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The Importance of Regularly Auditing Your URLs for SEO Success

Auditing your URLs on your website and throughout the web is important for several reasons.

  • Having a clear and organized URL structure can help both users and search engines to understand the content of your website.
  • A well-structured URL can also make it easier to share and link to specific pages on your site.
  • Auditing your URLs can help you identify and address issues such as broken links, redirect errors, trailing slash errors, and duplicate content, which can negatively impact your SEO performance.
  • By regularly auditing your URLs, you can ensure that your website is functioning properly, providing a positive user experience, and helping to improve your search engine rankings.

WWW or non-www

TIP: Do you know your website address – which is it?: You should know this because, to search engines, these are 2 different addresses. (We’ll skip the technical reasons why.)

  • without the www

NOTE: Seriously, I cannot stress this enough – know your correct website URL in its entirety – (with or without the WWW). For good SEO, be consistent with your URL (with or without the www) across all of the internet and throughout your website.

TIP: Check to make sure your website address is correct (with or without the www): 

  • on your Google Business Profile (GBP) – (One of the most common errors that I see while doing audits is the URL on the Google Business Profile is inaccurate; which creates redirects and easily avoided SEO issues.)
  • backlinks to your website (including Facebook, Linkedin, all social media accounts, online directories, backlinks)
  • inner links throughout your website, especially from your blog posts to main service pages


TIP: Is your site URL http or https?

  • http: If your URL starts with http but without an “s”, talk with a website developer immediately because your site should be updated to https immediately.
  • https: This is current standard, and best practice for better security and user privacy. Additionally, using HTTPS may provide some SEO benefits as Google has indicated that it can be a ranking signal in their search algorithm.

HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) is a secure version of the HTTP protocol used to transfer data between a user’s web browser and a website. HTTPS uses encryption to protect sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card information, and other private data that users may share on a website. When a website has HTTPS enabled, it means that any data transmitted between the user and the website is encrypted and secure, and less vulnerable to eavesdropping, tampering, and other types of malicious activities.

Google recommends HTTPS as a best practice for website security and user privacy.

In fact, since 2018, Google Chrome browser has started marking all HTTP sites as “not secure” to encourage website owners to adopt HTTPS. If a visitor tries to go to an HTTP website, the browser will usually redirect them to the HTTPS version of the website automatically. However, if the website doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed, the browser will display a security warning that the website is not secure and may be unsafe to use. This warning message may deter visitors from continuing to the website, potentially resulting in a loss of traffic and business.

NOTE: Seriously, I cannot stress this enough – know your correct website URL in its entirety! from the https all the way to the end.

URL Variants

There are several examples of URL variants that can create inconsistencies and confusion for search engines and users. Some examples include:

  • Using different versions of the same URL: e.g.,,,,
    • To search engines those are 4 different URLs and can lead to SEO issues.
  • Using URL parameters inconsistently: e.g., and
  • Using mixed-case URLs: e.g., vs.
    • I see this most often when linking out to social media accounts. Copy your profile link exactly as listed in the address bar of the social media platform and online directory. This should easily avoid this common URL issue.
  • Using different subdomains: e.g., vs.
  • Using variations of the same URL structure: e.g., and
    • This one has a trailing slash error. This is particularly bad for SEO, especially when it’s inconsistent throughout your own website.

(We will go into auditing tailing slashes in the next section, since it’s a common error that I see – even on the websites of developers and marketers.)

It’s important to ensure consistency in the structure and formatting of your URLs to improve your website’s SEO performance and avoid confusion for users and search engines.

Audit Trailing Slash Error

Auditing trailing slash errors is important because it can affect the usability and SEO of your website. Trailing slash errors occur when a URL with a slash at the end (i.e., and a URL without a slash at the end (i.e., lead to different pages.

This can create confusion for users and search engines, as they may interpret these URLs as separate pages with duplicate content, leading to a negative impact on your website’s SEO.

Additionally, it can cause problems with website tracking and analytics, leading to incorrect data reporting. By auditing and fixing trailing slash errors, you can improve the usability and SEO of your website, and ensure accurate tracking and reporting of your website’s performance.

What causes trailing slash errors to occur?

Trailing slash errors can occur due to a variety of reasons.

  • One of the most common reasons is human error where someone manually types in the URL and forgets to include or remove the trailing slash.
  • Another reason is that some servers automatically add the trailing slash to the end of a URL, while others do not.

Inconsistent handling of the trailing slash can lead to problems with duplicate content and broken links, which can negatively impact SEO. Therefore, it’s important to audit your website for trailing slash errors to ensure that your URLs are consistent and properly formatted.

Tips to help avoid trailing slash errors:

  • consistency: Make sure to use the same URL structure throughout your website. For example, if you decide to use a trailing slash on one page, make sure to use it on all pages.
  • use canonical tags: Canonical tags help to specify the preferred version of a URL when there are multiple versions of the same page. This can help to avoid trailing slash errors.
  • use server-side redirects: If you notice trailing slash errors, you can use server-side redirects (such as 301 redirects) to redirect visitors to the correct URL.
  • use a website audit tool: Many website audit tools can help identify trailing slash errors and other issues with your website’s URLs. Use these tools regularly to stay on top of any issues.
  • menu & footer links: Check links in main menu and footer, since these are the most common places URLs are added manually. Hover over the link to see the address. If you just click, you may be redirected to the right address but this still hasn’t corrected the URL if it’s wrong.
  • blog post links: It’s important to double check links in your blog posts, since not everyone who writes blog posts for your company understands the importance of typing links exactly as needed to avoid SEO issues. TIP: So when a new blog post is written, hover over each link to ensure there is not a trailing slash error (or other link issue).

Audit URL in Online Directories

Auditing your URL in online directories is important because it ensures that your business information is accurate and consistent across different platforms. Inaccurate or inconsistent information, such as variations in your URL or contact information, can hurt your online presence and negatively impact your search engine rankings.

For example, using “” in one listing and “” in another.

This is because search engines rely on accurate and consistent information to provide relevant search results to users. Additionally, having inconsistent information can confuse potential customers, leading to lost business opportunities.

By auditing your URL in online directories and correcting any discrepancies, you can improve your online visibility and increase the likelihood of attracting new customers.

TIP: Hover over the link to see the address. If you just click, you may be redirected to the right address but this still hasn’t corrected if the URL is wrong.

TIP to save time and effort: When your checking your website URL an online directory, go ahead and check your NAP at the same time. Remember to know your exact URL and be consistent.

Identify & Correct Inaccuracies in Your URL

One last time: Seriously, I cannot stress this enough – know your correct website URL in its entirety! From the https all the way to the end.

It’s important to audit your URL’s regularly for many reasons; but most importantly, it’s to improve the usability and SEO of your website, and ensure accurate tracking and reporting of your website’s performance.

Note: It’s also important to audit internal links (to optimize your SEO) and also audit external links (for errors, authority, credibility, and opportunities).

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Hello, I’m Maryann (SEO Specialist & Digital Marketing Strategist).

Located in Smyrna, GA, serving clients worldwide.