Optimize Prestashop Urls to improve Prestashop SEO [Part I]
Today, Natalie explains how to optimize your Prestashop urls for search engines and humans alike.
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You do not need to be a SEOs to improve your Prestashop SEO.
Both search engines and people prefer websites to have consistent, easy-to-read URLs. URLs structure is the real presentation of your website. A url containing just vivid and useless information means nothing for a search engine and also users don’t like it. That's why you need to have a beautiful urls on your Prestashop site.
I’ve noticed sometimes web developers and SEOs live in two parallel universes, each with its own center of gravity. While web developers basically care about crawlability, site speed, and other technical things, SEOs are mostly focused on what constitutes their sacred grail: website rankings and ROI.
Anyway, you do not need to worry. PrestaShop by default doesn't have search engine friendly URLs enabled but enabling this feature is actually quite easy.
Enabling SEO URLs
First, look at Prestashop Default url :
Please remember: The more readable by human beings, the better. It should come as no surprise that the easier a URL is to read for humans, the better it is for search engines. Accessibility has always been a part of SEO, but never more so than today, when engines can leverage advanced user and usage data signals to determine what people are engaging with vs. not.
The requirement isn't that every aspect of the URL must be absolutely clean and perfect, but that at least it can be easily understood and, hopefully, compelling to those seeking its content. So, we have to fix this issue on your Prestashop site and make the url clearer!
Start by going to your admin panel and then go to "preferences" and "SEO & URLs". Make sure that "Yes" is selected for "friendly URL".
And now we have:
Well, it looks so good. Avoid dynamic and relative URLs and now we have a pretty url.
Remove Ids or number
Most of the links are stuffed with auto-generated codes, numbers and special characters, which turn an url into a bad and unfavorable one. You need to remove those IDs and numbers to make the links more informational.
Here we use Pretty Fox to remove those IDs automaticaly. This Prestashop SEO module creates the pretty urls by remove the id from all urls on your ecommerce store after install and you do not need to do anything else. Here is what we have :
What an amazing!
Remove Duplicate urls
Multiple URLs that are directing to a single page shall be removed by adding canonical tags to the link addresses. Remove the duplicate urls will improves the rankings of your website by removing the original content that seems to be duplicate.
Continue using Pretty Fox to detect duplicate urls when you create or edit products,categories...
...or show the list of duplicate urls on your store and allow you change them quickly.
Use Hyphens, not Underscores
If you’d like to separate words in your URL use dashes or hyphens, instead of underscores. Google has been very clear about this. Their algorithm was written to read hyphens, not underscores. If you want to get ranked high in the biggest search engines in the world, you have to play by their rules.
So, do not forget it when you create a new Prestashop product :
Top content on top folder
Search engines often consider web pages in your root folder as top level content and perhaps better content. So, be very careful and strategic on how you structure your URLs. URL structure can signal the importance of a page on your site.
If Animal Feed category is the parent category of Kitten, and the keyword Animal Feed is important than Kitten for you, you could turn on Show Parent Category feature to show the parent category name in url.
We usually recommend you to reduce folders in the link structure : too much classification of products and categories are also not recommended as the customers or search robots might perceive the website is too deep to dig into, but in this case, you can decide this for your specific business needs, as subfolders are often acceptable for online shops.
Create a sitemap.xml for your Prestashop site
An XML Sitemap is not to be confused with the HTML sitemap. The former is for the search engines, while the latter is mostly designed for human users.
In plain words, it’s a list of your site’s URLs that you submit to the search engines. This helps search engines find your site’s pages more easily and Search engines can use the Sitemap as a reference when choosing canonical URLs on your Prestashop site.
So, for SEO-reasons, it’s recommended to include only the webpages you’d like to show up in search.
Sweet Sitemap is the best Prestashop module to generate the XML Sitemap.
Do not use stop words
If your Prestashop title/headline includes stop words (and, or, but, of, the, a, etc.), it's not critical to put them in the URL. You don't have to leave them out, either, but it can sometimes help to make a URL shorter and more readable in some sharing contexts. Use your best judgement on whether to include or not based on the readability vs. length.