A URL parameters is typically found after the question mark (?) and is used to pass data along with the URL. These can either be active parameters that modify the page content or passive parameters that are mostly used for tracking. Originally built to help display more personalized content, webmasters also use query strings to track click-throughs, views, and referrers for links using query strings as URLs.

What is a URL Parameters ?

A URL parameter is a piece of data passed along with a URL. This data can be used to modify a web page’s content or for tracking purposes. URL parameters are typically separated by a question mark (?) and are placed after the main URL. 

For example, if you wanted to track the number of times a particular page was accessed, you could add a parameter to the end of the URL to keep track of this information. Then, when viewing the URL in your browser, you will see a value next to ?number=6. If there were no such parameter on the URL, then there would not be any value shown at all.

Active and Passive Parameters

Active parameters modify page content, such as when a user clicks on a link or submits a form. On the other hand, Passive parameters are mainly used for tracking purposes and don’t change the page’s content. For example, you can use URL parameters to track how users arrived at your site (referrer), what link they clicked on, what search terms they used, etc. 

How Do You Decide Which Type of Parameter is Best? 

There’s no hard-and-fast rule, but it’s often easier to keep track of passive parameters because they’re always present in the URL. In contrast, active parameters must be added manually by the visitor each time.

What does this mean for SEO?

Regarding SEO, query strings can be used for many things. For example, you can use them to track the source of your traffic, which can be helpful for understanding which marketing campaigns are driving the most conversions. You can also use them to segment your traffic and customize your content accordingly. In short, query strings offer a lot of potential for optimizing your web pages for users and search engines. 

Adding Query Strings To Your URLs

Query strings are typically used to track data but also be used to modify page content. To use query strings, you must add a question mark (?) To your URL. After the question mark, you can then add a parameter and value. You can add multiple parameters by separating them with an ampersand (&). 

Regarding tracking data, there are three main ways we can gather information:

  • Referrer (where visitors came from).
  • Landing Page (the webpage that visitors landed on).
  • Source Type.

If we wanted to find out where our visitors came from and which website they were on before coming to our site, we would use two parameters separated by an ampersand:? Referrer=Facebook&SourceType=Referral.

Tips for Best Practices

  1. Keep it short and sweet – don’t try to stuff too much information into your URL parameters.
  2. Ensure your parameters are relevant to your page content – this will help ensure a better user experience.
  3. Use descriptive parameter names – this will make it easier for you and your users to understand what data is being passed.
  4. Avoid using special characters – these can cause problems when processing the data. Watch out for character limits – some web browsers limit how many characters they will allow in a URL, so be careful not to exceed those limits! 
  5. Stick with lowercase letters, numbers, and dashes (-) – these should work in most cases. 
  6. Don’t use underscores (_) or periods (.) – they could be interpreted as different letters by some browsers.

Wrapping Up

By understanding how to use URL parameters, you can make your web pages more dynamic and engaging. URL parameters are a great way to get more out of your web pages. Using them lets you track data and ensure that your pages display the correct content. If you’re unsure how to do it, feel free to connect with SWSOFTTECH. We’ll be happy to help you get started.