reasons to shorten your url structure

5 Reasons To Shorten Your URLs

Your URL is one of the most fundamental aspects of your SEO strategy. However, it’s such a small task it can be easy to overlook.

Chances are you’ve come across a website where the URL screamed spam, but it was just a regular site. Or, maybe you haven’t taken the time to optimize your own URLs and you’re giving off the same vibe.

Your URL is one of the first things your website visitors will see. Even though it’s subtle, it will go a long way towards making a good first impression.

Below we explore five reasons you’ll want to shorten links and optimize your URL structure and show you how to do just that.

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5 Reasons Why Shorter URLs Are Better

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that we’re not going to be talking about using URL shorteners. These tools help you generate a short and clickable URL that can be used for tracking and monitoring other metrics.

Instead, we’ll be focusing on the benefits of cleaning up and shortening the structure of your existing URLs, and the benefits your site will receive when you have shortened URLs.

 

1. Improved Search Engine Rankings

The structure of your URL will influence your site’s rankings. It is not a direct ranking signal, but it does carry important qualities, which can end up influencing your rankings.

For example, by including your keyword in your URL you give Google and your readers a better idea of what your page is about. You don’t want to go crazy and stuff your URLs will all kinds of keywords. But, by using your target keyword in shortened URLs, it’ll give the search engines and your user’s cues to the topic of your page.

Chances are high that most pages ranking at the top of Google will have the keyword within the URL.

 For example, check out the search results for the term “affiliate marketing”. Every single top ranking post has the keyword “affiliate marketing” within the URL:

google search results for affiliate marketing showing URL

2. Greater User Trust

Like we mentioned in the introduction, sites that have long URLs filled with strange characters just look spammy. With a clean URL, your site looks much more authoritative and trustworthy.

Aim to have all of your site’s URLs pass the readability test. Read your URL out loud. Does it sound confusing, or can you generally guess what the page is going to be about?

This also includes minimizing the use of any subdomains and subfolders. The cleaner your URL reads, the more likely your users are to trust your website.

 

3. Enables Easier Site Growth

As you continue expand your site you’re probably going to have more and more categories, pages, and sections throughout.

By shortening and simplifying your URL structure you’ll make navigating and expanding your site much simpler.

If you have long and confusing URLs it’ll be harder for the search engine bots to crawl your site, and you’ll have greater difficulty creating a logical and intrusive website experience.

With short URL links and simple categories and URLs expanding your site will be easy.

 

4. Shorter URLs Make Sharing Easier

Short URLs make it easier for your readers to share your content. Think about it, if you have a long and confusing URL, it is going to look weird when shared across Facebook, Pinterest, or in an email. Not to mention the fact that it’ll be less memorable.

What are you most likely to share?

http://example.com/shoes ohttp://example.com/all-the-shoes/red-shoes/pageone.jghfp=p6

I’m guessing you’d go with the first one every single time.

 

5. Align Your Content With User Expectations

Another aspect of shortening and optimizing your URLs or URL redirects has to do with user expectations. You want your URLs to give insight into what your page is about.

Typically, you’ll want to match your page title and your URL structure. They don’t have to be a perfect match, but you’ll want your reader to come to a logical conclusion about the topic of the page simply by looking at the URL. 

For example, if you have a post called The 10 Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes of All Time, your URL could be yoursite.com/best-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipes. It’s not a perfect match, but it’s short, simple, and relates to the topic of the main page.

Your URL will create an expectation for your page, and your page’s headline and content will deliver on that expectation. This creates a solid user experience through and through.

 

Make Your Life Easier with a Shorter URL Structure

Overall, shortening and improving your URL structure doesn’t have to be difficult. When shortening your own URLs just think logically. Ask yourself, what would make sense for this URL? And of course, if you’ve done your keyword research, then use those keywords accordingly.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of why shortening your existing URLs can be a game-changer for SEO, user experience, site structure, and more!

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Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.