Multi-language SEO (4) Domain Strategy – How to Design a good URL?

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Once you have done to set up a domain strategy, it’s time to design your URL structure. Let’s see how to design a URL structure in favor of SEO.

■ Easy to understand! (No numbers, No complex, No case mixing)

The text is the easiest for humans to understand. Here are some good and bad examples I found on internet.

https://flyasiana.com/C/KR/KO/company/pr-channel/news-release/detail?id=CM202002270001198867

The above URL is an excerpt from ‘Asiana Airlines’, one of Korean airlines. This news page, which introduces individual news by ID number, has too many unnecessary subcategories such as “C” in the middle and “news-release” under “pr-channel”. Mixed cases also reduce readability.

https://news.koreanair.com/-a320-sharklet-cumulative-3000-India/

On the while, Korean Air, another Korean airlines, uses the news section as a subdomain (news.koreanair.com) and the URL address was created after the title of the news.

If you ask yourself which is more intuitive when you only look at the links, you’ll find it easy to answer how to design a URL structure.

■ English address vs. Korean address? Is it a good idea to translate sub-addresses as well?

The url address is basically in English. In principle, it is better to translate the address into user’s language to make it easier for the users. Let’s check the Amazon website below.

<Australia>
https://www.amazon.com.au/electronics-store/b/ ie=UTF8&node=4851799051&ref_=nav_cs_electronics

<Germany>
https://www.amazon.de/Elektronik-Foto/b/?ie=UTF8&node=562066&ref_=nav_cs_electronics

<Spain>
https://www.amazon.es/electronica/b/?ie=UTF8&node=599370031&ref_=topnav_storetab_mega_sv_ce

You can see the electronics section translated into ‘electronics’ on the Australian site, ‘Elektronik’ on the German site, and ‘electronica’ on the Spanish site. Because German capitalizes the first letter of a noun, it appears to have been kept on the url, and the bullish marking above o is omitted in the Spanish Electrónica.

However, you should pay attention to non-english addresses, including Korean, as they may cause a number of errors, including encoding problems. Nowadays, it seems to support URLs in each country’s language, but sometimes it is better to maintain an English address, especially since there is a risk of breaking when copying and pasting addresses elsewhere.

For example, Amazon’s China site uses its URL in Chinese. When I tried to copy this link, the letter “电脑及配件” became to “%E7%94% ….”. It is vulnerable to ‘sharing’. Many people will think it is a spam site by looking at the link below, although it is a valid amazon website.

https://www.amazon.cn/%E7%94%B5%E8%84%91%E5%8F%8A%E9%85%8D%E4%BB%B6/b?ie=UTF8&node=42689071&ref_=sa_menu_top_pc_l1

By default, it is best to use the language of the country in the URL for SEO. However, you may encounter the above errors, so it is also a good to keep it as in English.

Consistency is important!

Whether you want to target a language, a country, or display it is a good thing to decide in advance whether to release it in text or follow the ISO country/language code.

If you are targeting a country…

Korea: example.com/kr
U.S.A: Example.com/us
example.com/states (BAD)
Example.com/united-states (BAD)

Please check the ISO country code at the link(click).

If you are targeting a language…

Korean: example.com/ko
English: example.com/en

ISO language code is available at the link(click).

You may want to make a decision in advance whether to use the official language code as above or to write it in a full text. In fact, if you’re familiar with code, it’s okay use the code. For example, did you know that ko means Korean and kr means South Korea?

Think about whether your country/languages’s code is common for your users. If it is not, it is better to write it in full text than in code for user’s convenience.

In any case, let’s set the rules first and apply them consistently to other multilingual sites.

■ Set up international targeting on google search console

When using ccTLD, Google automatically targets the country. However, if you use subfolders or subdomains, you need to tell Google about your target region. The method is pretty easy. You can check the international targeting report > search console > country and regional targeting in the country of the country(Google Link).

This blog is well categorized as Korea without any setup using ccTLD.

■ Always look at my site from the user’s perspectives

More important than any SEO technique is the attitude of managing the site from the user’s point of view. It is important to check whether users take unnecessary steps to obtain information, whether the URL structure is uselessly long and inconvenient, does not match other multilingual sites, and if so, it is the intention of the administrator. After all, it is obvious that a URL structure that does not harm the customer experience is the most favorable structure for SEO.


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