Semantic URLs and why you should use them

 Semantic URLs and why you should use them ?

Semantic URLs are important for both user experience and SEO. These types of uniform resource locators (URLs) should contain the main keyword of the page. This gives meaning to the page to both the searcher and the search engine, as opposed to displaying a cryptic string of characters or numbers.

The part of the URL that defines the URL is often known as a URL slug. Here’s an example to illustrate:

Here are the important parts to remember when optimising the URL for SEO:

Position of Keyword:

As with other SEO sensitive page elements, the closer the keyword is to the beginning of the URL slug, the more relevancy “weight” it has.
For example if the keyword is “url slug” then:

is considered less relevant than:

Length of URL:

Search engines also look at the length of URLs to add to the ranking factor. They prefer shorter URLs to longer ones, so it would be smart to look for a short domain name rather than a long one and then optimize the URL slug to be shorter rather than longer. That being said, don’t sacrifice the meaning of the slug just to cut down on length.

For example if the keyword “url slug for seo” is used:

is way too long, however, the opposite:

is too short and could be viewed as “keyword stuffing” as the keyword is just being used alone. An optimal solution would be something like the following:
It has the best combination of keyword placement, meaning, and length.

Structure of URL:

The structure of the URL is also an important consideration for SEO. This has to do with overall website structure. If, for example, you have categories and subcategories of your pages or blog posts, then instead of leaving these out of your URLs, include them.

For example:

This will help the user navigate the website more easily and help the search engines understand your website structure and content.

How do you implement semantic URLs?

Depending on which CMS or website framework you use, this can vary, but the principles are the same.

If you’re using a popular CMS like WordPress, then by installing an SEO plugin like YOAST SEO will allow for this. You can also specify the permalink structure in Settings à Permalinks and use the structure format %category%/%page%.

If you’re using a CMS or framework which does not have this functionality, then it would be a good idea to have a URL slug or semantic URL feature.

Most of the time, pages or blog posts have IDs like: /?postid=34 or something like that. Instead, have it so each post has a slug which replaces that as /this-is-the-slug.

Using Mod_Rewrite can help with this as well. Developers can reference the documentation for more info.

That’s it! If you feel this post has helped you, or you want to share your thoughts, then leave your comment below. If you feel you need more explanation or clarification on this topic, let us know and we’ll update this post shortly afterwards.

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