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
File/Folder Naming Limitations
Maximum character limit – uncertain
URL Length Limitations
URL Structure optimization tips
- 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
- 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
Overall URL Structure: