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How-to 5 min read September 2, 2019

How to configure friendly URLs for page addresses

It is important to use human-readable URLs (friendly URLs) in addresses because they affect the site's search engine optimization and create user-friendly URLs. We figure out how to configure them.

What are friendly URLs addresses, and why are they needed?

Before talking about configuring friendly URLs addresses, you need to clarify what human-readable URLs are and why they are needed. When creating pages, most CMS engines assign them URLs consisting of a chaotic set of characters that do not carry any meaning for the average user. Link example:

www.backpack.com/index.php?cPath=63
They worsen the appearance of the website in the eyes of a person and negatively affect the ranking in search results. The system comes to the rescue friendly URLs.

Search engine friendly (SEF) URL is an address that is convenient for both visitors and search engines. It should logically describe the structure of the site and the path to the page, be short. Here is an example of a beautiful SEO URL that meets all of the above characteristics:

www.backpack.com/catalog/books

Why do I need to configure the friendly URLs for page addresses?

Friendly URLs links improve the position of the website in the search engines and increase the usability of the resource. This is due to the fact that SEF-URLs often include query keywords, which search engines respond positively to. Properly constructed friendly URLs site attract customers, while long URLs from a chaotic character set scare potential visitors.

Advantages and disadvantages of friendly URLs

As with any other tool, human-readable URLs have advantages and disadvantages that must be considered when using them.

The advantages of friendly URLs for site users:

  • SEF URLs are pleasant to read and attract more attention;
  • links are easy to remember;
  • by the appearance of the link you can understand what information it contains;
  • friendly URLs improve site navigation.

Advantages of friendly URLs for SEO optimization:

  • you can enter query keywords in the friendly URLs;
  • all URLs are spelled out in transliteration;
  • the link displays the structure of the site and the path along with it;
  • semantic URLs have a positive effect on the position of a site in search results.

Cons of friendly URLs:

  • SEF URLs increase server load;
  • if the site was not created through the CMS engine, then the friendly URLs for each page will have to be manually entered. CMS platforms provide the ability to automatically configure semantic URLs.

Customization of friendly URLs

Use friendly URLs to effectively promote the site and the convenience of visitors. Remember: only a well-designed friendly URLs URL can perform all these functions. The basic principles of friendly URLs construction:

  • brevity and accessibility. Looking at the link, the user understands what this page is about;

  • the structure of SEF URLs repeats the chain of bread crumbs or is interconnected with it.

What should be the length of the friendly URLs address?

Long links are inconvenient for visitors, difficult to remember and complicated navigation on the site. The optimal semantic URL size is 60–80 characters.

Separators in the friendly URLs

For the friendly URLs, hyphens and underscores are used. But a more comfortable option in terms of usability is a hyphen. To enter a hyphen, you need to press one key, and to underline — two. The friendly URLs does not use service characters, such as quotation marks, commas, or spaces. Optimal SEF URLs contain the same language and separator characters.

Conclusion

Use the friendly URLs because they:
1
Improve the relevance of the page, as search engines recognize keywords in the link and highlight the site in the search results.
2
Increase the clickability of snippets and easier to remember by visitors.
3
Ease of navigation on the site.
4
Have a positive effect on website promotion.

This article is a part of Serpstat's Checklist tool
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