At its most basic level, a standard URL is simply the path to any given file on your web server. Looking at this login page for [ intranet ], you can see that the full path to the login page (the index.html file) looks like:
At first glance, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this URL; but if we break it down and look closer, we realize there are some issues worth considering when setting up our URLs in a way that both helps us rank better and creates an overall better experience for our visitors. This article should help you decide how to best construct your URLs from here on out so they work for you in a better website overall.
The first, most obvious problem with the login URL above is that both the domain and subdomain are hardcoded into the actual file name. This means that if for some reason our host decided to change either of those options, we’d have to go back through each page on our site and update it individually. If you use WordPress or another CMS, this might not seem like an issue since you can just edit your permalinks settings at any time; however, even with that type of system in place, best practices still dictate that your URLs should be as clean and SEO-friendly as possible.
One solution is to create a folder structure within your web space using hyphens (-) instead of spaces (so http://intranet/login-slash-index.html) and using a 301 redirect to send all traffic from your old URLs to the new URLs. This helps ensure that both internal search engines and website visitors won’t get lost following a stray link, while still allowing you to use SEO-friendly URLs in the long run. Another option is to create a friendly URL structure by grouping keywords together into meaningful sections of content. For example: http://intranet/loginslashesearchform/.
This might seem counterintuitive at first since we usually try not to cram keywords into our URLs, but this method actually helps you optimize for smart searches because it makes your page titles longer without limiting them to a specific character count. This in turn makes your title tags longer and, when combined with other on-page SEO efforts, can help improve your Google rankings.
Using this method also helps improve the user experience since you’re able to add more keywords into your URL without limiting yourself to short character counts or creating URLs that are nearly impossible for a human being to read. This means that if someone does end up sharing one of your pages on social media or linking back to it from another site, they’ll be able to do so without any of the awkward casing issues you get with overly simplified URLs like http://intranet/Login.php. Furthermore, using keyword-rich folders will make it easier for internal search engines (like Jive) to index your site, which means it will be easier for people to find the content they’re looking for within your intranet.
Another important aspect of creating a good URL structure is using keywords where appropriate without making them too keyword-heavy or suspiciously repetitive. For example: http://intranet/latest-numbers/. This type of URL would work well for this article because it combines two powerful keywords (“latest” and “numbers”) within the main body of the article while avoiding overly complicated syntax. You can also use subfolders like /news/ to create clean URLs that are keyword heavy but still easy to read and understand by both machines and people alike. The more user-friendly your URLs, the more likely people are to link back to your content and share it on social media.
In conclusion, having a well thought out URL structure is an important part of setting up a website that both performs well for search engines and helps visitors find exactly what they’re looking for in the easiest way possible. Try breaking down ad-hoc page titles into their individual components to come up with a keyword friendly URL structure that also makes sense from a user perspective. This will go a long way towards making sure that you can get the best of both worlds when it comes to helping search engines understand what your site is about while also creating clear paths for human visitors to follow so they never get lost.
Article summary: A well-organized URL structure will help you improve your site’s SEO and make it easier for visitors to navigate. To do this, break down the titles of each page into keywords that are both easy for search engines to see and users to understand. Use hyphens or subfolders like /news/ to create URLs that have a clear semantic structure while allowing you to use as many keywords as necessary without being suspiciously repetitive. Once you have a good URL structure in place, don’t forget to keep an eye on your permalinks settings so your URLs stay clean over time.
This article discusses how to write better URLs using a number of strategies such as breaking up ad-hoc web page titles into keywords, using hyphens and subfolders to create a clear semantic structure, and making sure your permalinks settings don't turn your nice URLs into gibberish.
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