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Tips for Composing SEO-Friendly URLs

Nikki Lanzer December 12, 2019

Creating a fast, well-designed, mobile-friendly website can help you increase conversions and attract more customers, but it can only do so if people can find your eCommerce store in the first place. Among all the long lists of best practices for SEO, there is one detail that can be easy for sellers to overlook: their URLs.

Although it may sound inconsequential, any small errors within your store’s URLs can actually decrease your SEO rankings and your overall sales. To make sure your URLs are optimized before the holiday season, skim through these quick tips to see if any changes are necessary:

General Formula

When you’re reviewing your URLs, look at them from the perspective of a customer; if you were to hover over one of your links, would you have a good idea of where the URL would take you? If not, you need to eliminate confusing elements and boil it down to be a short, descriptive link. In short, the basic formula should look something like this:

  • Homepage: www.yourwebsite.com
  • Product page: www.yourwebsite.com/product-name
  • Category page: www.yourwebsite.com/category-name
  • Sub-category page: www.yourwebsite.com/category-name/sub-category-name

Best Practices

Eliminating unnecessary symbols, words, and capitalized letters should be the first step when it comes to optimizing your URLs. Having random symbols such as “=” or “&” is usually associated with dynamic URLs, or URLs that can change over time. Static URLs, on the other hand, are shorter, easier to remember, and SEO-friendly.

Although accurately describing the content of each page is important, including too many words in a URL may be recognized as “keyword stuffing” by search engines, therefore reducing your SEO rank. Capitalized letters in URLs can potentially cause duplicate pages, so it’s best to stick to lowercase for every link.

Lastly, if you happen to have similar products or different URLs that link back to the same page, search engines won’t be able to know which link to prioritize in search results if you haven’t enabled canonical URLs. Enabling canonical URLs is a simple way to rank your preferred pages to make sure that search engines will correctly index them in the correct order.

To set up canonical URLs, click on “Store,” then go to “Settings,” and select “Configuration.” Click on “Catalog,” expand the Search Engine Optimization page, and hit the option that reads “Use Canonical Meta Tag for Categories” instead of using the products tag.

Other tips and best practices for eCommerce can be found here if you’d like to learn more!.

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