Changing Your URL Structure

URL StructureChanging your URL structure is something that should never be overlooked with your SEO strategy as it is a very important part of rankings.  One thing we see overlooked quite a bit is how SEO friendly the URL is.  Setting up URL’s that are not search engine friendly could damage your rankings very quick and take much longer to recover.  There a few simple things to keep in mind if you are setting up a brand new website or going through a re-structure that may involve changing your URL structure.

Make it Clean to Search Engines and Human Visitors

I am sure you have you went to web pages and noticed a very messy URL such as www.example.com/page.php?cat=111&prod=222.  These URL’s are an example of a dynamic URL.  The problem with dynamic URL’s is it typically results in different variations of the page URL, resulting in duplicate content.  It’s important to change your URL’s to a static one that includes your keyword for the search engines, in addition to giving human visitors a clear understanding of where they are.

Let the Search Engines Know About Your Changes

If you are changing an existing website’s URL structure, keep in mind that you will have to do several 301 redirects from your old URL to your new URL.  a 301 redirect means that you are telling the search engines that the old URL is permanently changed to the URL.  By not setting up 301 redirects, search engines will attempt to visit your old pages and deliver the famous “Error 404, page cannot be displayed” which will ultimately hurt your rankings because search engines will treat this as a broken link.  The last thing you should do is fix all of your internal links to reflect the new URL’s.  Once these are done, make sure to rebuild your sitemap and resubmit it to all of the search engines notifying them.

How does your URL structure look?

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