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In this post, I will discuss about the Permalink Structure of WordPress and How to create most SEO friendly Permalinks or URLs for your posts and pages in WordPress. One shouldn’t change permalink structure on weekly or monthly basis. So what is the right time, we’ll also have a discussion about it in this guide.
Whenever I discussed about SEO friendly settings for a WordPress blog, Permalink or URL structure comes first. Because permalinks play an important role to make your blog or website SEO friendly.
Here is no need to discuss about the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as you might have aware that more than 70% traffic on any popular blog or website derives from Search Engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo etc. Search Engines give high priority to permalinks of a website for indexing webpages. So if your website’s Permalink Structure is SEO friendly, your chance to get a better position in search engine results also increases.
WordPress default Permalink Structure look like this http://yourdomain.com/?p=123. This default URL is not the most SEO friendly and it is not user friendly also. You can change a default Permalink Structure from available options in WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks, as shown in the below picture.
Now the question is, which is the most SEO friendly Permalink Structure. And how and when you should change your website’s Permalink or URL Structure? Let’s start with basics.
# What is a Permalink Structure?
The unique and permanent URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of your blog posts or your website pages is known as Permalinks. These URLs or Permalinks used as a web address of a particular webpage.
According to WordPress,
[themify_quote]Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts, as well as categories and other lists of weblog postings. A permalink is what another web blogger will use to link to your article (or section), or how you might send a link to your story in an e-mail message. The URL to each post should be permanent, and never change — hence permalink.[/themify_quote]
# Which is the Most SEO friendly Permalink Structure?
Above, I discussed about the default and available Permalink structure options in WordPress. Your SEO friendly Permalink could be
- A simply URL, only your Blog Post Name in a Permalink. It can be easily searched by search engines. And can also easily be remembered by users and it also gives a proper message to visitors about a particular article. WordPress SEO always recommends to include your article keywords in your post permalink. Your Most SEO friendly Permalink Structure should be look like this –
- You can also include category before Post title and it should look like –
- If you publish current news about anything on your website or blog, according to Google guidelines about publishing news articles, you should include a 3 digit unique page_id in the end of your permalink and it should be look like –
yourdomain.com/category/Your-Blog-Post-Name-123 or yourdomain.com/Your-Blog-Post-Name-123
You might have read somewhere to add category in permalinks, which is also a good practice and you can find many bloggers (including me) are doing this way. But I personally recommend to have a simple permalink with only blog post name. I opt only blog post name for my other blog TrulyBlogger.
You should not use date or time in your permalink, why? Simply you cannot republish (spin) your post again. If you do so, it will show the same Permalink with old date or time. And visitors can easily see that this article is 3 years old. And believe me, in most of the cases visitors jump to another page because nobody is interested in a 3 years old article.
Following Tags can be used to customize your websites Permalink Structure.
- %year% – Year of your post, 4 digits. For example 2014
- %monthnum% – Month of the year. For example 10
- %day% – Day of the month. For example 20
- %hour% – Hour of the day. For example 12
- %minute% – Minute of the hour. For example 51
- %second% – Second of the minute. For example 45
- %post_id% – The unique ID # of the post. For example 111
- %postname% – The title of the post. For example “What is SEO friendly Permalink?” becomes what-is-a-seo-friendly-permalink.
- %category% – The name of category. For example SEO
- %author% – Name of the author. For example James
Finalize tags for your SEO friendly Permalink Structure and Paste it into the custom field option available in WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks as shown below and hit Save Changes. Once you choose your Permalink structure, WordPress automatically generates your .htaccess file in the root directory.
As I said earlier that Permalinks are the unique and permanent URLs of your blog post. You should select your SEO friendly Permalink Structure right before publishing your first blog post. If you change your Permalink Structure after publishing your post, it’ll affect your web pages indexing build by search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. In any case if you have to change your permalink structure, make sure that you have setup a 301 redirection from old permalink to new permalink using your .htaccess file.
Hope you find this post informative, which Permalink Structure you find Most SEO friendly or which structure you are using? Do share your views, queries or new ideas in the comment section. Share this post with your friends because Sharing is Caring.