Manage URL parameters effectively to optimise your content

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URL parameter management

Managing URL parameters is an essential aspect of ensuring that your online content is readable by both search engines and end users.

In this article, we present 10 important points to know and master in order to optimise your URL to improve your referencing natural and offer user experience satisfactory.

URL parameters

1. Understanding the structure of a URL

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is made up of several elements that enable a resource or document to be precisely located on the web. These elements are :

  • The protocol (example: http, https)
  • Le domain name (example:
  • The access path (example: /blog/)
  • The file name (e.g. : index.html)
  • URL parameters (example: ?id=123&lang=en)

2. Understanding the different functions of URL parameters

URL parameters are mainly used for :

  • Provide additional information to servers to display personalised content,
  • Facilitate navigation and user actions,
  • Enable you to monitor and analyse the performance of your site (in particular via Google Analytics).

3. Use relevant keywords in URLs

To help search engines and users understand your content, we recommend that you include keywords that are representative of the subject you are covering in your URLs. For example :

  • An optimised URL :
  • A non-optimised URL : ?id=12345

4. Focus on simplicity and legibility

It's important to design clear, legible URLs to make them easier to remember and to encourage sharing on social networks. To achieve this:

  • Avoid special characters, capital letters or numbers if possible,
  • Separate words with dashes rather than underscores or spaces.

5. URL parameters and page indexing

Search engines tend to index less pages with URLs that are too long or contain too many parameters. It is therefore preferable to minimise their use to avoid certain pages not being referenced correctly.

5.1 Managing multiple versions of pages

If your site offers different versions of the same page (for example depending on the user's language or device), it is preferable to specify this information in the link rel= "canonical "rather than using URL parameters.

5.2 Using clean URLs

To improve search engines' understanding of content, we recommend that you use "clean" URLs, i.e. URLs without parameters or with a minimum of information.

6. Avoid duplicate content

Inappropriate use of URL parameters can lead to the unintentional creation of duplicate content on your websitewhich can have a negative impact on your natural referencing. To avoid this :

  • Make sure that all your content has a unique URL,
  • Use the link rel= "canonical " to show search engines the original version of each page.

7. Configuring URL parameters in Google Search Console

To help optimise your site's indexing and avoid duplicate entries, use the URL parameter management tool from Google Search Console. This will enable you to communicate with exploration robots how to handle and explore different versions of your pages.

8. Tracking your site's performance using URL parameters

By adding specific parameters to your URLs, you can accurately monitor the performance of your site and analyse the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. For example, you can use :

  • Monitoring parameters UTM for Google Analytics,
  • Tracking solutions developed in-house or by external service providers.

9. Comply with legal and regulatory requirements

The use of URLs containing parameters may be subject to legal or regulatory obligations. Good URL management therefore also means ensuring compliance with the main applicable recommendations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

10. Adapting URL parameter management to your technical environment

Finally, it is crucial to work closely with your development team to adapt best practice in URL parameter management to your specific technical context (content management system, web server, performance constraints, etc.).

By mastering these 10 key points relating to the management of URL parameters, you will considerably improve your site's natural referencing and offer an optimal user experience.

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