A uniform resource locator (URL) represents a web page’s location which is commonly referred to as a web address. URL’s were designed to portray numeric-based IP addresses as a way to enhance user experience. Computers interpret web addresses as numbers and are able to communicate with one another through numeric values. If not for URL’s, human’s would be easily confused by web addresses, and seldom, if ever, recall which pages they visited. A URL consists of three major components:
- Domain Name: https://www.hvacwebmasters.com/organic-seo
- Path: https://www.hvacwebmasters.com/organic-seo
- Protocol: https://www.hvacwebmasters.com/organic-seo
Without the help of uniform resource locators, most internet users would get lost online. The domain name portion of the address represents the root website while the protocol instructs the browser about which manner to retrieve the information. The path, which is the final piece of a URL, displays the subfolder or subcategory of the primary site. This allows for what are known as child pages which are subcategories of top level pages. URLs should go no deeper than 2 subfolders for optimal results.
URL’s and SEO
HVAC companies should keep their website’s URL’s clean and organized to for SEO. Because URL’s are a user experience (UX) enhancer, they should cater directly to visitors. A good question to ask yourself when constructing a web address is Would a user be able to identify this page without a title tag? If the answer is yes, the address should help your SEO. If the answer is no it might work against your efforts. In summary, URL’s should be:
- Concise: As short as possible without compromising UX
- Hyphenated: Use hyphens “-” to separate words
- Lowercase: Display lowercase letters
- Relevant: Relate to the page’s topic
When Google crawls and indexes websites it can do so much faster with concise URL’s. But search engines are not the only beneficiary. Users also strongly prefer shorter addresses because not only are they easy to remember but they are more aesthetically pleasing. Addresses should always reflect the content on the page and the category of the website. Title tags should be based off of URLs so that the subjects remain consistent.
Keywords in Permalinks (aka URL Slugs)
SEO strategists have found success placing keywords within permalinks aka URL slugs. The last part of URL (the path) is known as a slug or permalink. This method can be helpful for keywords that are short and concise but can create problems for some long-tail keyword terms. It really depends on how well the keyword represents the content on the page and how pleasing it looks from a visitor’s perspective. If it checks both boxes there’s every reason to use it within your slug.
If your pages already have slugs that are not optimized they can always be changed and redirected using 301 (moved permanently). Since pages get indexed by Google under their original permalink, changing them without redirection can cause 404 errors and frustrate visitors of your website. This can have a negative impact on your site’s overall search engine optimization and should be actively avoided. Aside from keeping things concise, remember to avoid stop words within permalinks like of, is, etc.