Why short URLs are better for SEO

Website owners and content marketers know that having a short URL is better for SEO. You should be customising all your URLs when you upload content to your site so that you don’t have long, complicated strings of random numbers and letters. It’s better to use a few keywords as the URL for a specific page.

The main advantage of using a short URL (with keywords instead of random characters) is that your Google ranking is given a boost for that page. If you see that your URLs have many subfolders (depicted by a slash /), you should customise the URL and remove the nefarious keywords, leaving only the important ones behind.

Long URLs are too specific for Google rankings

Long URLs are misinterpreted by Google when it indexes your site. Google assumes that all the words in the URL are keywords, and so assumes that your website is affiliated with all of those words and that you deal with very specific topics.

Long-tail keywords and long URLs are more specific than single keywords and short URLs (e.g. “Italian restaurants in Observatory Cape Town” is far more specific than “Restaurants in Cape Town”).

When you shorten your URL to only include the important keywords, Google then knows what your website is about and what keywords to rank it for. It also broadens the scope of your website slightly, which means that it’s more likely to rank on pages with less specific search terms.

When a user searches for “Cape Town restaurants”, your website is likely to rank higher if you use a shorter URL. It’s not often that users search for incredibly specific keywords the first time they perform a Google search. If you had the long URL, your website would only rank highly on pages related to Italian restaurants in Observatory.

Long URLs put your website in specific pigeon holes, whereas short URLs allow you to rank on more pages with less specific search terms. It’s important to note that your URL should never include a date or year as this will harm your rankings once the date has passed.

Internet users remember short URLs

Another advantage of using short URLs is that your users are far more likely to remember specific pages of your site. If they want to return to an amazing article or video on your site, they can enter the URL from memory and navigate directly to that page.

If you have a long URL, users would have to first go to your homepage, then use your menu lists to find the page they’re looking for, then scroll through your articles just to find the one they’re looking for. This effort is enough to make the user give up on their search before they even start.

People are also more likely to share pages with short URLs on their social media channels. A long URL increases the chances of misspelling it or forgetting a character, whereas a short URL is simple to type and check before sharing it. It also means that people don’t have to go to your site first before sharing your content – they can do it from memory.

Some social media platforms, specifically Twitter, automatically shorten a long URL but it doesn’t always look good in a tweet. It can make the tweet look messy and confusing as a mash of characters is shortened into a smaller mash. Using a simple, short, keyword-based URL looks and works better on Twitter.

Start shortening your URLs and customising them to include keywords. This will boost your search engine rankings and allow more users to find your site. You’ll have an added advantage if your main domain name contains a keyword for which you’d like to rank, but using short URLs is still effective.


Sorted Design Agency is a creative company that constantly looks for solutions to other people’s problems. These problems come mostly in the visual format, such as graphic design, logo and illustration, but we’re experts in brand development, website design, and digital SEO campaigns as well.


Based in Pretoria and Cape Town, Sorted has been in the content marketing industry since 2006. We assist your company with its corporate identity by communicating core values through content and articles written for your website, blog and news area. This content is supported by AdWords and social advertising, which facilitates wider reach and audience growth. Turn your website into a business tool.


Sorted also owns two other businesses; InkFish Print Studio – a printing company that handles a range of promotional materials for businesses and other services for individual customers, and Pampiri + Kie – a gifts and stationery store selling online and in-store. Both of these companies operate from Cape Town and Pretoria.


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