What is SEO-Friendly URL Optimization?

What is SEO-Friendly URL Optimization

Table of Contents

URL optimization is another SEO attribute that ranks high in Google’s guidelines for better positioning in the search engine result pages. URL, which is a Uniform Sesource Locator, is the address or reference of the resource on the internet, which we all enter in the address bar to access a website or domain.  

Each one of us often uses and shares URLs in our daily life. Search engines also index a domain or a blog based on its URL and its content. So, the URL should be such that even a layman could tell its relevancy by merely reading it.

Hence, a URL should be Simple, memorable and augmented with the relevant keyword so that search engines can easily index it in the proper repository and readers can easily remember and share it.

Importance of URLs

Importance of URLs

The whole marketing campaign is targeted to get the top position on the SERPs. Along with the content, backlinks and keywords, URL is also an important factor in the ranking calculation. If your URL is not optimized as per Google standards, it is highly unlikely that you will appear in the SERPs.

According to the Google SEO Starter Guide, “Search engines need a unique URL per piece of content to be able to crawl and index that content and to refer users to it.” This clearly shows that one may be unable to index if they do not pay attention to their URLs. So URLs should be given the due importance for better indexing and visibility.

Sections of URL

Before we discuss the factors that one need to optimize in the URL, a small description is presented below to describe the section of a URL.  A URL can be divided into four different sections. Each section has its own importance. Let’s try to understand it with a simple example.


  • Here, the protocol is a type of security feature you are using, like HTTP or HTTPS.
  • The hostname is the main domain’s name, for example, www.nike.com.
  • The path is the subfolder or the page you are navigating, for example, www.nike.com/w. Here w, shows the subfolder you are trying to navigate.
  • The file name is the further classification or the final page you visit, for example, www.nike.com/w/mens-shoes. Here, “mens-shoes” is the file or category you are accessing.

So, if you keep moving deep into the domain, the URL will keep increasing.

URL Optimization Factors

URL Optimization Factors

It is necessary to optimize the URL for better appearance and visibility. Following are some factors that need to be optimized for better SEO.

1. Use of Keywords

One needs to use keywords in their URL for Google to properly index it.  These keywords should also be relevant to your content. Google’s Guideline for the use of keywords says;

“URLs with words that are relevant to your site’s content and structure are friendlier for visitors navigating your site.”

For example, the following is the URL of one of my articles titled “Effects of Broken Backlinks and how to fix them”;


You can see the keywords mentioned in the URL, which not only helps Google to index in the proper repository but also gives the user a piece of clear information about the type of article. It is also recommended that you do not overuse the keywords, as they become long and graceless.

2. Use of Hyphen

Hyphen will let Google know that these are separate words. Google recommends using a hyphen rather than an underscore (_), as search engines consider the hyphen as a word separator, whereas underscores are considered as one word. A typical example is shown below from our article.


Here, hyphens can be seen in the URL, which separates the words from each other.

3. Use Subfolders

The subfolder works in the same way as folders and subfolders on your computer’s hard drive. You create folders and subfolders to easily navigate and manage data. It also helps you to classify your data, as you put similar things in one folder.

The subfolder in the URL serves the same purpose. It helps to find the right data repository you are searching for. It also facilitates you to navigate through the domain more efficiently. For example, our repository of SEO netlinking has a URL:


Here, we have used the subfolder “seo-netlinking,” where you can find all the necessary information about netlinking.

It is also pertinent to mention here that excessive use of folders and subfolders is also not recommended. Having three to four levels of folders in your URL will give an inelegant look and confuse the search engine.

4. Keep it Short

Keep your URL as short as possible so that users can easily memorize it. Long URLs will also confuse search engines about the keywords, which might cause wrong indexing. If you have a long URL, there might be a chance that it contains two to three keywords, making it harder for the search engine to index. So, keep it short, simple, sweet and attractive.


Have a look at the above URL for an article. They have clearly used only two words, “URL-structure,” making it much easier for the search engine to index it.

5. Use Lowercase

Most search engines are  case-insensitive, but some may see them differently. So, it is recommended to use the lowercase to avoid landing on the wrong page for case-sensitive search engines.

After the hostname, the URL becomes case-sensitive. So, keep it lower to avoid a conflict. This is the reason most web servers like WordPress automatically make them lowercase. Below is the example from the backlinko, where all words are in lowercase.


6. Use HTTPS

HTTPS work similarly to HTTP, except it encrypts and verifies the data between the user and web server. A better security protocol makes the users safer and more secure.

Privacy and data leakage is the user’s concern in the present world. We often hear the news of security breaches and data leakage on different websites. So it is highly recommended to use the most secure protocol option, like HTTPS for your website to make users feel secure. All of the top websites use the HTTPS, as mentioned below;

7. Use Memorable Domain

Use those domains that are catchy, mesmerizing and easily mentionable. Use small, appealing, melodious, captivating and unforgettable words in your domain. For example, the following domain names are so melodic, tuneful and short that these get straight into your memory;

8. Use appropriate Top Level Domain

“.com” is the most famous top-level domain (TLD) and everyone is familiar with it. Although google does not differentiate between the TLDs as far as SEO is concerned, but “.com” is more common and easily memorizeable.

