Optimizing your URLs

A study by MarketingSherpa demonstrated that the URL affects searcher clickthrough rates in the Search Engine Results Pages. More specifically, the study shows that short URLs get clicked on twice as often as long URLs. Here are the best practices to get the best out of your URLs:

  • The fewer the parameters in your dynamic URL, the better. One or two parameters is much better than seven or eight. Avoid superfluous/nonessential parameters like tracking codes.
  • A static looking URL (containing no ampersands, equals signs, or question marks) is more search optimal than a dynamic one.
  • Having keywords in the URL is more optimal than no keywords.
  • A keyword in the filename portion of the URL is more beneficial than in a directory/subdirectory name.
  • Hyphens are the preferred word separator, although underscores are gaining acceptance over times past . So if you have multiple-word keyword phrases in your URLs, I’d recommend using dashes to separate them.
  • Stuffing too many keywords in the URL looks spammy. Three, four, or five words in a URL looks perfectly normal. A little longer and it starts to look worse to Google, according to Matt Cutts.
  • The domain name is not a good place for multiple hyphens, as it can make your URL look spammy. Although that said, sometimes a domain name should have a hyphen, as the domain faux pas ‘arsecommerce.com’ demonstrates (you may not get this joke if you don’t recognize Queen’s English!).

Source: Search Engine Land