URL structure plays an important role. It’s a foundation which needs to be done correctly. Here are some vital tips to optimize your URL structure.
1) Simplicity and Position: Words closer to the domain have higher value and receive more weight age by Google’s crawlers. Therefore, keywords should ideally be as short and relevant as possible. Simplicity also includes doing away with equal or question-mark symbols. As shorter URLs are accessed more often, ideally place your keyword in the first five spots. Also try and ensure that the keywords are in the filename position rather than the subdirectory level.
2) Avoid keyword stuffing: Instead of trying to cram up every known keyword in your URL, stick to the top 3-4. Overuse of keywords negatively affects search engine results. Moreover, they run the risk of being identified as spam.
3) Be consistent: Try not to constantly keep changing your URL so that your search engine is able locate previously indexed pages. However if you do, then ensure that the old URL is directed to the new URL so that your PageRank gets transferred by the search engines, without affecting your site.
4) Hyphenate to separate: Hyphenating keywords makes them reader-friendly for both man and search engine. It helps understand the structure of your URL as well as the different keywords used there-in.
5) Reduce directory depth: Since there is a tendency by some search engines to attribute most importance to pages closest to the domain and overlook directories with bigger depths, try and limit your content to around the 2nd—3rd sub folder level in the URL. Use hyphens to separate keywords. The effort to keep the URL as short as possible should not however undermine the fact that the directory names and keywords used in it do have a role to play – that of helping identify the content on the page.
6) Avoid creating multiple URLs: In their attempt to maximize online traffic, many people opt for multiple URLs for the same web page. However, since search engines consider each URL as unique, this practice exposes your site to the risk of being viewed as a duplicate. Counter this issue by creating a permanent 301 redirect, which then directs the URL of your home page to the preferred domain.
7) Don’t let the Session I.D. affect your site: Every URL is viewed by the spider as a unique page and the unique session I.D. of a URL gets reported as a duplicate page for which it’s given zero importance by search engines. Additionally, everyone linking to your page will be linking to a different URL, which ultimately will downgrade your page rank.