What’s a Permalink and Why You Should Care

seo friendly permalinks wordpress

What is a permalink? In the world of blogging, this is one of the most frequently asked questions.

A permalink is a permanent URL to an individual blog post or a page. It allows you to link back to that specific post from everywhere on the web.

Typically, it’s a full URL that includes the domain name and the title of the post or a page.

The last part of the permalink is called a slug.

The example, the permalink for this page is www.bigapplemedia.com/whats-permalink and the slug is “whats-permalink

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How to Change Permalink Naming Structure

The default setting for permalinks, when you first install WP, is not SEO friendly. If you don’t change default settings your permalinks will use ID naming system. So the post link will look be follow this naming structure: website.com/?p=123

This is why one of the first things you must do when setting up a WP website is to change the permalink structure.

To change, go to Administration Screens > Settings > Permalinks. Then select from the possible options. The most popular choice is Post Name.

What's a Permalink and Why You Should Care 1
Where in WP change Permalinks

After you change the Permalink structure, WP will use your title to create your URL. Often your title will contain words you might not want to include in your permalink. To change it and create a customized permalink you can update a post slug. Find the permalink option in the sidebar and change the slug part to whatever you feel is the most appropriate.

wordpress permalinks change

Permalink Best Practice for SEO

As you can tell /?p=123 is not a user-friendly way to name your URLs. Your permalinks should include keywords that explain the nature of your content. For example, by looking at this URL https://www.bigapplemedia.com/best-online-video-platforms, you can quickly figure out what this post is about.

Permalink Structure Naming Tips

There are a few guidelines you need to keep in mind when creating permalinks or slugs for your content.

  • Include the main keywords that you’re optimizing your content for
  • Keep it short. In Google SERP or search results, URLs get abbreviated, so the shorter, the better. If you take a look at ahrefs URL permalink structure, you’ll see all their link names are short and to the point. Ex: https://ahrefs.com/blog/repurposing-content.
  • Make sure the slug clearly describes what the content is about.
  • Use dashes (-) instead of underscore (_).
  • Get rid of unnecessary words (the, a, to, etc). They make URLs long and don’t help SEO.
  • You can include the year in the title of the post (Best Web Design Tools in 2022), but not inside the link URL. The title can be updated every year to increase the click-through rate, but you never want to change your permalink. Changing a slug and the URL of a post, without a proper redirect will greatly diminish your SEO score.

Permalinks SEO Tips

For SEO purposes, it’s essential to create proper permalinks.

They make your links more readable, and they help search engines like Google understand your site better.

One of the first things you look at when performing a web search is the URL of the page to determine if you want to click and learn more. Permalinks’ structure and good link naming convention can greatly increase your click-through rates.

This is why it’s critical to name your links correctly and set up SEO-friendly permalinks to maximize the effectiveness of your SEO.

When creating new content it’s important to use proper permalinks structure for both search engine indexation and usability of the website.

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