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Why does your URL matter for SEO?

A URL – also known as Uniform Resource Locator – specifies the location of a webpage or whole website on the internet. It consists of a domain name, a protocol and a path. They’re designed to be human-readable and have replaced the IP addresses that computers use to communicate with servers. While this may all seem fairly technologically advanced, according to Moz, a URL has a number of major benefits for SEO.

 

A URL can improve a site’s rankings

Search engines use URLs when determining the ranking factor of a particular webpage’s relevance to a search query. While the URL is only a minor ranking factor, it can be considered good practice to include relevant keywords when constructing the URL of your dental practice website. However, you don’t have to create a URL that includes a keyword just for the sake of improving your ranking factor; make sure the URL is relevant and useful as opposed to just keyword-stuffed.

 

It can improve user experience

A URL that has been expertly crafted is not only rewarded by search engines, but also by humans searching for their desired resource too. An easy-to-understand URL will give a clear indication of exactly what the destination page contains; so even if the title tag and meta description is missing below the URL on the SERPs, it can still be easy to recognise what the destination page is all about. We previously mentioned that using keywords isn’t imperative when creating a URL but they can help immensely when it comes to telling the likes of Google exactly what the page contains.

 

User experience will be improved because of this as visitors will be able to gain a clear understanding of what the page is about just from the URL.

 

Top tips for creating an effective URL that will help to improve SEO:

  • Ensure that your URL is concise, definitive and to the point. The URL should give the user (and the search engine) a clear indication of what the destination page is about.
  • URLs shouldn’t include fancy punctuation and symbols; use hyphens and forward slashes for readability purposes but don’t include spaces or underscores as this can be very confusing for search engines to read.
  • Use lowercase letters as uppercase letters can often cause issues with duplicate pages; the same URL with just one letter being uppercase and the other one lowercase may be seen as two separate URLs and therefore could create issues with duplicate content.
  • Remember to keep your URL relevant, simple and as accurate as possible in order to make sure that both search engines and your users are able to understand it.
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