How to make your WordPress Permalink structure SEO friendly
When considering important aspects of the SEO of any site, the permalink plays major role in overall optimization. A permalink is a permanent link of your page and posts, and it doesn’t change with time.
By default, WordPress offers permalinks like this:
What is a permalink?
A permalink is the web address of your posts and pages of your site.
The permalink structure used when you first install WordPress:
This is the default permalink structure which is not very helpful and not SEO friendly. New bloggers just use the default permalinks without knowing that the default links are actually neither SEO friendly nor user friendly.
It’s important to know how to make your WordPress Permalink structure SEO friendly. Setting your permalink structure correctly not only helps with your SEO but click through rates on your posts and pages within your website.
Recommended permalink structure for SEO
The best thing you can do is to put descriptive words including your keyword in your post URL permalink.
You can find various permalink settings under WordPress
Dashboard > Settings > Permalink
A few suggested permalink structures are:
The suggested permalink structure for a WordPress blog is your Post title. Post title permalinks give the user an idea about what the post is actually about.
Another permalink method which I highly recommend avoiding is that of using numeric in your permalink. Numeric is as good as default and doesn’t help search engines or users.
If you have a News website and publishing a lot of dated material, then you can go for Day and Name/Month and Name URL structures.
Many bloggers recommend using Category in a permalink which is also fine, but only when your Category name is short and meaningful, and you are not using multiple categories/posts. It’s not the best option because depending on your indexing settings, it may lead to duplicate content on your WordPress blog.
Permalink SEO tips:
Use simple permalinks (domain.com/postname)
Prefer dashes over underscores (Source)
Use your keyword in your permalink
Remove words like “is’’ or “are’’ from permalinks.
NOTE: Never change permalinks after publishing, and if you do so for some reason set up a 301 redirection from the old URL to the new URL using .htaccess.
If you have a huge site then avoid changing your permalinks unless it is completely unavoidable because such changes can have negative impact on your site traffic.
For some reasons if you change the permalink structure of your existing site then make sure that you set up some redirection for your original links to so that they are redirected to the new links to the new names.
For 301 redirection you can use two plugins Redirection or Advanced Permalinks for WordPress.
WWW or non WWW in the URL?
There are no SEO advantages of choosing one over another. Even Google has said that it’s just a personal preference that’s it.
When you add www, it acts as a hostname which can help with flexibility with DNS, ability to restrict cookies when using multiple subdomains, and more.
Whereas non-WWW domains also referred as naked domains do not have a technical advantage.
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