewriting dynamic URLs completely, and infusing directories and file names with relevant phrases.

Optimized URL Structure

URL Optimization details

Domain Name Length Limitations

Maximum character limit – 63 characters plus the TLD (interesting domain name info)

File/Folder Naming Limitations

Maximum character limit – uncertain

URL Length Limitations

Maximum character limit – 2083 characters in IE, even longer for other browsers

URL Structure optimization tips

Domain Names

  • Limit length; technical limitations of 63 characters is far to long for an effective domain name
  • Try to obtain a domain name that contains a keyphrase relevant to your targeted ontent
  • Avoid spammy URLs that have numerous hyphens (-) or mispellings
  • Web 2.0 style names (IE Flickr) are all the rage (mostly because the real words are already taken

Folder/File Names

  • Separate words using – or _ so they can be read as separate words (IE avoid “hereismyseofolder”)
  • Limit overall length, compress directory structure into file naming convention to reduce directory levels

Overall URL Structure

  • Limit the number of directory levels from the domain name to the file, avoid unnecessary folders
  • Limit the overall length of the URL, avoid unnecessary words and characters
  • Use keyphrases and real words – avoid shortened or meaningless words like /prod/ and /og/
  • Avoid session IDs and other session based parameters in URLs
  • Avoid having more than 2-3 name/value pairs in dynamic URL strings
  • Rewrite dynamic URLs into ‘clean’ or static URLs wherever possible

Optimized file naming examples

Domain naming:
Bad: “eseeyohgyde.ws”

Better: “www.SaverSites.com”
Best: “www.SEOGuide.com

Folder/Directory Naming:
Bad: “/na/do/”

Better: “/content/seo-guide/”
Best: “/seo/free-seo-guide/”

File Naming:
Bad: “prod.jsp?v=09&w=87&x=65&y=43&z=21″
Better: “pageID_0987654321.php”
Best: “free_seo_guide.php”

Overall URL Structure:
Bad: “https://Mispelt.ws/na/do/prod.jsp?v=09&w=87&x=65&y=43&z=21″
Better: “www.SaverSites.com/content/seo-guide/pageID_0987654321.php”
Best: “www.SaverSites.com/free_seo_guide.php