When you think of SEO, what do you think of?
“Permalink” may not be the first thing or the second thing, or even the tenth thing.
However, the fact is that permalinks and Search Engine Optimization There is much more in common than you realize, and-if done correctly-can play an important role in improving website rankings. Fortunately, they are also easy to master.
Let’s dive into how permalinks work, how to create them, and set them up on WordPress.
Let’s break down the permalink of this article.
You first have Your domain name (In some cases there are subdomains) This is where your website is located. Followed by the path, indicating the location of the page. In this example, the article is under the “Marketing” category.
The last part of your URL is Slug – An important part of permalinks is vital to SEO because it tells search engines how to index your website.
Each component creates a permanent link to a specific page on your website, which is unlikely to change, so the name is “permanent.”
When you customize the URL without using a permanent link, you will get a random ID. The problem is that it is not attractive to website visitors and it is not optimized for search engines.
Suppose you are write a blog About sponsored tweets and their value. Do you want the URL to look like this:
Or like this:
It should be the first one, right?
A great slug should include the keywords in the post. Take our example above: “Guide to Sponsored Tweets”.
From this permalink, readers (and Google) know that the page contains guidelines for sponsored tweets and targets the keyword “sponsored tweets.” This makes it easier for readers to find and share your content.
In addition, Use keywords Having a high monthly search volume (MSV) in your slug can help you improve your ranking.
What is the difference between permalink and URL?
The URL is the web address that directs the web browser to the location of the page or file. It can contain only the domain name, or it can contain the path, slug, and other information, depending on the page you are visiting.
On the other hand, permalink refers to a specific URL structure, which is a popular tool for bloggers for sharing and SEO purposes. Although every permanent link is a URL, not every URL is a permanent link.
Best permalink structure
There are many permalink structures to choose from, please consider your content and your audience to determine which format is most effective.
For example, news sites can benefit a lot from slugs that include dates and headlines.This allows readers to quickly understand through scanning what This article is about and When It is written.
On the other hand, if the blog you manage prioritizes evergreen content and the page is constantly updated, you may want to avoid including any dates in the title.
This can signal to readers that your content is old and therefore irrelevant. Instead, there is a simple slug that only contains the title of your article.
In the long run, this is all about using a structure that will benefit you (and your users). Once the permalink structure is determined, it can be set in the CMS.
How to make a permanent link
To make a permanent link, all you need is:
- Your domain name
- Your slug
- Your path (if you have multiple topic categories and want to organize your content)
Then, when deciding on the permalink structure, there are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Keep it short – Avoid articles such as “the”, “a”, and “an” and create a short version of the title. For example: if your article title is “How to create an Instagram story”, your slug can simply be /Instagram-story.
- Include your main keywords -Optimize your slug by including keywords. Make sure that the keywords you use are directly related to the content on the page.
Now, in terms of where you create the permalink, this is usually on your CMS. The ideal time to set up a permalink structure is shortly after the website is developed, but before any posts are published. However, you can also do this at any time.
If you decide to change the old URL to reflect your new structure, be sure to update all backlinks or set up redirects for these pages.
Therefore, you may want to know how to optimize permalinks in WordPress. We will talk about it next.
Use permalinks in WordPress
When you create a post in WordPress, permalinks will not be optimized unless you have already set up the structure. Otherwise, it will look like a random ID.
You can find the permalink on the page post when editing, as shown in the example below.
Changing the permalink is a fairly simple process, you don’t need to install plugins. You can choose from several structures or customize your own structure.
This point will be described in detail in the next section.
How to change the permalink in WordPress
- Open “Settings” and click “Permalink”.
- Select the permalink structure option.
- Consider creating a custom permalink structure.
1. Open “Settings” and click “Permalink”.
The first step in building a permanent link is to open the “Settings” section of the WordPress dashboard. This should bring you to a list of options with various subtitles.
After clicking this option, you will be taken to a screen with a variety of options to choose from. Based on your preferences for how you want to archive and search for posts, you can choose the post that best meets your goals.
2. Select the permalink structure option.
Here are the different options you will have and their implications:
- default — If you are looking for the maximum SEO value, please avoid this default option. This is a postal identification number and there is no other information.
- Date and name — This option sets slug to the date the post went live and the name of the post. A good reason to use it is if you have multiple posts with the same name, but want the distinguishing character to be the publication date.
- Month and name — Same as the previous option, this time the month is displayed. If you have a monthly column, such as “Favorites” or “Best”, this is a good choice.
- digital — Numbers are another option that can be safely ignored, because this structure is all numbers and provides little SEO value. If you archive posts digitally, as a way to review and view previous posts, then numbers are your choice.
- position Name — Choosing this route is a good method for SEO, but not the best method, because Google likes to strictly focus on keywords when ranking posts.
Next, learn more about the “Custom Structure” option.
3. Consider creating a custom permalink structure.
If you are not too interested in the structure provided by WordPress, you can create your own permalink structure within a few minutes.
You will create a formula for the permalink structure, and it will follow the formula every time you post a post.
For example, suppose you have a lifestyle blog and a travel category (i.e. path) where you can post information about your recent vacation.
If you want to set the structure to a category followed by the year and the name of the post, you can enter the following in the box:
Each custom structure is separated by a backslash, and each label starts with a percent sign.
You can find all available structure tag options on WordPress Here.
When creating permalinks, the main thing to remember is to focus on SEO (i.e. keywords) and user experience. They are the virtual key (pun intended) to ensure that the people you want to contact find your content.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated to be comprehensive.