WordPress permalink structures affect your website’s Google rankings very much. This is a very important part of website optimization. It is also a Google ranking factor as well. Therefore it is very important to make permalink structure SEO friendly.
This article will tell you which is the best permalink structure for SEO and how to create SEO-friendly permalink.
What is the WordPress Permalink Structure
Permalink is the web address of your Page and Post, and it never changes.
Users type these permalinks in browser to see your page, and other websites use permalink to link to your website. Even when Google crawls your content, uses permalinks to understand what the content is about.
When you install WordPress for the first time, it is very important to choose the right Permalink Structure. By default, WordPress offers such permalinks,
This permalink structure is not SEO friendly and does not tell about what your content is about. If you are using this permalink on your site, then here is a guide – How to Change WordPress Permalink Structure [Without Affect SEO]
Best Permalink Structure for SEO
Use ‘Post Name’ Permalink Structure.
WordPress allows you to choose permalinks structure according to your needs. It comes with 6 different URL structure. I will recommend you to use the ‘Post Name’ Permalink Structure. Because it is a best permalink structure for SEO.
- Plain – This is the default permalink. For example – http://domain-name.com/?p=123 This type of permalink should never be used. Because it is not SEO friendly and can not tell what your content is about.
- Day and name – Adds year/month/date to your URL. For example – http://domain-name.com/2016/01.01/sample-post. This type of permalink is perfect for news articles.
- Month and name – This is similar to the above structure. Just does not have a date in it. For example – http://domain-name.com/2016/01/sample-post. This permalink uses Blogger.com. This is perfect for tech and news blogs.
- Numeric – This permalink is also not SEO friendly because it does not contain keywords and can not tell the user or Google what the post is about. For example – http://domain-name.com/archives/123
- Post name – This uses the name of your post. For example – http://domain-name.com/sample-post This is a Best SEO friendly URL structure and can tell search engines and users what your post is about.
- Custom Structure – This permalink allows you to create your own structure. Here you can use different tag post name, category, tag, year, month, date etc.
Creating WordPress Custom Permalinks
WordPress provides 10 different structure tags for creating custom permalinks.
- % postname% – This is the slug of your post.
- % post_id% – This is the unique ID of your post.
- % category% – The main category of your post.
- %year% – Shows the year of the post. It helps in determining the year a particular post was published.
- %monthnum% – the month in which the post was published.
- % day% – The date on which a post was published.
- % author% – This helps identify the author of the post. This is useful for multi-author, magazine etc.
You can create your own Custom Permalinks using any tag combination.
Keep one thing in mind, when you create your own custom permalinks, use % postname%. This is a very important tag.
How to Make SEO Friendly Permalink
Your permalink is very important from SEO’s perspective. Keep it simple and readable.
1. Use your keyword in Permalink
When you use keywords in your permalink, it helps Google and other search engines understand what your topic is.
This helps you get a good rank in search results.
For example, if your blog post is about ‘WordPress SEO Tips’, then your permalink will be – https://yourdomain.com/wordpress-seo-tips
2. Create Your Own Slug (Post URL)
By default, WordPress automatically creates a slug for your post or page, which is sometimes quite big and ugly. I will recommend you to make your own slug.
3. Use Hyphens (-) in Permalink
Use Hyphens (-) to Separate Words in Permalink. Otherwise, search engines and users will not understand your page topic.
Instead of this:
4. Do not use Date in Permalink
If you are running a blog, do not use dates in permalinks.
Suppose you have written an evergreen content that is 5 years old and contains a date, very few people will click on your post.
5. Do not use Categories in Permalink
Categories are additional words in your permalink that many bloggers or website owners add to their permalinks.
Many bloggers believe that it is good to use Categories in Permalink. It helps search engines better understand your site.
But Categories make your permalink longer. And in some cases may cause duplicate content – when you publish a content with different categories.
6. Try to keep your permalink short
Keep your permalink short, as much as possible. Shorter URLs are better from an SEO perspective.
Moz recommends keeping URL under 100 characters, but according to Backlinko keep the URL as short as possible.
7. Remove ‘Stop Words’ from Your Permalink
As I said before, The shorter the URL, the better from an SEO. So you can make your permalink shorter by removing ‘Stop Words’ from your permalink.
Also, these words do not help search engines to understand your content topic.
8. Remove ‘WWW’ from your permalink
It does not provide any SEO value to your website and makes your URL longer. Here’s a guide on Yoast – How to remove www from your URL
However, you can ignore this point if you think that removing ‘WWW’ with permalink can be very difficult for you.
In this post, I told you how to create the best permalink structure for SEO.
Permalink is the most important part of your site and is an important Google Ranking Factor. So you can not ignore them. Before you customize your site and start writing articles on it, first defines your WordPress permalinks structure.
Again, use simple and clear permalink structure for your site.
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