What is the best maximum URL length?

URL, also known as a web address, stands for Uniform Resource Locator. It’s a specific string of characters that identifies the location of a web resource. The URL of a website can be seen at the top of most browser windows’ address bars. 

Like many other elements of a website, the URL has an effect on search rankings. From a search engine optimization standpoint, URL length matters to Google. But it isn’t a case where more is better. Short links typically have the upper hand over longer URLs. 

How long should a URL be?

When optimizing a website, you should consider the influence of the link length and the maximum allowed length for the links. Every page on a website has its own unique URL. While some links are short and to the point, others can be lengthy and feature intricate organizational patterns. If you can reduce the URLs of your websites to less than 200 characters, they will function properly in practically every possible combination of client and web server software. 

According to Google, lengthy URLs are not friendly for search engine optimization. Users are put off by URLs that are too long, and as a result, they are less likely to click on them or share them, which in turn hurts the click-through rate and usability of your page.

What you can do to improve shorter URLs

The best strategy is to keep the larger picture in mind when crafting SEO-friendly URLs and stick to the basics. A shorter URL is preferable for web crawlers, but reducing the length is just one way to optimize URLs. Here are four more ways to improve URLs so they are better for SEO and users.

Highlight keywords in the URL

When a query that’s entered in the search engine hits on keywords they are highlighted in bold in the title, description and web address. Users will pay close attention to the URL and be more likely to consider it when making a link selection. That’s why: 

  • It’s important to always include keywords that are relevant to the page’s subject in the URL. 
  • The domain name ought to feature the primary keyword. 
  • The keyword phrase used to market a page should be incorporated into the URL. 

Use hyphens instead of underscores

If the URL has more than one word, separate them using hyphens. Google treats each word in phrases separated by underscores and dashes/slashes as a separate query. Google interprets hyphens as a connection. For instance, the “serpstat_tool” URL structure would be considered two queries, one for “serpstat” and another for “tool”.

URLs should be clear and easy to read

No search engine can interpret a URL whose text is unintelligible to a human. Since many users examine the URL before clicking on it, search engines strive to deliver results with URLs that are clear and easy to read. 

Don’t use Cyrillic characters in URLs

Do not use any characters other than Latin letters and numbers in the URL of a website. Doing so can make your URL illegible. For example, there is a six-character string for each Russian letter, so the characters in the address bar won’t look the same as they did in the URL. 

Final Word on URL length

Keeping your URLs to 200 characters max is highly recommended. By also following the best practices above you’ll further improve your URLs, which helps your SEO and makes your web addresses easier for users to remember.

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