What is a URL Readability Score?
Have you seen the URL readability score on Google and never really knew what it meant? Well, it’s actually a calculation that says just how easy (or difficult) it is for someone to read and understand the website slug and top level domain. A lower readability score means that it’s more difficult to understand, maybe because of larger words, less common words or a number of other factors (which we’ll talk about in a moment as well). That readability score is important so you can get more people to your website.
How is a URL Readability Score Determined?
The readability score is based on a number of different factors that are going to be important for anyone who is going to your website (or might want to). You don’t want something so complicated that no one will understand what it means because the people who would really like it don’t know how to read it right. If you have grammar mistakes, misspellings, large words, uncommon words, passive words, or cliches you’ll get a lower score, but it’s up to you to make the changes necessary to get a higher score.
What is Important for Google SERP and the Consumer?
Google Search Engine Results Pages, or SERP, are extremely important for the consumer because it’s going to show them what they want. If they search for a specific word, the results that come up are going to dictate whether they get what they really need or they need to keep on trying new words. In order to get a good SERP ranking on Google it’s important to have the right keywords and the right searches. The consumer needs to know what they want to get and they need to be able to get it.
If you want to show up on specific SERP’s then it’s a best practice to have specific keywords in your URL (after the slash), in your website content and in your meta descriptions. You’ll be able to create each of these yourself, which is important since you want to report for specific keywords. Using those keywords in these different areas is going to help you rank in the right search engines results pages. It also helps the consumer because they can make sure they’re getting the right results in their page when they search for something. That’s what you’re hoping for, after all, right?
Creating Your URL
So what do you do in order to create a quality URL? It’s going to take a little bit of work, because there is a lot you’ll need to think about and focus on. You need to balance a number of different things all at the same time but without making your URL too overwhelming. Making it too long or complicated can be just as bad as making it too short or not related to the keywords that you want to rank for. It’s all about performing a proper balancing act.
When you create your URL the first thing to do is think about what you’re going to be selling or marketing to the people who visit your website. Are you going to be selling houses? Maybe you’re not selling anything but you’re showcasing your skills. You want your name to highlight that. Also, you want it to highlight what someone would put into a search engine when they were looking for that particular service. Finally, you want it to be easy to understand for the common person (or at least the common person interested in what you’re doing). Once you’ve got that, you can create a unique and quality URL.
Best Practices for a good readability score:
- Keep it shorter. This is tougher for blogs when you pull in parent categories. If you can keep it shorter, do it where it makes sense. (Under 60 characters).
- Avoid symbols in your URL (!@#$%^&*+=). Dashes are OK (Sample: myhomes.com/local-neighborhood
- Avoid STOP words (and, or, but, of, the, a, etc.)
- Avoid dynamically created permalinks that add symbols and numbers instead of keywords