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How to Easily Create SEO-Friendly URLs

How to Easily Create SEO-Friendly URLs

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Have you ever wondered how websites make themselves more findable and accessible?

That’s because they’re SEO-friendly.

SEO-Friendly URLs make web addresses easy to read and understand, not just for us but also for search engines.

Creating SEO-friendly URLs isn’t just about technical finesse; it’s about enhancing user experience, streamlining navigation, and communicating with search engines in a language they appreciate.

In this post, we’ll discuss everything about SEO-friendly URLs and help you create them. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

1 What Are SEO-Friendly URLs?

SEO-friendly URLs contribute significantly to a positive user experience, making it simpler for both search engines and users to navigate the web and discover valuable content.

For instance, instead of a generic URL like, an SEO-friendly alternative would be, clearly indicating the page’s content.

Here’s an example of an SEO-friendly URL from our blog.

SEO-friendly URL example

2 Importance of SEO-Friendly URL Structures

Let’s say you’re targeting the keyword best vegan recipes. Note the URLs of the top 10 results that appear. Here’s an example of the URLs that we found.

SEO friendly URLs example

Let us now discuss the key reasons why SEO-friendly URLs are essential:

Enhanced User Experience

SEO-friendly URLs provide an amazing user experience by providing clear and easily understandable web addresses.

Consider the URL This URL structure provides the audience with clear navigation, indicating they are accessing a category specifically dedicated to vegan recipes on the Olive Magazine website.

Audiences searching for vegan recipes can easily identify and access relevant content, enhancing user experience.

Improved Click-Through Rates

Optimized URLs often include relevant keywords, such as

They are more likely to attract clicks from users interested in vegan recipes. When users see URLs that match their search intent in search results, they are more inclined to click on them, leading to improved click-through rates.

As a result, websites with well-optimized URLs can experience higher CTR, driving more organic traffic to their pages.

Efficient Indexing by Search Engines

Well-structured URLs make it easier for search engine crawlers to analyze and index a website’s pages.

For instance, when search engine bots encounter URLs such as they can quickly determine the page’s topic (vegan recipes) and index it appropriately.

This ensures that the content is more likely to appear in relevant search queries, enhancing its visibility and discoverability.

Increased Backlink Opportunities

Clear and user-friendly URLs are more likely to attract backlinks from other websites.

For example, if a nutrition blog references a collection of vegan recipes from a reputable site like the New York Times, it will likely include a hyperlink to the corresponding URL.

These backlinks drive referral traffic and signal to search engines that the linked page is valuable and authoritative, potentially boosting its search ranking.

3 Best Practices for SEO-Friendly URLs

Now that you have an idea of SEO-friendly URLs, we’ll discuss the best practices to create them.

3.1 Maintain Consistency in URLs

Consistency involves maintaining a uniform website format, ensuring URLs share a consistent and predictable pattern.

It enhances user experience by establishing a logical hierarchy and organization of content.

When audiences come across a consistent URL pattern, they can predict the structure of other URLs within the site, making navigation more easy.

From a search engine perspective, a consistent URL structure simplifies the indexing process, allowing search engine crawlers to understand and categorize the website’s content efficiently.

For instance, consider a website about digital marketing with inconsistent URL structures:,

Now, compare it to a website with a consistent URL structure:,

In the above consistent URL example, audiences can easily predict that the next URL under marketing-tips will likely relate to another aspect of marketing.

3.2 Create Descriptive and Meaningful URLs

Descriptive and meaningful URLs are an important aspect of creating SEO-friendly web addresses that provide users and search engines with clear insights into the content of a webpage.

Instead of using generic or cryptic combinations of characters, these URLs incorporate words that accurately describe the nature of the page, contributing to a better understanding of the content.

Additionally, search engines favor descriptive URLs because they provide contextual information, helping algorithms understand the content and improving the web page’s chances of ranking for relevant search queries.

URL structure guidelines by Google

Using a descriptive URL structure like instead of communicates that the page contains tips for creating content.

3.3 Include Keywords

Incorporating keywords into the URL structure signals to search engines what the content is about, improving the relevance of the webpage for specific search queries.

When your audience comes across a URL that includes relevant keywords, it clearly indicates the content they can expect on the page, enhancing their overall browsing experience.

Keyword in URL example

Rank Math checks if the URLs contain the keyword. This test is only performed for the primary focus keyword.

Keyword test in Rank Math

Refer to our dedicated tutorial on keyword research to find the right keywords for your website.

3.4 Use Hyphens in URLs

To ensure that your website has SEO-friendly URL structures, it’s essential to use hyphens to effectively separate words within the URL.

Firstly, hyphens act as visual cues, significantly improving the readability of URLs for both audiences and search engines.

Google URL Structure

Consider the following URLs for a vegan recipe website:

  • With Hyphens:
  • With Underscores:

In the above example, the URL with hyphens is more readable and aligned with Google’s recommendations. The hyphens clearly separate the words in the URL, making it easier for both audience and search engines to understand the content. Conversely, the URL with underscores may be less intuitive and can potentially be misinterpreted by search engines.

