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Large websites can get messy… quickly. Having a consistent URL structure is the key to your sanity as an SEO. Here’s what you need to know.

Websites, no matter their sizes, need to have a consistent and clear URL structure. Not only is this a best practice for SEO purposes, but for the users’ experience on your site.

Which would you prefer to read?

5 Key Factors for the Best URL Structures

For websites of all sizes, that plan to have multi-level categories or well-built-out blogs, the URL structure is important to nail down before creating any content. This will allow you to establish your site’s navigation hierarchy, improve the user experience, and plan your content accordingly. Here are some key factors to keep in mind when deciding which structure may work best:

Start by Planning Your Blogs in a Subfolder

Let’s say your website plans on having a pretty well-built out blog with the categories and subcategories seen below:

You’d start by organizing each category within a /blog/ subfolder like:

Not only is this structure very functional — as in a user can remove part of the URL and get back to the landing page before it — but it also clearly tells the user and Google, where they are within the site, and how the content is related.

Ask yourself “how built-out are my blog categories going to be?”

Are your categories and/or subcategory landing pages going to function as a navigational hub for the content to link from, or do you plan on using those landing pages to host their own content?

If you’re leaning towards the first option, then you’d want all that link value going to your actual blog content, right?

Right!

Then let’s get into some URL structure options you can choose, depending on the size and demand of your site content.

Reflect Categories in Your URL Structure

Below is an example of a website’s blog, its subcategories and how the URLs could be structured in three different ways:

So, What URL Structure is Best for SEO?

The most honest answer we can give is that, it depends!

The three main things to consider here is:

  • How big your site is, and how built out your blog category and subcategory pages will be
  • Where the majority of your site content will live (i.e. /blog/)
  • How you will be prioritizing content to drive traffic and rankings

Ultimately, we always recommend mocking up your site, whether it’s through a temporary dev site, or even drawn out on a whiteboard or with sticky notes. Consider your top level navigation and any subcategories you may want to follow.

Narrow down how you’ll prioritize your content, taking click depth into consideration for your most important pages. Then you’ll have a good start on deciding what URL structure fits best to your website’s size and SEO goals.

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