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Your URL may seem trivial but it’s one of the most fundamental parts of your SEO. Many website owners seem to overlook this small task at their peril. You’ve probably come across a website where the URLs look spammy but it was just another regular site. If you don’t optimize your URLs, your website gives off the same vibe. Changing a long URL to short URL will go a long way in creating a good first impression to your visitors. Please note that this does not refer to using URL shorteners, but actually cleaning up and shortening the structure of your existing URLs. Here’s why it’s important.

1.   Improve Your Search Rankings

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While the length of your URL is not a direct ranking signal, it does have a role to play and can, in fact, affect your rankings. For example, including your keywords in the URL, you give search engines and readers a clue in on what the page is all about. Make sure not to stuff keywords into your URLs hoping to boost your search engine rankings. Just use your target keyword and you’ll be good to go. Generally, websites with the target keyword in their URL rank higher than those without.

2.   Appear Trustworthy

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As earlier mentioned, a site with a long poorly structured URL loos spammy. A short, clean URL looks trustworthy and authoritative. Make sure all URLs on your website pass the readability test. This means that you can tell what the page is about by just looking at the URL. Limit the use of subfolders and domains so that the URLs look clean and focused.

3.   Easier to Grow Your Website

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As your website grows, you will have more categories, pages, and sections. Shortening your URLs will make it easier to navigate and expand your website. Using long, poorly structured URLs will make it harder search engine bots to navigate your website.

4.   Makes Sharing Easier

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Its easier to share shorter URLs than long complex ones. You want your users to share content on your website with friends and family. You should make it easier for them to share the URLs on social media platforms such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.  You’re more likely to share a link such as “http:example.com/bags” than “http:example.com/bags-category/green-bags/bags/first-page.ghsk=l8.

5.   Align the Content on Your Website with The Expectations of Your Users

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The optimization and shortening or URLs on your website has a lot to do with meeting user expectations. Your URLs should give a snapshot of what the page is about. You want to match the page title and the URL structure. While they don’t have to match perfectly, you want your reader to tell what content they are about to consume from the URL.

For instance, if you have a blog post titled “How to make Chocolate Chip Cookies” you can have your URL as “http:example.com/making-chocolate-chip-cookies”.  It doesn’t have to be an exact match, but you have to ensure it is simple, short, and relates to the title of the page.