Web developers are amazing. When it comes to building website tools and functionality, they do things that I can barely fathom. But let’s be honest: Web developers are not SEO experts. Their job is getting code to work based on some specifications they are given, but they don’t often think about what is best for the site from a search engine perspective.
I always recommend getting an SEO involved when building or designing a new web site. They can often provide details that web developers simply wouldn’t consider. One of those details is the site URLs.
Even though URLs are not a search engine ranking factor, they still play a role in providing signals to search engines and the visitors regarding the content of the page. A good URL structure can tell a reader what the page will be about before they even see it. Search engines use URLs in the search results that searchers use as a signal of a page’s relevance to their search. When websites use convoluted URLs, this important signal is lost.
Many ecommerce platforms, by default, use non-friendly URLs. Some of them will use a downright harmful URL structure that results in duplicate content issues on your site. It’s up to the developer to know this and to make the appropriate changes.
The best URLs mirror your site navigation and breadcrumb trails. Each URL should contain the category and sub-category that is used to navigate to the page. In the end, the URL should be readable to the human eye, giving clear indications as to where any given page fits into the site structure.
In the end, don’t take your developer’s word that the site is ready to launch. Let your SEO take a look to make sure the URL structure will help, rather than hurt your efforts.