Additionally, search engines interpret hyphens as separators, treating each word between them as a distinct entity. This helps in the identification and recognition of keywords within the URL.

Search engines tend to favor URLs that are clear, descriptive, and easily understandable, and hyphens contribute to achieving this clarity and readability.

In 2007, Matt Cutts advised that for new websites, it’s preferable to use hyphens in URLs. However, he emphasized that there’s no need to alter the URLs of existing or older sites.

English Google Webmaster Central SMB site-clinic

3.5 Use Lowercase Letters in URLs

Using lowercase letters in URLs is essential for consistency and avoids potential issues related to case sensitivity.

Search engines treat uppercase and lowercase letters differently, and using consistent lowercase letters ensures uniformity in URLs across a website.

Are URLS case sensitive?

For instance, and may be considered different URLs by search engines. To be on the safer side, it’s a good practice to use lowercase URLs.

3.6 Do Not Use Numbers in URLs

Removing numbers from URLs is a practice that contributes to cleaner and more user-friendly web addresses, enhancing both readability and search engine optimization.

Numeric characters in URLs can make them appear complex and less reader-friendly.

The URL becomes more readable by replacing numbers with descriptive words, making it easier for your audience to understand and remember.

For example, in our blog about “10 Best SEO practices”, instead of having a URL like, which includes numbers, we opted for a URL like without numbers to enhance the overall readability.

URL example without numbers

3.7 Remove Special Characters

Special characters, such as spaces, commas, semicolons, question marks, percent signs, etc., can lead to complications in URL interpretation and may not be uniformly supported across various web platforms.

By excluding special characters, URLs become cleaner, more readable, and less prone to encoding issues.

3.8 Use HTTPS

Using HTTPS in URLs is not only a security best practice but also a significant factor in SEO.

Google considers HTTPS as a ranking factor.


HTTPS enhances the trustworthiness of a website, positively impacting its search engine rankings and overall online reputation. So, if you’re still not using HTTPS, it’s worth a try!

3.9 Use Subdomains Only if Needed

Subdomains are prefixes to the main domain and can be useful for creating separate sections or functionalities. They’re typically used to separate different areas of a website according to their functionality.

According to Google, subdomains are treated no differently than any other content, and ranking a subdomain is no more difficult than ranking a subfolder.

Subdomains should be used only when there is a clear need for functional or organizational separation within a website. Using them unnecessarily can complicate site architecture and might affect your SEO efforts.

Refer to our dedicated tutorial on subdomains vs. subfolders to learn more about them.

3.10 Use Subfolders for Hierarchy

Using subfolders in URLs is a strategic approach to establishing a hierarchical structure within a website.

For example, consider a website that covers various topics and utilizes subfolders for categorization:

  1. Without Subfolders:
  2. With Subfolders:

In the second example, the use of subfolders introduces a categorical layer, providing a more structured and intuitive organization. This hierarchy helps the audience navigate through different website sections easily.

4 Optimizing URLs With Rank Math

You must regularly review and update URLs across the site to ensure they remain optimized for search engines.

With Rank Math, you can efficiently review and update URLs in bulk using the CSV method.

Rank Math’s CSV export feature allows you to export a list of all URLs on your website. This list will include essential information about each URL, such as its current structure, page title, meta description, etc.

To do so, navigate to  Rank Math SEO → Status & Tools → Import & Export inside your WordPress admin area. Under the CSV File section, navigate to the Export CSV tab, as shown below.

To edit the SEO Title, Description, and other metadata related to posts, you only need the Posts metadata. So select Posts and click the Export button.

Export CSV in Rank Math

The CSV file will be downloaded to your computer. You can then review it to identify URLs that need optimization, such as those containing underscores instead of hyphens or URLs that are overly long or unclear.

CSV file downloaded

Once you have identified URLs that need updating, make the necessary changes directly within the CSV file. For example, let’s replace technical-seo-guide-till-3-5 to technical-seo-guide.

SEO URL changed

After making these changes, save the CSV file.

With the updated CSV file ready, you can import it back into Rank Math to apply the changes to the website.

After updating URLs, you can verify the changes by reviewing your website’s structure and conducting tests to ensure proper redirection if any URLs have been modified.

URL changed

5 Conclusion

URL optimization is not a one-time task; it’s an ongoing process for maintaining a strong online presence. As search engine algorithms evolve and audience behaviors change, regularly revisiting and optimizing URLs becomes a necessity.

While investing excessive time in creating SEO-friendly URLs may not yield significant returns, adopting a logical approach and adhering to the best practices makes complete sense.

Several key practices stand out to create SEO-friendly URLs. Begin by conducting thorough keyword research and strategically integrating these keywords into the URL structure. Utilize hyphens to enhance readability and separate words, and consider the removal of numbers and special characters for cleaner, more user-friendly URLs.

So take the first step towards higher rankings and improved user experience and create SEO-friendly URLs.

If you like this post, let us know by Tweeting @rankmathseo.

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