With the advancement of technology and the development of information sources on the internet, people have increasingly started using the internet to gather information and perform various tasks. Anyone who wants to find information on any topic can benefit from multiple different sources, in other words, various websites on the web. These websites can be accessed through search engine results, links provided by browsers, or by typing the website's address.
Most people who access information through web addresses use URLs. URLs indicate the name, content, and categories of a web page. Web pages that aim to rank higher in search engine results need to pay attention to their URL structures. Factors that influence the creation of the best URL structures, known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), also benefit internet users in finding the information they are looking for more easily.
The acronym "Uniform Resource Locator" (URL) contains data such as a website's domain name, the category of the current page the user is on, and the content of the web page.
The text in the section of a browser where site addresses are displayed represents URLs. URLs specify the location of a resource on the internet. Nowadays, each website has a virtual space to store its data, which is referred to as a server. When a website is viewed, the information located on the server becomes visible under the respective headings.
These data on servers are typically identified by numbers such as IP addresses under normal circumstances. URLs allow computers to communicate with servers and then convert this information into readable text. URLs make it possible to understand the websites, categories, and headings of the displayed information. This makes it easier to access the desired information on servers. For all these reasons, URLs are crucial for error-free functioning of websites.
What Is the Purpose of URLs?
The main purpose of the URL method is to convert IP addresses into text. Additionally, URLs determine the file structures of websites. URLs consist of a protocol, a domain (in other words, the name of the website), and page paths. Content that is difficult to find by name under normal circumstances when expressed by an IP address can be found much more easily using URLs.
Another point is that URL structures have a direct relationship with search engine rankings. This is because search engines evaluate the relevance of URLs to website content and the keywords users search for when trying to rank website content. Therefore, apart from being a token that converts numerical data and information into text, URLs are also important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
A properly structured URL can contribute to a website's organic search rankings (without advertising or sponsorship) in search engine results. Including keywords in the URL field and making the URL easier to understand help websites to be found by search engines. Along with SEO, the use of various links on websites is also one of the most important factors that enable a website to reach a larger audience.
Why Is URL Important?
When any internet user enters an incorrect or wrong URL, they cannot access the desired web page. Naturally, these users cannot access the information they are looking for, and the website cannot fulfill its functions properly. Similarly, if a user encounters different information when accessing the desired address with a URL, it means that the URL is not properly constructed.
The proper functioning of URLs ensures that the information on websites is correctly conveyed to users. URLs can be thought of as keys that allow websites to communicate with servers.
When URLs are easy to read and understand, the user experience (UX) improves. Naturally, users can find what they are looking for more easily on websites, and they can enjoy spending more time on the relevant site. Search engines also take these URL criteria into account. By determining that user access to information will be easier and that the content aligns perfectly with the integrity of the website, search engines make the website more visible.
What Is an SEO-Friendly URL Structure?
Users perform searches in browsers and then access the relevant websites by clicking on the links they see as search results. Therefore, how a website's link appears is important for SEO. Internet users use the URLs of websites to access the same sites again. SEO-friendly URL structures are short and accurately represent the URLs. These SEO-friendly URLs contain the keywords users are searching for and briefly indicate what the website contains.
What Is the Best URL Structure for SEO?
A URL structure that can be considered good for search engine optimization (SEO) should provide an intuitive path for users. For example, "men's-clothing/shirts" would be the correct URL structure for a user looking for shirts in the men's clothing category. If a URL is too long, its success in guiding users correctly will be diminished. The following can be said about SEO-oriented URL structures:
URLs should be organized specifically for the websites. URL structures that cover all the data in the website's content and address the content accurately improve user experiences. This way, search engines can quickly detect websites, making them more visible.
Attention should be paid to category and subcategory rankings. URLs should include the main category first, followed by subcategories. It is necessary to avoid overly specific expressions. As a result, users do not waste time when trying to access a website.
While it may be thought that including all the main keywords in URLs will make them more prominent, this is not the correct approach. Including only the main keyword in URLs and keeping the URLs short is the best approach from an SEO perspective.
Using dashes (-) to make words more easily understandable to users in URLs is crucial. Otherwise, search engines perceive these URLs as complex from a user experience perspective, which makes it difficult to highlight the relevant website on the first pages.
URLs should consist only of meaningful words. Including words like "however, so that" in URLs is not a positive choice for SEO. Instead, using descriptive words that fully describe the content is more beneficial from an SEO perspective.
Is There a Character Limit for URLs?
URLs of websites should be as short as possible while providing sufficient data about the website they belong to. When a URL is excessively long, it may not be displayed correctly in all browsers. Short and understandable URLs can be displayed more accurately in all browsers, thus allowing more users to access the website.
What Are the Components of a URL?
URLs contain the following components:
Protocol: Specifies the communication protocol used to access the resource. For example, it can be HTTP, HTTPS, or FTP.
Domain Name: Specifies the name of the website or server where the resource is located. For example, www.example.com.
Path: Represents the location of the resource. For example, "/blog/posts."
Parameters: Optionally, specifies parameters used to provide customized information to the resource.