SEO Best Practices: Structuring URLs for your news site
URLs are one of the most basic elements of SEO. Having an SEO-friendly URL structure can help search engines and users alike navigate your website easily, potentially giving you an edge over the competition.
For a publisher, SEO is often a challenge. News sites are pushing out significant amounts of content on a daily and weekly basis because volume plays an important role in their strategy. Applying SEO techniques will help publishers tailor their news sites more effectively to please web-based audiences.
If you are looking to generate or improve genuine engagement from searches, focus on how you structure your URLs by using the following SEO best practices:
- Human-readable URLs = better user experience = higher rankings
The URL of each page should provide a somewhat accurate representation of the pages topic. Why? More often than not, most users simply glance at a URL to make assumptions regarding the content of the page. If it doesn’t meet their expectations, they decide to leave abruptly, leaving you with a higher bounce rate. The requirement isn’t that every aspect of the URL must be absolutely clean and direct, but that it at least can be easily understood and compelling to those seeking its content.
The following is a bad example of URL structure:
The following is a good example of URL structure:
URL readability is important because it helps the search engines to understand relative importance and adds a helpful relevancy metric to the given page.
- Match URLs to titles most of the time (when it makes sense)
Matching accomplishes a mostly human-centric goal – to instill an excellent sense of what the web user will find on the page through the URL, and then are delivered that expectation with the matching headline/title.
It’s not required that every element of the URL be as neat and tidy as possible, but that it can be somewhat understood and coercive to potential content seekers.
Structuring URLs: The bottom line
Search engines look to a small number of places to understand what your site is about. Of those places the URL is one of the most important. Having your URL structured properly will send strong signals to search engines about your pages topic, but more importantly, will entice users to visit your news site.