How to choose the best SEO-friendly URL structure?

I want to optimise my website's URLs to be as SEO-friendly as possible. Would anyone have advice on the best practices for structuring URLs for the best SEO impact?

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Choosing the right URL structure is an extremely important aspect of SEO as it assists both users and search engines in understanding the nature and structure of your website. Here are some best practices for creating SEO-friendly URLs: 1. **Keep URLs Simple and Readable:** The URL should be simple and easily understandable for both search engines and users. Avoid using complicated parameters, numbers, and special characters. Use words in URLs that are relevant to your site's content. 2. **Use Keywords:** Whenever possible, use essential keywords in your URL. This demonstrates to search engines what the page is about and can help your page rank higher. However, avoid keyword stuffing as this can result in a penalty from search engines. 3. **Use Hyphens to Separate Words:** Search engines, like Google, prefer hyphens (-) rather than underscores (_) to separate words in the URL. 4. **Avoid Using Special Characters and Unnecessary Parameters:** Special characters and parameters can complicate your URL and make it less user and SEO friendly. 5. **Use Lowercase Letters:** Always use lowercase letters in your URLs. URLs can be case sensitive and can cause confusion for users and possibly even duplicating content issues. 6. **Use Canonical URLs:** Canonical URLs are used to prevent issues related to content duplication. So if you have content that's available on multiple URLs, you should choose one URL as your primary and use a canonical tag to prevent duplications. 7. **Limit Folders in URL Structure:** Overusing folders can make a URL look longer and complex. Try to limit the use of folders to a necessary minimum. 8. **SSL Certificate:** Use HTTPS, not HTTP, as it's a ranking signal for Google. To use HTTPS, you need to install an SSL certificate on your website. Remember, while it's good to have an SEO-friendly URL, tweaking URLs unnecessarily could lead to broken links, which isn't good for SEO or user experience. It's also important to set up proper 301 redirects if you decide to change your website's URL structure. In conclusion, an SEO-friendly URL is descriptive, gives an idea of the content of the page, is not overly long, uses hyphens to separate words, does not overuse folders, and uses HTTPS. Applying these best practices will not only make your URL structure SEO-friendly but also user-friendly.
Answered on August 23, 2023.
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