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What Are Permalinks in WordPress? How To Optimize Them For SEO

In this article, we will discuss about permalink and how to optimize search engine friendly permalink for wordpress sites. Why is the default permalink of WordPress so unfriendly to SEO? First, go into the concept.

wordpress permalinks guide

What is a permalink?

Permalink is a link of any post, or page, or directory of your site. For example, here is the permalink of this article:

https://flashreviewz.com/optimize-permalink/

Or say the other, permalink is the link that people have to click, or type in the browser bar to be able to reach your site.

Permalink of WordPress

1. Default Permalink and URLs structure options of wordpress

After installing WordPress, you can go to Setting => Permalinks to set the permalink for your website, you will see the following:

In this case, I’m selecting the permalink with the postname structure. Why I choose this structure? I will say later. Now I will explain to you the meaning of each structure:

  • Plains: https://flashreviewz.com/?p=123 – The permalink extension will be the id of the article. This is the default permalink after installing WordPress.
  • Day and name: https://flashreviewz.com/2018/11/05/sample-post/ – The permalink extension will include the date, Month, Year of the post and the post title
  • Month and name: https://flashreviewz.com/2018/11/sample-post/ – The permalink extension will include the Month, Year of the post and the post title
  • Numeric: https://flashreviewz.com/archives/123 – The permalink will be the id of the article, but it has included archives in front
  • Post name: https://flashreviewz.com/sample-post/ – The permalink extension will include the article name.
  • Custom Structure: 

For example: I have an article “Best ways to make money online“. If I choose the corresponding permalink structure as above then the article permalink would look like:

  • Plain: https://flashreviewz.com/?p=6085 (Because the ID of this post is 6085)
  • Day and name: https://flashreviewz.com/2018/06/09/Best-ways-to-make-money-online/ (This article was posted on 09/06/2018)
  • Month and name: https://flashreviewz.com/2018/06/Best-ways-to-make-money-online/
  • Numeric: https://flashreviewz.com/archives/6085
  • Post name: https://flashreviewz.com/Best-ways-to-make-money-online/

2. Customize your Permalink for WordPress

At the bottom of the permalink installation interface, you can see a custom section of the structure of the permalink (custom structure). Here you can customize your permalink based on the preprogrammed WordPress structure tag, including:

  • %post_id%: post ID, each post has a unique ID
  • %postname%: The name of the post with dashes instead of spaces. For example with my article Best ways to make money online, the %postname% will be Best-ways-to-make-money-online
  • %category%: Same as above but apply with the name of the category
  • %author%: name of the author
  • %year%: the year of post publication. Including 4 characters, for example 2018
  • %monthnum%: the month of post publication. Including 2 characters, for example 11
  • %day%: Date of publication of the article. Including 2 characters, for example 05
  • %hour%: The Hour of publication of the article. Including 2 characters, for example 35
  • %minute%: The Minute of publication of the article. Including 2 characters, for example 26
  • %second%: The second of publication of the article. Including 2 characters, for example 26

For example, If I set this permalink for my post: https://flashreviewz.com/%year%-%monthnum%-%day%/%postname%/ then The permalink will look like this: https://flashreviewz.com/2018-06-09/Best-ways-to-make-money-online/

Or If I set this structure: https://flashreviewz.com/%category%/%author%/%post_id%/%postname%/ then the permalink will look like this: https://flashreviewz.com/blog/david-vu/6085/Best-ways-to-make-money-online/

So with this customization, you can set permalink for your website in any style you like. However, the installation of permalink also affect SEO, so you will have to choose the most effective way.

Optimize Permalink For SEO

1. Tips from Google

In the official document released by google, they have said: “The permalink structure of an article containing keywords will make it easier to crawl. Too Long URLs can be confusing and unfriendly to both users and search engines.”

  • Put focus keyword into permalink
  • Use shorter URLs

2. The most common Permalink structure

Based on the advice from google, you will surely recognize the permalink structure Post name will be most popular and is recommended to use.

Take a look at the URL: https://flashreviewz.com/Best-ways-to-make-money-online/

You will see this structure qualify to become user-friendly and search engine friendly. If you look closely you will see most sites use this structure. However, there are two other types of permalink that many people like to use.

The first is /% category%/% postname%/. For example: Neil patel’s blog is using this structure:

https://neilpatel.com/blog/permalink-seo/

The second type is Day and name, which contains the date, month, year, and then the name of the article. You can refer to Jon Loomer’s blog about Facebook Marketing:

https://www.jonloomer.com/2018/08/29/facebook-location-targeting/

3. Some other tips

Determin the permalink structure as soon as you start building your website. I recommend to choose post name type.

However, if you’ve been blogging for a while, you might not want to make any drastic decisions, such as changing the URL. This will often take the effect of the banklinks you have built from other sites or social media.

This has a negative impact on your article rankings as well as your web site rankings.

But in case Changing url is required and really needed, you’ll need to create 301 redirects to make sure that your old content is directed to the proper URL.

And despite what you may have heard, 301 redirects do not lose page rank.

That means you can set up your 301 redirects with a service like Pretty Links without risking your hard-won ranking.

Conclusion

Setting up  permalink is a very easy and basic process when you have just installed a WordPress website, but it has a great influence on SEO and is long term, difficult to change later… So please apply the knowledge in this article to your site today!

 

About David Vu

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