URL – what it is and how to use it properly

URL - what it is and how to use it properly

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URLs in their current form accompany every business that is conducted on the Internet. They are most often associated with website addresses, but they also serve a function for other content available on the Internet, such as images or documents. In this article we will cover what is a URL and how to build friendly website addresses that positively affect the positioning of the site and help people find their way around the site.

What is a URL?

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a uniform addressing format that specifies the location of a resource available on the Internet. It is used on all web pages and for most elements placed on them. URLs can be seen, for example, in the search bar of a browser:

What are the components of a URL?

A URL consists of five components arranged as follows:

Of course, not every URL contains all the elements listed. Home pages consist only of the protocol and the domain – these are the shortest addresses.

What do the elements mean?

1. Protocol – defines the type of service

The most common protocol is http or https, it is used for websites. Other common protocols include ftp, mailto, news, telnet.

2. Host – domain name

Host is used to identify the label of an assigned device on a particular network. In an Internet network, the label is the domain name. This is best illustrated with an example:

  • google.com,
  • megamo.eu

3. Path – the way to a file

A path directs the user to a file located on the server.

  • subpage/subpage.html,
  • /index.php,
  • /photos/2022.png

4. Parameter – information in URL

The parameter is used to pass information using the URL of the page.

  • ?page=1,
  • ?find=380
  • ?center=34,-50

5. Fragment – location of the element on the page

Fragment displays a specific page element. This is most often used on pages that have a lot of content where a click will take you to a selected section within a page. For example, using #header will take us to the element with id=”header”.

How to create “friendly URLs”?

Let’s start with making the URL mean something, i.e. it is a good idea to create URLs in such a way that the user, seeing the given URL, can immediately guess what awaits him after clicking the link.

Example of unfriendly address: http://website.com/qrlt/roa?fil=1

Example of a readable address: https://megamo.eu/pricing-automatic-integration-with-supplier/

You should also remember about optimizing the URL address for SEO. Including keywords can be a good way to tell Google’s algorithm what the page is about. It also makes it easier for users because looking at the address will only confirm that they found what they were looking for. Addresses should not be: long, capitalized, filled with special characters and diacritics. Avoid putting dates, use hyphens “-” instead of “_” because phrase wholesale_women_clothing may be treated as one long word (robots may ignore underscore).

Summary

As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to keep the URL structure simple. Readability of the address affects how search engines and customers perceive it. Short and structured url addresses are appreciated by Google and users. Good URL optimization has a positive impact on page positioning.

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