A permalink is the URL of a given page. As such, it serves as a unique identifier of pages and posts on your website. Actually, it’s an important part of your website. The question now is, how can you create search engine friendly permalinks in WordPress?
The good news is that creating search engine friendly permalinks is no big deal and can be accomplished very easily. The bad news is that, much like anything else related to SEO, permalinks too have been misread and there is a lot of wrong information related to search engine friendly permalinks.
In this article, we’re going to learn how to create search engine friendly permalinks in WordPress.
Permalinks: Making them Ready for SEO
First things first, there is no rocket science involved as far as search engine friendly permalinks are concerned. You can easily create good-looking and SEO-ready permalinks in WordPress for your posts and pages.
Essentially, creating search engine friendly permalinks in WordPress requires a four-fold approach. Let us discuss each aspect in detail.
There are two broad types of permalinks. First type includes this: www.example.com/?242fref
And the second type of permalinks includes this: www.example.com/clean-url
Naturally, the second type of permalink structure is more readable and easy to understand. You should use only this clean structure of permalinks wherever possible, especially for your posts and pages as well as any custom post types that your site might have.
The advantages of clean URLs are:
- Easy to read and comprehend
- Better to look at
- Search engines tend to look for a key term in permalinks. Clean URLs let you add that key term in the permalink itself.
A meaningful permalink is one that carries some level of meaning related to the content of the concerned page.
For example, let us say we have a post about health benefits of coffee on our blog. A meaningful permalink would be something like example.com/coffee-health-benefits
WordPress, by default, does not offer meaningful permalinks. You need to head over to Settings → Permalinks and change the URL structure to either post name or custom and then specify the required permalink structure. Using numeric permalinks such as example.com/123 is not very helpful as far as the meaning of the URL is concerned.
Once again, the obvious advantage of having meaningful permalinks is that you can place the concerned key term in the URL itself. This will help you do better in terms of SEO.
Using Keywords in Permalinks
For every post or page on your site, you should have a keyword or phrase that you need to target in your content. This makes for better search engine optimization. SEO plugins such as Yoast SEO let you compare and improve your content on the basis of your target keyword.
Once you have finalized your content and the target keyword, make sure you include the target keyword in the URL. While this no longer has a very direct search engine benefit, it is still worth noting that the URL is often the second thing that people notice about any given web page (right after the title) and therefore, you should always have the target keyword mentioned therein.
Your URLs should never be too long. In other words, shorter permalinks not only look better but they are also easier to share by means of copy and paste and other social channels.
As a result, you should try avoiding unwanted details in your permalinks. Adding the names of categories or tags or even the date and month is not always useful. For blogs or daily update sites, the date, month or year in the permalink makes sense. But for all other sites, you should simply go with just the post name.
As you can see, creating search engine friendly permalinks in WordPress is not a very difficult task. All you need is some planning.
To help you recap, here is a quick run-down of the tips mentioned above:
- Use short permalinks.
- Use readable and meaningful permalinks.
- Use clean URLs only.
- Make sure you have the target keyword somewhere in your permalink.
Do you have any strategy of your own to implement search engine friendly permalinks? Share it with the world using the comments below!