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Optimize Your URLs for Search Engines

A URL is the same thing as a "web address."  It is an acronym for "Uniform Resource Locator" and it is used to specify where your page is on the web - and serves to direct others to it.  As you may guess, optimizing your personal URLs is a tried and true way to get search engines to identify, classify, and promote your content - and it isn't that difficult to do!

Here's how to optimize your page URLs for search engines (thanks Hubspot!).

Remove extraneous words in the "page" part of your URL

Words like "and" or "that" - words that no real meaning to your URL - can be removed from your URL.  This will improve readabilty and weight your more important words more heavily.

For example, if your page chain reads:

"how-to-prepare-yourself-for-a-job-interview"

You can remove "yourself" and "a" for a more concise URL, leaving:

"how-to-prepare-for-job-interview"

Removing these words leaves a URL with the most specific and meaningful words.  We left "for" in to make the sentance more readable for a human being (though search engines wouldn't care as much).  We'll leave that choice up to you.

2) Use Choice Keywords

We've talked about the importance of keyword optimization before, and the same is certainly true for your URLs.  Make sure your keywords are indicitave of the content you will find on your page.

3) Make it Reader-Friendly

While readers probably don't look at a URL for very long, they will notice it for a second, and readability DOES matter in that second.  A readable, relevant URL adds authority to your webpage, and helps your reader better understand what it is that they're going to be looking at.

You'll get your domain name (i.e. www.geekchicago.com), your subdirectory (i.e. /blog/) and your title (/how-to-prepare-for-job-interview).  Those parts equally add up to verify for the reader that yes, this is a reliable site and yes, this is what I want to read about.

4) Use hyphens between your words

A bunch of great keywords all smushed together does no one any good, least of all your SEO.  Use hyphens to break up your URL and add readability.  Hyphens are superior to underscores as it visually breaks up the words better (again, for the sake of your readers).

Questions on how to optimize your URLs for your website?  Curious about SEO, or unsure where to begin?  Don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call, and we'll be happy to help!

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).