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SEO Friendly URLs - Why you need them

by Carol Swinehart

Clean up your Urls for higher placement in the Search Engines.

SEO Friendly URLs are an important feature of shopping carts and other sites that use long strings of numbers in their urls

SEO Unfriendly URLs

SEO Unfriendly URLS give the user virtually no idea what will happen when they click on a link. See 2 examples below, one for a category and one for a product.

Category Before http://www.domainexample.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=46 see below Path=46 is custom purses

Product Before http://www.domainexample.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=46&products_id=311 see below products_id=311 is black clutch purse


SEO friendly URLs

Category After https://www.domainexample.com/custom-purses

Product After https://www.domainexample.com/custom-purses/black-clutch-purse

The SEO friendly URLs use the Google recommended secure certificate (SSL) installed on all pages of the site. Since shopping carts already have an SSL installed on their checkout pages a small adjustment can make the whole site secure. Google first encouraged all sites, not just shopping carts, to become fully secure in August 2014. Many sites are moving in the direction and it has been hinted by Google as a feature of your website to be factored into their site placement algorithms.

SEO friendly URLs use dashes instead of underscores, all lower case letters to avoid case sensitivity issues, and short names. These strategies will increase the possibilities of being found on the web. URLs with dashes such as black-clutch-purse will be read by Google for all the words black clutch and purse whereas black_clutch_purse is read as one word.

An additional benefit of well-written URLs is that they can serve as their own anchor text when copied and pasted as links into forums, blogs, or use in social media.

Summary: Benefits of SEO Friendly URLs

  • Customer Readable
  • https denotes security
  • Dashes increase search possibilities
  • Serve as their own anchor text