SEO URL structures matter, so take the time to research and strategize the best SEO URL structure.
I was recently in your shoes, wondering what the best structure of my URLs would be to gain me the most significant SEO benefit.
What's the best hierarchy to organize my URLs?
How much depth should I add to my URLs?
Is there a structure that will reduce cannibalization?
After much strategizing, my team and I laid out a hierarchy we believed would be best for our local SEO URL structure.
I do SEO and development for a custom solution at AttorneyAtLawMagazine.com. Our program features one attorney per practice area and location. We dedicate one page to each variation. For example, one page dedicated to a Phoenix intellectual property attorney and another for a Phoenix personal injruy attorney. Therefore, our solution is local SEO-driven.
Our old URL structure was limiting us. We found that only one of the following pages would rank:
- Dallas Personal Injury Attorney
- Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney
This was a major blow to our program.
Let's look at what the URL structure used to be.
Old URL Strucutre (Bad for SEO)
- Parent page: "/best"
- State pages: "/best/arizona-attorneys"
- Practice area pages: "/best/personal-injury-attorneys"
- Niched page: "/best/phoenix-personal-injury-attorney"
See the problem? There is no strucutre.
The first path level is "best" - that's okay for structure.
The second path level is mad confusing. It can be one of three things:
- Attorneys by state
- Attorneys by practice area
- Individual attorney page
What Google Wants in an SEO Structure
- To please your visitors
- A sound structure
- And probably a small weight on keywords
The people who make the Google algorithms are engineers. Data engineers/scientists, software engineers, etc. And what they like is structure. It's easy to understand!
They also love making their customers happy (i.e., consumers searching Google). Therefore, Google wants you to focus on pleasing the customer while also making your website easy to understand by Google.
The Best SEO URL Structure
$130,000 later (and counting), this new URL structure proved to be the best hierarchy we could implement for our local SEO strategy.
Drum roll, please! 🥁
The new SEO URL structure:
- Parent page: "/best-attorneys"
- Practice area page (category 1): "/best-attorneys/personal-injury"
- Practice area + state (category 2): "/best-attorneys/personal-injury/arizona"
- Niched page: "/best-attorneys/personal-injury/arizona/phoenix-attorney"
Why This URL Structure Works
First of all, it's straightforward to understand. Second, it's effortless to navigate.
We chose the first path level to be "best attorneys". I suggest finding the least common denominator for whatever you are categorizing. In our case everything had in common "best attorneys".
The second path level we chose our first category. We decided to prioritize the practice area over the location (third path level) because consumers are more likely to look for a nearby location than practice area. In other words, it makes it easy for them to go up one level and change locations.
Lastly, we have our niched pages.
Think if you are a visitor who arrives at a Phoenix personal injury page but then decides to go up one level to look for a neighboring city. The breadcrumbs are very intuitive.
You can go from this:
Our customers love it and so does Google.
SEO URL Strucutre Video
Good luck choosing the best URL structure for SEO, and I hope this has helped!