What URL Structure to Use for Local SEO


Jul 18, 2012
I wanted to start a discussion around URL structures for a website and see if anyone has any case studies to reference.

1. What URL structure do you use for a city page? Do you include the keyword (domain.com/chicago-keyword) or just the city (domain.com/city)?

2. If a business has tons of folders on their site, do you shorten the URLs? Ex: domain.com/locations/usa/tx/austin vs domain.com/austin-tx


Aug 15, 2017
Hi Joy,

Great questions.

It all depends on the actual keywords you want to rank for.

Lets say your website is: johnthedentist.com
And you want to rank for "dentist Chicago"
It would be enough to go with johnthedentist.com/chicago (since both dentist and chicago is mentioned in the url)

So a rule of thumb, try only to mention 1 keyword once in the URL/slug.
If you have a Branded domain, example: johntheexpert.com
and the he wanted to rank for "dentist chicago"
Then he would definitely need to use johntheexpert.com/dentist-chicago/

So first, Identify the keywords that you want to rank for, via example semrush.com (keyword research tool).
Then decide upon the most suitable URL Structure.
Doing proper Keyword Research is like 90% of the SEO game. It?s crucial to identify all the most searched for keywords within your niche. So that you can optimize your article/website for those keywords.

To answer your second question. I usually want to keep my urls as short as possible. It looks better, cleaner and is more scannable.

Hopefully all this makes sense :)

- Max


Aug 15, 2017
It depends.

1.) If all the articles with bad URL?s don?t have any links going to them. Then I?d consider changing all of them. Even if they did have links, you could always do a redirect.
Use majestic.com for example, see if all those bad URLS have any significant links going to them. If they don?t, it won?t really matter, SEO wise if you change them.

If all the bad URLS goes to rather nonsignificant pages, then they could be ignored. And just do better slugs for new upcoming articles.

2.) I?d definitely change the bad URL?s for the most crucial pages. If the main page/article you need to rank has a bad URL, I?d definitely consider changing at least that one.

But again, it all depends from case to case. It might be hard to change all URL?s if the website is huge.

So summary:
- Make sure that the most significant pages(the ones you need to rank) have a good URL structure.
- Change the others if it make sense.
- The most important thing is that the keywords are in the URL, mentioned at least once.