People often do not mention “.com” when telling someone about a website, as it is understood that it will be there on every website. So, having “.com” is easy to share and disseminate, which in return will attract more traffic.

It is also noticed that domains like .info or .biz are often associated with spammy and malicious platforms. So, based on these general perceptions, people often avoid opening such links as they could contain viruses and spammy links. 

9. Use Geolocation

If geolocation is important, then mentioning it at the end will be beneficial. For example, all government sites and educational institute use their country at the end. Cambridge University has the domain www.cam.ac.uk, and the London City website is www.london.gov.uk. Such mention of the country clearly helps the reader and search engine to tag and index them in their respective location.

10. Avoid Using Underscore

Underscore should be avoided as Google take it as one word; instead, use hyphen, which is the way to tell Google that a new word has started.

11. Avoid Using Characters & Numbers

The use of characters and numbers is not good in the URL, as they do not pass any information about the website’s niche. Secondly, they make the URL look fizzy and clumsy. Such URLs are also not easy to remember and share.  

Below is the URL. Clearly, this link is too long with excessive characters, making it awkward to remember and share.


12. Avoid Keyword Repetition

Repeated keywords in the URLs are not desirable. People think mentioning a keyword repeatedly in the URL might emphasize the niche. But this thing goes the other way around and confuses the search engine. So avoid over-emphasizing and use your target keywords once in your URL. Moreover, repeated keywords also disturb the URL structure, making it dull, lengthy and less elegant.

13. Avoid Using Dates

Avoid using dates in the URL, as your old pages, which are still very much relevant, might not appear in the SERPs. WordPress used to automatically mention the dates in the URLs, but now you can remove these by changing permalink settings.

Moreover, adding dates will make your URL longer and it may also cause trouble while you update the content. So, your URL will show the old date, and your content is about the new developments.

14. Avoid Using Titles

It is also not recommended to use full titles in your URLs, unless title is also very short. Such practices like date, will create a longer URL and it would also make them harder to update later. So, select two or three words from your title, which are your targeted keywords and use them in the URL. These words should also be meaningful.

For example, the title of the article from SEJ is “The Ultimate Guide for an SEO-friendly URL Structure,” and the URL is https://www.searchenginejournal.com/technical-seo/url-structure/.

15. Avoid Dynamic URLs

Static URL are the one that does not change and will remain same forever. But if you are dealing with a lot of data like in a online store or eCommerce store, then it is very hard to hard-code each and every item of the store with a unique URL.

So in stores or sites that deals with the database, they prefer to  use the dynamic URL, as it is ease out the webmaster. One can easily spot such URLs, as these will contains characters like ?, = , & etc. A dynamic URL might look like this;


In dynamic URL, same product could have different URL. So, this may cause the trouble while sharing the URL for the promotional purposes. Hence, it is recommnended not use dynamic URL, unless inevitable. 

Key Takeaways

SEO is a optimization of various parameters and URL is one of the most important. Its optimization requires the manipulation of many attributes of the URL.

  • First, try to get the “.com” main domain, which is widely used across the globe.  
  • Next, use the keywords in the URL, but do not use the title of the blog, as it makes it very long.
  • Moreover, if you have a couple of words in your URL, then use a hyphen rather than an underscore, as a hyphen is used as a word separator, whereas an underscore is considered as part of the word.
  • Similarly, avoid using characters and numbers and dates in your URL. These factors will make the URL longer and look dull and clumsy. Such long and inelegant URLs are not easy to remember and share.
  • It is also recommended to keep the URL in lowercase.
  • Moreover, try to use a subfolder to sort out and organize the related topics.
  • It is also recommended to avoid using dynamic URL, unless inevitable.
  • Additionally, use HTTPS security protocol, as it is more secure and less likely to be hacked.

URL optimization is the manipulation of many things at the same time. It is an expert’s job, who should have the knowledge of web development and SEO. Dlinx Outreach is an SEO agency which has expertise in all fields of SEO. Dlinx cannot only help you optimize the URL but also work on other avenues of SEO to increase your visibility. Please feel free to contact us for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should be the top-level domain?

Try to use the “.com” top-level domain, as it is most widely used around the world. Adding “.com” at the end has also become a norm. Hence, it is preferable to use “.com” TLD.

Why should we use hyphens in URLs?

A hyphen is used as a word separator in the URL.

What should be the security protocol in the URL?

One should use the HTTPs protocol, which is more secure and safe. Moreover, it also encrypts the data, which makes it difficult to break in or hack.

What things should we use in the URLs?

Try to use HTTPS, lowercase and hyphen in your URL.

What is the importance of keywords in the URL?

Keywords should be used in the URL, as it helps the search engine decide your domain’s niche.

What should be avoided in the URL?

One should avoid using numbers, characters, dates, titles, and repetition of keywords.

Can Dlinx help to optimize the URL?

Yes, Dlinx is an SEO agency that can help you optimize the URL for better visibility.


Haiqa Saleem

Haiqa Saleem

Haiqa is head of content at Dlinx Outreach. She is an avid writer and bookworm and has been with Dlinx since 2019. As a true tech geek and an extraordinary content strategist, she leverages her passion for the digital sphere and love for writing to share her knowledge through insightful content. She writes with a data-driven perspective.

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