A URL is the address of webpage (https://www.winona.edu for instance). People can see a webpage's URL in search results and in the address bar of their browser when they visit the webpage. 

When properly named, URLs help site searchability, navigation and audience comprehension. It also helps boost credibility when users can see and understand what a webpage is about before ever reaching it.

Expectations for URLs

1. URLs should incorporate keywords that directly reflect the meaning and purpose of the webpage.  

Put important keywords first without disturbing the meaning and intent of the webpage. Ultimately, URLs should always semantically make sense. 

2. Avoid numbers, dates, abbreviations, unnecessary jargon and nonsensical mash-up words 

Search engines struggle with indexing URLs that contain abbreviations and nonsensical words. Numbers and dates dilute the overall value of other keywords and the webpage will not be optimized as you update the content in the future.

Do: www.winona.edu/financial-aid

Don't: www.winona.edu/finaid 

Do: https://www.winona.edu/advising/registration-day.asp 

Don't: https://www.winona.edu/advising/2018-registration-day.asp

3. Use hyphens to separate up to 5 keywords in the URL. 

Do not use underscores, plus signs, periods, spaces or run words together. 

Hyphens help with readability for humans and signal keywords to search engine bots. 

However, too many hyphens and keywords make a URL are appear “spammy” and can hurt SEO efforts. Plus, it's easier for people remember or write down a shorter URL. 

4. Do not use case-sensitive names. All URLs should be lowercase. 

Uppercase letters in the URL cause difficulties in some browsers and users could receive a "Page Not Found" 404 error.