What Does "No Keywords in URL" Mean?

This issue means that none of the targeted keywords assigned to this page were found in the URL.

Why It's Important

Search engines generally use keywords in the URL as a ranking factor. By not including them in the URL of the page, you could be missing an opportunity to signal to search engines that this page is relevant for these targeted keywords. The weight that this ranking factor is given is not completely known, but it's likely that it is of relatively lower-importance.

How To Fix

Here are some general guidelines for writing effective URLs:

  • Use server-side URL rewrites to convert them into static, human-readable URLs (e.g. www.example.com/view-product.php?id=482794 --> www.example.com/blue-widgets-chicago).
  • Include your most important targeted keyword in the URL.
  • Do not "stuff" keywords in the URL – keep keyword usage reasonable, do not repeat keywords, and ensure the URL is neat and human-readable.
  • Keep the length of the URL to under 100 characters.
  • Use hyphens "-" to separate words (instead of spaces or underscores "_")
  • Consider using a CMS to automatically write the URLs for you using the title or headline of the page.

A Word of Caution

Changing URLs of existing pages can sometimes be risky, so it may or may not be worth the effort required to make the change for existing URLs. If the changes are not made correctly, it could result in the de-indexation or lower ranking of pages on your site. Therefore, the relatively small benefits that come from undertaking these changes may or may not be worth it for your site. Instead it may be a better idea to include keywords in URLs of future pages instead of going back and updating many URLs on the site.

If you decide to update existing URLs on your site, try to remember a few important principles:

  1. Create an individual 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one for every page that is being updated
  2. Be sure to update all links on your site to point to the new URLs instead of the old ones.
  3. Test extensively before rolling out the change on your production server.
  4. Update and submit your XML sitemap.
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