One of the most important SEO ranking factors your website MUST have in place is "SEO Friendly URLS".
If you dont have search engine friendly urls then your website will struggle to rank well on the search results, especially Google.
In the early years of running my first online business (the one i quit my high paying corporate job to start), I never knew about SEO friendly urls. I spent a long time and a lot of money with various seo companies trying to get my website to rank well on the search engines.
It wasn't until I had a chance meeting with an experienced SEO consultant that I learnt about SEO Friendly URLS and the importance of them.
The moment I updated my website with seo friendly urls (my programmer did it for me), everything started to change.
Within a few weeks of updating my website with SEO friendly URLS the website started to rank on Google. It was like someone opened the floodgates as the leads and sales started flowing in like never before.
As my knowledge about SEO grew so did my business.
Over the years other business and website owners have come to me for advice about search engine optimisation and help with improving their website ranking on Google.
One of the first things I always ask is "Does your website have SEO friendly URLS ?"
Here are some tips when creating SEO Friendly URLS
- Use a target keyword or prhase in your URL. The more specific you can be with your URL the easier it is for Google and other search engines to work out what your web page is about. Remember, when building a website all your pages need to be structured in an easy to understand manner. I call this "building pages with purpose".
- Keep your URLS as short as possible. You don't want to be creating long urls as they are hard for Google and the website visitor to make sense of. Don't try and stuff random keywords into your URLS either, this is an old school seo tactic that Google frowns upon and penalises. The best thing to do is to name the URL using as many words as you need to describe the page that the web page is about.
- Avoid using code or numbers in your URL. Google looks at everything on a web page to work out what the page is about so it can index it and rank it in the most appropriate position on the search results. If you use code or symbols in your URL the robots will become confused as to what your page is about. This then will affect how well your page ranks on the search results.
- Use dashes instead of underscores. It's best practice to use dashes to separate words in your URLs rather than underscores. Most search engines, especially Google find it easier to read words that have dashes rather than underscores. Make sure you separate all unique words in your URLS too, don't let words run into each other as they are too hard to read and make sense of from a search engine users point of view.
- Don't use "a" or "the" in your URLS. There is no need to use letters like "a" or words like "the" in your URLs, Google won't take notice of them anyway. Just write your URL as you would say it then strip out any unnesseccasry letters or words.
There are over 200 factors that you need to be aware of when it comes to best practice SEO. However some SEO factors carry more weight than others, I call these The SEO Essentials.