What does URL mean and what constitutes a URL?

Hardly anyone knows what a Uniform Resource Locator is, whereas the term Internet address might ring a few bells. We explain what a URL is, what it consists of and how you can use it cleverly to navigate.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is commonly translated to Internet address. This is not exactly wrong. But the URL contains more than just the information on which server in the World Wide Web a webpage can be found.

What is a URL?

Even the short URL of a homepage contains a lot of information that is crucial for communication and data transfer between a client (generally the web browser) and a server. The user can also learn a lot about the content by looking at a URL without having to enter and call it up.

Our homepage URL


contains the following information, for example:

  • The data transfer protocol used (https)
  • The general localisation of the website (in the www)
  • The provider of the content (SISTRIX)
  • The origin or location of the provider (generic top-level domain .com)

Each HTML document of a website is given a unique URL, which ideally provides information about the content in addition to technical and localisation factors.

This requires so-called speaking URLs, which on the one hand depict the directory structure and on the other hand reflect the content with decisive keywords.

These speaking parts of the URL are called slugs. They are a ranking factor and therefore part of Onpage optimisation.

What do URLs consist of?

Slugs and speaking URLs have become increasingly important in recent years. Apart from the information in the Google SERPs or in the anchor texts of links, users want to know even before they click if the click is worth it – and if it is safe.

With an SEO-friendly URL, you can inspire, confirm and maintain this trust. An example:


Even if this URL length exceeds many recommendations, it says everything the user should know about the HTML document:

  • Data transfer is based on the encrypted https protocol.
  • The provider identifies itself as a company or as a provider.
  • The top-level domain shows that it is a generic top-level domain.
  • You can use the file path to track the directory in which the document can be found.
  • From this you can deduce whether the content generally meets your expectations.
  • The title of the document is specified in keywords that you can scan quickly.
  • Depending on the document or content type, you can also read the file format from the URL. Here it says nothing – it is a typical website in HTML format.

So if you are a user looking for a text about optimising title tags, the URL itself will tell you that you are in the wrong place. For information on mobile website options, however, you are in the right place.

This decision can also be made at higher directory level: “Ask SISTRIX” points to glossaries and information. Tools for Google optimisation are evidently found elsewhere.


The URL of a webpage is more than just an address. It is also a postal vehicle, postal employee, delivery note and, to a certain extent, the content of the delivery.

That is why it is worth taking a close look at the URL, especially for rather obscure links or web content. It is also worthwhile to proceed conscientiously and with the user in mind when creating the URL for a webpage.