How to create SEO Friendly URL's
In early 2016, John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, said keywords in URL's are a very small ranking factor in Google's search algorithm. It was also said not to change URL's for SEO purposes
Last week, John Mueller again said keywords in URL's are overrated
@HillwalkTours Keywords in URLs are overrated for Google SEO. Make URLs for users. Also, on mobile you usually don't even see them.— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) 8 March 2017
While this is certainly not news, we believe it's important this isn't misinterpreted. It’s important to remember that your URL's are a good way of displaying the title of your page, but be wary of trying to overfill URLs with keywords. Instead, use a short concise title identical to or similar to your page title - Remember, URL's are to indicate a topic of a page, not for keyword-stuffing
Whilst it's not worth changing your URL's specifically for SEO (especially if they are already ranked), you should certainly evaluate the general structure of your URLs to ensure that they are simple and easy to interpret. If your URL's are becoming long and overcrowded with search parameters, they are less likely to be ranked so it may be worth you looking into how to correct this. A URL should flow logically from the domain to category to sub-category (if applicable) to product eg www.yourdomain.com/category/subcategory/product. While Google has said this is a factor, it is a small one.
Special Characters and Length
Dashes will seperate words; underscores will combine them. Hashes (#) can be useful to send users to a specific section of a page but sometimes are restricting, so ensure the URL it is used in is simple.The effect of length is not entirely known, but a good rule of thumb is keep it as short and concise as possible without losing meaning.
With changing any URL it's important to remember the change can take Google time to pick up on so it's better to have your URL correct from the start so you can stick with it long term.
If you think you may need to make these changes to your site but aren’t sure how to go about this, let’s have a chat about the right option for you to best optimise your URL's