Correct URL structuring is good for SEO and user experience; you cannot afford to get it wrong. It helps search engine bots crawl your site easily. It also serves as a pointer for your site visitors and let them know which part of the site they are browsing.
Furthermore, proper URL structuring, unlike other aspects of SEO where you can easily correct your wrongs, requires a once and for all decision. And changing your site URLs structure is something you might need to give an extra thought before altering.
For best understanding of this article, I will use NeilPatel.com and some other popular websites URL structure as a case study.
However, before going fully into the topic, please permit me to explain what a proper URL structure looks like.
How does a proper SEO URL look like?
A proper URL should be clean and alight to a specific pattern or sequence.
A news blog site can use a sequence like
The two links above are on the same website. While the first article is on politics, the second article is about technology.
Both search engine and the website users know which category each article belongs.
Following that pattern, every post on your site will be structured under a category that each article belongs. And the category will appear on the permalink as a “slug“.
The domain name will be independent, and connect to only categories and the direct pages on the website.
What about a typical blog that publishes articles on multiple niches?
The same explanation up there is applicable.
And an eCommerce website will likely need to indicate “blog” or “product” as the slug in its URL structure.
Meanwhile, If you plan to create numerous posts on different categories, you can to add the sub-category to the permalink, and it will be after the blog page.
You can also decide to remove the /blog/ in the slug and use the “category name” directly.
Note: This is not often advisable because there is a high possibility that some of your categories will be similar to your services.
Like in Digitalpud where we have both services page for seo and blog article
Instead, you can remove the sub-category in the URL and put everything under the same slug”blog”.
In fact, that’s exactly how NeilPatel structures his websites URLs.
Now let’s go into the main topic, how to structure your site URL like Neil Patel.com
Why Neil Patel?
Counting your fingers from 1 – 10, Neil Patel is one the best marketers and SEO consultant on the world wide web. He is the founder of NP digital and Crazyegg. He owns the popular Ubersuggest which is also stationed under NailPatel.com.
How to structure your site URL like NeilPatel.com?
As a broad business website, Neil Patel uses a straightforward URL structure that is good for both SEO and user experience. As a rule, thumb, the original domain name “neilpatel.com” is independent. After that comes the category, and then the article topic.
Here is a breakdown
https://neilpatel.com/blog/ – for all blogs content on NeilPatel.com
https://neilpatel.com/seo-analyzer/ – an SEO software for website SEO analyses hosted on Neil Patel
https://neilpatel.com/training/ – For tutorial videos on NeilPatel.com
https://neilpatel.com/consulting/ – to book consultation service with Neil Patel
https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ – Another SEO software for generating insight on SEO topics and others
After the categories, Neil Patel adds permalink immediately without adding any sub-categories.
As you can see, all the articles and tutorials on NeilPatel.com are connected to different categories.
As such, users can quickly identify which part of the website they are browsing.
Is it the blog page or the training page? Or they are using an SEO Analyzer software hosted on this website.
No cluster or anything!
When I studied NeilPatel.com URLs, I observed he doesn’t use sub-categories in his URL. Only one slug.
Does that mean Neil Patel does not have a large number of articles he can divide into sub-categories?
He surely does. In fact, he has over 4,000 blog content under the same blog category. And that is a whole lot.
Meanwhile, he arranged his blog posts under different categories. I guess he just doesn’t want to add the sub-category in his permalinks.
To satisfy my curiosity, I did a few tests by adding the sub-category into some content URLs, and they led me to the same article.
Here is an example;
What does this mean?
Neil Patel must have been using the sub-category in his URL structure before he decided to remove it for reasons best known to him.
Well, short URLs perform better on search engines. Perhaps that’s why he decided to remove it.
Other popular websites with excellent SEO URL structure
To give you a broad knowledge on how to structure your website URL structure. And also have multiple options to pick from, let’s review other popular websites with great SEO URL structure you can emulate.
Moz is a famous and powerful SEO software for analyzing your website SEO performance and give you insight on how you can achieve a better ranking on search engines.
The company started as a blog (then SEOmoz) before they decided to focus on the software aspect.
