As you progress on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign, you stumbled upon several issues pertaining to URL optimization. Suddenly, you asked yourself: “Why do I need to optimize URLs?” The answer lies on this sample:
This is a dynamic URL. Search engines can read this. They know that this link directs them to a specific web page. However, they do not like this. So more often than not, this URL will not be indexed. What about the users? Certainly, they will not understand this. This does not make any sense to them; hence, they may not click this URL and you lose your chance to increase Internet hits.
What if they see this static link instead?
If an Internet user is concerned about his home and has not made up his mind whether to call for a home repair service or do it on his own, he may type this phrase in the browser: Why is home repair service better than doing it on my own? Search engine robots will then start to crawl. If they find your URL, which has the keyword phrase “home repair service” matches the inquiry of the user, they will definitely index it. If you are so fortunate, this link will land you on the first page of search results all because it bears the appropriate keyword or keyword phrase. This is because search engines crave for relevance and uniqueness in links.
Reading all these, you surely realize the importance of optimizing your URLs and you think you are all set to do it? Not yet. You still have to learn more.
Long vs. Short URLs
There is no rule that prevents you from creating long URLs. However, it is a waste of time. It will also create negative impact to your SEO drive. The longer words you write on your URLs, the more possibility of you decreasing the value of your links to search engines. Long URLs also affect click-through rates and weaken their ranking power in search result pages.
Dashes vs. Underscores
If you want Google and other search engines read your URL word per word, use dashes instead of underscores. If you use dashes for the static link above, they will read it as this: why call for a home repair service. You are likely to be indexed. If you use underscores, they will look at it like this: whycallforahomerepairservice. You lose your chance then to be included in the list of search results.
Keyword Restriction vs. Keyword Stuffing
It is a known fact that to optimize URLs, keywords must still be visible. However, some tend to abuse this. They think that to rank better, they should stuff it with their keywords. This is wrong. This will only bring confusion to search engines. They will be penalized for this.
One vs. Multiple URLs for a Single Content
Again, because website owners crave for exposure, they assign more than one URLs to only one web page. This is an erroneous SEO tactic; thus, must be stopped. This will only lead to lesser crawling possibilities. Search engines may also think that you practice duplication of content and may penalize you for this.
Optimizing your URL is a risk – but it is a good risk to take. It will significantly contribute to your goal to land in the first page of search results and to generate website traffic.