Research shows that domain bias is real: the URL is one of the most prominent elements searchers consider when deciding which link to click.
Thus, you can imagine the difference in action from clicking on something like this:
Most marketers find it trivial but the benefits of having a clean and well structured URL can make a world of a difference.
Think about it: the URL is often a prospect’s 1st encounter with your product, it’ll be printed on almost all of your marketing collateral, is often said out loud by your founders and sales reps, and surprisingly, does influence how you’re ranked in search.
In Tony Robbins fashion, I’ve sifted through the web to find the 6 most valuable and actionable tips so you can get the most search engine & marketing juice out of your URL structure.
#1: Keep it Short & Simple
The short of it is, it’s an overall better user experience to have a concise URL. Take out “www,” avoid capitals, numbers, symbols, and ensure the page has the fewest forward slashes as possible (ex. “jakubkubicka.com/nick” vs “jakubkubicka.com/podcast/nickhughes/2018”).
#2: Make it Secure With “https”
Hyper text transfer protocol (http) is consider the “protocol” (think a system) that sends data between a browser and your website and has been the default protocol for most of the Internet’s life.
By adding an “s” to the end of this, it ensures that the data that is passed between your browser and site is encrypted, and thus, secure.
When you’re able to have this boosted protocol, you earn a lock symbol and “Secure” text to the left of your URL (check right now), giving the customer an additional layer of comfort knowing you’re not a sketchy website.
#3: Only Use Hyphens
As of recent, search engine crawlers (imagine little spiders that touch every page on the Internet) categorize hyphens and underscores the same.
That said, hyphens have a cleaner look and lead to a better user experience. You can use spaces, but you run the risk of the Internet filling in those spaces with “%” symbols which don’t look pretty. When in doubt, use hyphens!
#4: Edit & Simplify the URL for Every New Page
Visit anyone’s LinkedIn profile and you’ll see whether they’ve been mindful of their online footprint by looking at their URL.
Some have a string of numbers at the end of their respective URL while others have a clean “linkedin.com/in/(name)” that has a sharper feel to it. Websites are no different. Edit the URL for every new blog article and once again, keep it simple!
#5: Match URLs to Titles When Possible
Building upon #5, match the respective URL to title if possible. The URL creates an expectation for the user and the title delivers on it.
#6: Don’t Ever Keyword Stuff
Keyword stuffing is the way of spammers, developing countries, and marketers of the 90’s and 2000’s. Don’t put yourself in this category.
That said, feel free to put 1-3 keywords in the title to increase your relevancy for search engines when search engines rank you.
URLs really do matter.
Case in point: in the 90’s some saw the incredible power and potential of URLs and bought hundreds to have a piece of Internet “real estate.”
Now, those same people are millionaires given the big checks companies are willing to pay to get the most simple URLs (ex. cars.com was bought for $872 million).
Do URLs have your attention now?