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Three Tips on How to Optimise Your URL Slugs

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James Helliwell
May 15, 2018


James Helliwell
James Helliwell has written 12 articles for WebKnowHow.
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The fuss about Search Engine Optimisation, it seems, may never quiet. That must be because of the immense importance of SEO to the success of any website. In recent years there’s been much noise about content quality and regulatory, link building, keyword phrases in posts, and the like.

 

Today, you won’t be hearing any of those. Instead, we will talk about an SEO factor that is often ignored. What do you know about your webpages’ slugs? Is there an order to them? Is that order strategic?

 

These questions are assuming you know what an URL slug means. If you use WordPress, then it may already be familiar to you. If not, a slug is the ending part of a semantic URL. To remove further confusion, a semantic URL is also known as a clean URL, a user-friendly URL, or a search-engine-friendly URL.

 

“A good webhost will allow you unfettered access to your website’s backend so you can view and edit your URL slugs. Or many modern web development softwares such as Wordpress have plugins that will rewrite your URL Slugs to be search engine friendly.”- Rank No 1 SEO - Technical SEO specialists based in Norway

 

The job of an URL slug is to create an order in your URLs by changing them from non-semantic URLs like www.YourBlog.com/index.php?page=name to something more easily understandable to search engines and ordinary readers—something like www.YourBlog.com/name.

That clarified, since a slug is supposed to be SE-and-user-friendly, you can further optimise it to improve your webpages’ search engine rankings and also make it easier for readers to remember a page’s name.

 

Here are the three ways to optimise your URL slugs.

  • Use Keywords

 

A lot of websites make the mistake of naming their URL slugs using vague terms like “product.html”, “service.html”, “item.html”, “order.html”, and so on, instead of using their keywords.

 

Here is a good example:

You are a bangle dealer, and you own an ecommerce store, wwww.BangleDealer.com, where you sell three different types of bangles--“ceramic bangles”, “wood bangles”, and “metal bangles”.

 

It would be a huge SEO blunder to file the URL slugs for the bangles’ webpages as:

 

  • www.BangleDealer.com/item1.html
  • www.BangleDealer.com/item2.html
  • www.BangleDealer.com/item3.html

 

Why? Because you are merely communicating to search engines that you sell “items” when you should be saying something more powerful using your keywords. Ask yourself what search terms you want people to find your bangles’ order pages.

 

The answer immediately presents itself and you have:

 

www. BangleDealer.com /ceramic-bangles.html

www. BangleDealer.com /wood-bangles.html

www. BangleDealer.com /metal-bangles.html

 

Now you are telling search engines what each page is for. This makes for unhindered indexing.

 

  • Use Keywords in Your Post Titles

For people that run blogs, some hosts like WordPress may name your slugs after your post titles if you don’t edit them yourself, and you will have something like www.MyBlog.com/01-08-2016-post-title.html.

 

In a way, this highlights the importance of using keywords in your post titles. It doesn’t only tell search engines your keywords, it also tells them the age of your posts without you having to lift a finger.

 

All you need to do is ‘include keywords in your post titles’ so that, even if you don’t edit your slugs, they will default to your already optimised titles.

 

  • Deal with Competition

The thing with using popular keywords is that you may have to contend with competition. A lot of women wear bangles, which means there will be much competition on a global scale. But just to be certain, it’s worth researching keywords related to your niche to discover the ones that give you the most traffic and yet allows for less competition.

 

You could try adding locations to your chosen keywords as a way of getting your page to rank higher than your competitors’ webpages when a search originates on the locations or a search term includes those locations.

 

For instance, do your bangles have inlays unique to the Indian, Chinese, or African market? You can use this factor to create more focused keyword phrases for filing your slugs so you can set your site apart from those of your competitors.

 

Thus you have something like:

www. BangleDealer.com /Indian-bangles.html

www. BangleDealer.com /Chinese-bangles.html

www. BangleDealer.com /African-bangles.html.

 

Remember that optimising your URL slugs is just a tiny fraction of search-engine optimising your website. Hence, failure to optimise other aspects of your site would only defeat the purpose of you trying the aforementioned tips. Everything has to work together to give your website a good chance of attaining the SE ranking to which you aspire.


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