Guidelines for URLs Using SEO in San Ramon

Often known as the address of a page, URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. Sometimes you may see it referred to as the URI, or Uniform Resource Identifier. Either way, it is actually the string of characters that gets you to the place on the internet you want to see. When using SEO in San Ramon, URLs are a key place to look.

People who are working to improve search engine rankings through search engine optimization (SEO) of their site may overlook the URL as a factor. This can be a mistake. The URL is meant to be human-readable; if it were not, we would use the IP address (which is what the computer actually uses). There is a limit on the length of a URL (2083 characters, for versions of Internet Explorer before 9), but even if there were not, its “human-readable” characterization would suggest that a limit is wise – and probably a limit much smaller than 2083 characters!

Also, because URLs are meant to be human-readable, it is a good idea to use sensible text that describes the content of the page as succinctly as possible while still being clear.  Small, common words – known in the computer world as “stop words” – may often be left out of a URL. However, if the word is needed to make sense, then by all means include it. Many of these small, common words are dropped when search engines are finding results, due to their common nature, in order to make the results as relevant as possible.

Many sites use CGI (Common Gateway Interface) parameters, session IDs, or dynamic content that result in a URL that makes no sense. Amazon can be a prime example of excess unreadable parameters, but in some products, they have learned to include the readable text of the item immediately after their site name, which greatly improves the human readability of the URL.

For example, a listing for a Sony camera looks like this:

while a listing for a box of ball-point pens looks like this:

As you can see, the first URL has absolutely nothing to tell you that it is linking to a camera, much less what kind, while the second link clearly shows that you will be looking at a 60-count box of BIC round medium point pens. The second link is an example of an SEO-friendly URL.

Another thing to keep in mind is site structure. The fewer slashes that appear in your URL, the better search engines like it. Since each slash indicates a subfolder, the depth implied by many slashes can be an issue.

If your site uses dynamic content, which generates different URLs for identical pages, then you will want to be sure to use the rel=canonical tag to indicate to search engines which is the original page. This will allow it to properly index the main page of content from which all the others begin.

It is also useful to include keywords in your URL. This is good both for having the search engine show your page in results of searches on your keyword, and for having the keywords show up on pages where a visitor shares your link, which often becomes its own anchor text. Of course, you would probably want to use keywords in the title for articles, alt tags for images, and image captions.

These are not the only ways to make your URL SEO-friendly, but they are some of the most critical when considering ways to use URLS for SEO in San Ramon purposes.