Giving articles a straightforward but descriptive URL (or ‘slug’ in publishing jargon) makes pages easier for search engine robots to understand & evaluate. But they’re not just for Google’s benefit! Simple, topic-centric URLs are better for everyone: they help you get your content categorized correctly, visitors get exactly what they’re looking for, & Google knows it’s giving searchers reliable results.
How To Structure A URL Slug
URL structure guidelines are similar to the general rules for images (see our SEO for images post to learn more!):
- Make sure your slugs are descriptive
- Use hyphen separations between your words, as in ‘this-is-the-slug’
- Most important subject words (aka ‘keywords’) go first
Tips For Coming Up With A Good URL
Think about how you’d phrase things if you were searching for this article. Then make that phrase as simplified & specific as you can.
For instance, you might have a new post about True Detective Season 2’s female lead. But since both seasons have strong female characters, your URL could benefit from a little extra context. Try adding specifics like ‘true-detective-female-lead-2015-season-2’.The date & season number here do a great job of clarifying, & have the added benefit of giving Google more information.
Stuck? Google Trends Can Help!
If you’re not sure what people might be searching for in your subject area, Google Trends can be enormously helpful. You can go to the Google Trends Explore section, type in a few variations on your URL, & see which version gets searched most often.