Building a website and creating content can be a complicated task, but it’s imperative to get it right. If a site is designed and structured poorly, all efforts will be wasted. Search engines find websites for its users in a certain way, and if websites are not set up in a certain manner, those websites will not be found. As a website is a business’s digital shop window, if it cannot be found, customers will never be able to buy from a company.
In this article, we’ll look at one of the key aspects of building a website — its URL. In doing so, we investigate the question, “Does changing a URL affect SEO?”. The short answer is yes, changing a URL does affect SEO. We’ll discuss this question as well as go over what SEO is so that it’s easy to understand the implications that a website’s URL can have on SEO practices.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and all websites must have the very best SEO in place so that it ranks highly for queries into search engines like Google. To have the best SEO means to arrange a website’s content and structure so that search engines can find the best answer to the queries its customers ask.
As a result, SEO relies on keywords that search engines look for in a site’s content. A search engine will crawl a website looking for those keywords which will be part of the initial query a person puts into a search engine such as Google. Keyword research is essential therefore prior to creating content for a website so that content creators can write the keywords as many times as possible. However, it’s important to note that keyword stuffing is something for which search engines will penalise websites. Content must still be valid and useful for website users.
The importance of SEO cannot be understated. As briefly mentioned above, without good SEO in place, a website will not attract any traffic, unless a person is instructed to go there directly with a link. Search engine traffic is a key way that a company can achieve organic growth through its website and a vital way to attract custom. If a website does not have excellent SEO throughout it, search engines will not be able to provide a website as an answer to a query. Crucially, search engines will not place a website high up its results if it has weak SEO. Weak SEO means that search engines believe a website to be a lesser match for a customer’s query, which is why it puts the website further down its results pages.
In short, a URL is a web address that stands for Uniform Resource Locator. They are made of several different parts to help structure a website and can be a key way to improve SEO — particularly if the URL contains a keyword or phrase. A URL with the right keywords can be a quick win when it comes to answering any query put into Google or its competitors.
Changing a website’s URL does affect a site’s SEO. If you change your website’s URL, it’s therefore crucial to go through the entire website and redo your SEO to ensure that it’s as good as it can be for your new URL. Doing so will help limit the inevitable loss in rankings that will come from the URL change.
Additionally, given that URLs themselves are a key way that search engines find a website, it’s essential to understand that changing a URL can upset what was once a website with good SEO practices.
SEO and URLs are key ways to be found by a search engine. Good SEO practices means that a search engine can see that a site contains many keywords that answer a customer’s query — without keyword stuffing. Good URL structure is also part of SEO. URLs are not just web page addresses that direct users to content on a page. It’s crucial to think through all implications that changing URLs have on a webpage and a website as a whole with respect to search engine rankings.
"Just recently, I was able to take a pretty competitive keyword from #12 (page 2), up to #5 on page 1 in 14 or 15 days."