Creating page URLs which search engines like

One of the aspects of “on-page SEO” which gets little attention is the actual page address, or “URL“. This is because most websites are under the control of a content management system, and this might not allow manual editing of the URLs …or might hide the facility. Anyone creating pages on the website will then tend to just accept what the system generates.

To be fair, most content management systems nowadays tend to generate search engine-friendly URLs. These are ones which make it clear to a human visitor or a search engine what the page is about. So:
www.bluewidgetcompany.co.uk/fast-widgets
…labels the page nicely, whereas
www.bluewidgetcompany.co.uk/?p=123
…does not. But even if your system-generated URL looks good, if you get the option to tweak it when you’re creating a page, do take that opportunity. Make it read nicely (it shows up quite prominently in the Google results, after all), and keep it concise. Most importantly, make sure it contains the keywords which you’re also targeting with the page title and elsewhere.

If your content management system does generate meaningless URLs, it might be worth asking the website designer if this is necessary. It might just be a default which can be overridden. Otherwise, you may have to wait until the next website rebuild, and to add it to your list of requirements.

Discussion

  1. Colin

    You can buy plugins for most types of website which will do this automatically. Don’t forget to adjust your meta details too – these are even more important and shouldn’t be left to an automated content system

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