However, their blog and SEO learning centre is still intact. And it would be interesting to review their website URL for easy understanding.
How does Moz URLs structure look like?
Moz has a full business home page that tells people about their services.
They also have product pages, blog page, about, resources and learning.
All these pages are decentralized from the primary domain name, which is independent. Here are the pages:
https://moz.com/ – Home Page/ Main Domain
https://moz.com/checkout/freetrial – For subscription and free trial
https://moz.com/products/pro/rank-tracking – Product
https://moz.com/blog/ – Moz Blog
https://moz.com/learn/seo – Moz SEO learning
https://moz.com/learn/seo/local – an article on the learning page
Moz URL is quite extensive. This is not for only the learning section, but also the services and product page.
For example, the product URL is structures as;
Ensuring it points users to each stage they’ve encountered on their way here.
Also, the service page
Moz’s blog’s URLs structures are very similar to NeilPatel.com’s.
All their blog articles connect to only a slug which is “blog”. No sub-category!
However, their “learning section” is a little different as it contains the sub-category in the URL structure
In that case,
moz.com – domain name
learn – category (primary slug)
seo – sub-category
local– article topic
HubSpot is a software developer and marketing company based in the US. Other than that, the company invests heavily on content marketing, which makes their website quiet broader than you must have expected.
It is the only site among the three that uses sub-domain for its blog section.
According to Rebecca Riserbato, a content writer for the company, HubSpot uses sub-domain for their blog because they have a massive content campaign. And they want to distinguish it from their original site for good user experience.
How to structure your site URL like HubSpot
https://www.hubspot.com – the primary domain name, which serves as the home page.
After that, the categories follow
Also, the site uses a blog section which is under a sub-category
after that, the category of the article falls under come immediately as a slug.
And after that comes the topic.
Among all these three authority websites, one thing is particular about them; they all have slug before the website URL.
Neil Patel divides his with /blog/. Same as Moz.
Moz even divides their learn page with the category. And that is why they have moz.com/learn/seo/article topic.
Okay, But what if my website URL is not structured correctly?
As you must have observed,URLs structure is very tricky. And it is best if one get it right at the beginning of your website, as making further adjustment might affect your SEO.
For example, DigitalPud is 4 months old when writing this article. We have already gather some backlinks from a few websites.
Also, we have an article that rank first on Google Search Engine Result Page. Plus two different Google snippets. But we forfeited it when we decide to restructure our site URL.
Well, we used WP 404 Auto Redirect to redirect all our old backlink to our new permalinks. But that isn’t a best move to sustain our snippet. Meanwhile, we are sure we will get it back; as such, it is something we can afford.
And in case you have less than 60 total backlinks on your current site before getting to know this, you can also analyze your risk and decide what is right for you.
What causes poor URLs structure?
Many bloggers and website URL often tailor their website design and URL to popular websites they admire. And it is very easy for them to make the same mistake they’ve made before.
For example, WPbeginner.com is one of the the most popular WordPress tutorial websites. Therefore, it is espected of any WordPress user to emulate their URL structure.
Meanwhile, the downside here is that not all WPbeginner URLs are correctly structured.
The website has been in existence for over a decade, and it is only normal that several things have changed in term of SEO. And as I said earlier, permalinks is something you will want to think about twice making any change to your website URL.
I also learnt several things on the website when starting my website. And I still check out their content whenever I need anything pertaining to WP.
In fact, our site URL was directly structured after them before I stumble on Neil Patel’s complete guide on structuring your URLs correctly.
Another site that can easily confuse you is Entrepreneur.com
Yeah, entreprenuer specify the category in their permalink. But using number for URL is not good for SEO.
That doesn’t mean the article will not rank. It will. But not as well as it should.
And another thing you should note is, sites like Entrepreneur.com can do some weird stuffs and still get away with it.
But, you might need to ask yourself if your site is as old as theirs.
Or do you have a domain authority that is as high as 92?
- Taiwo Sotikare is an outstanding freelance writer and blogger with 5 years of experience. He has written hundreds of articles on Freelancing, Entrepreneurship, Career Development, Writing Tips, and many more.