Optimising a website for search engines involves a myriad of elements. The structure of URLs is one of those elements, although a lot of website owners don’t give it due relevance. The URLs on your site may lower or improve search engine rankings. One best practice for URL structuring is making it readable for humans. Readability in a URL makes it more accessible, and that is a positive point for SEO. The best way to make a URL readable is to create it in a way that users can gather a clue of what the site is about.
Use of Caps and Word Separators
URL optimisation usually take into account the use of capital and small letters, and the use of word separators such as hyphens and underscores. Google is the most popular search engine, and its algorithm reads hyphens in URLs, not underscores. Therefore, ensure that your URL has hyphens to separate words. Capital letters are a no-no when optimising URLs for search engines. Inserting capital letters in a URL negatively affects its readability, meaning rankings go down.
Having web pages ending up with duplicate content is commonplace. The same content on different pages can negatively impact rankings. To avoid that, use canonical URLs. Canonising can either be with a 301 redirect or by adding a rel=canonical element to a link.
In cases where you have to change your URL, it is vital to effectively redirect. Leaving broken links without proper redirection will affect the bounce rate. If users click on an old link to your site only to find out it moved, and there is no redirection, they will leave. A site that has great traffic can lose all of it without a 301 redirect.
Keywords in URLs
It is possible to optimise a URL for search rankings by including keywords;however, be careful how you insert keywords because using multiple ones may hurt your chances. Get keywords that will attract the appropriate audience. Note that keywords work better on landing pages and blog articles.
A Quick Go Through for URL Optimization Tactics, RankWatch