Ranking on the first page of Google requires both effort and time.
With each moment passing, it seems there are more other elements to add than ever to let webmasters consider your website and help it rank on the front page.
But algorithms are continuously updating and changing. Hence, you can always consider new SEO elements to improve your rankings and climb on the first page.
Among varieties of elements, one highly important element is Permalink.
It is an integral part of a site, which is vital to gain higher SEO rankings. It is therefore worth investing time in this, and hence, in this post, we discuss the best WordPress permalink structure.
What is WordPress Permalink Structure?
Permalink in WordPress implies a unique URL linked to pages, posts, and other aspects of the website. To understand what WordPress permalinks mean, first, you need to understand what exactly permalinks are.
An efficient URL structure simplifies the procedure a user takes for reaching the web page that a particular URL is assigned to. A good permalink must possess the following components.
- It must be simple to spell.
- It must be simple to remember.
- It must be short and concise.
- It must be easy to type.
- It must be consistent, which means never change.
Remember, URLs and permalinks are not the same things. A permalink is a permanent or consistent visual label used to determine a location online. It always remains the same. On the other hand, a URL is a visual label that helps to identify a location online. The URL is subject to alter.
It is vital that your permalink must make sense and must be related to and helps to identify the content on the webpage.
How Do Permalinks look in WordPress?
Considering how permalinks look in WordPress will offer you a clear understanding of the significance permalinks can impart in the website’s structure. It allows users to know that they are seeing the right page.
Also, permalinks help organize the content based on the permalink structure used. Usually, permalinks in WordPress look like or have the following structure.
It is a plain permalink structure that uses the value in the post or numeric form assigned to the post in the WordPress database. The same is assigned to the permalink. This is a limitation of this kind of permalink structure.
Though it is short and concise, it is not simple to spell. Even, it is not convenient to type or remember. Moreover, it has nothing to do with the content in the post and can be utilized to identify the same.
Another kind of permalink structure in WordPress you may see is:
This permalink structure is called by WordPress as the Day and Name permalink. It is because this structure includes the day, year, and month to the permalink and to the post’s title.
The issue with this permalink is that it is illegible. Moreover, the content for SEO must be evergreen and by mentioning the date to it Google and users know how old your post is.
The other WordPress permalinks are:
- Numeric – It uses a slug/archive and adds a numeric ID to the post.
- Name and Month – It is the same as the Name and Day but does not include the day.
- Custom Structure – It uses a custom structure.
- Post Name – It uses the post title.
Tips for Best WordPress Permalink Structure
Use Hyphens in Permalink:
Separate your permalink words using hyphens. If it is jumbled up, the users and search engines will not understand what your page is all about.
Hence, make sure you use hyphens adequately to separate each word in your permalink.
Avoid Using ‘Stop’ Words in the Permalink:
Words like before, any, which, at, and more are considered stop words. These words are not supportive to search engines regarding content on your website. Using such words in the permalink is a waste of important space.
Hence, avoid using stop words and use the space for vital keywords.
Don’t Create Categories in the Permalink:
The categories are additional sections, which some people add to the URLs. Categories can hold some value. Categories allow adding more keywords to URL and help humans and search engines understand how the website is organized.
But categories make permalinks long and can also make the permalink look tidier.
Maintain a Consistent Structure:
It is quite difficult to properly structure the URLs.
Already, we have discussed some options for permalink in WordPress. But how can you know which one is the best for your SEO?
According to Matt Cutts from Google, selecting one structure over the other will not correlate or directly influence SEO. Even, the URL structure is more a consideration of the user interface.
The finest way to create a structure for the URL is to consider treating it like, you would create your website architecture.
While building the website architecture, your focus is on creating a natural information flow for the users. The focus must be users must be able to find easily what they are looking for.
This means creating links hierarchy that follows the same format to the architecture.
When building a hierarchy you must do what works best for the users. Hence, it is best to create a universal structure.
It is because if your website holds non-optimized permalinks and poor architecture, it could appear jumbled up. The permalink structure and information architecture on the website must be clean and simple to understand. This way, it is easier for users and search engines to understand your website better.
Moreover, you can merge the permalink with the architecture of your website in order to create an in-depth content structure, which enables every bit of the website to flourish.
Create a URL Rich with Keywords:
Once you have identified your permalink’s URL structure, you must incorporate keywords in the URL to improve SEO.
It is almost similar to using keywords in the product pages or blogs. The permalinks let Google understand your page’s content.
Hence, it is a great idea to utilize the keyword in the permalink.
By creating a consistent strategy for a keyword in the URLs, you get higher chances of gaining long-term benefits.
So, how you figure out keywords that can bring SEO benefits through permalinks?
The best way is to use an efficient tool such as SEMrush to find the search volume statistics for different keywords.
Simply, you need to enter the main keyword or your product and you will be navigated to the dashboard where similar phrases or matching keywords are mentioned along with their respective search volume on a monthly basis.
Also, you can generate a report and by clicking on it you avail an in-depth analysis for the keyword options.
The list obtained can also be used to create a unique keywords strategy. Do multiple searches again to find some keywords in the search. Make sure you include low competition and long-tail keywords.
You can even purchase a URL with a specific keyword you intend to rank for. Once the top keyword is selected for which you wish to rank for, go to Google Domains and check the URL.
When you intend to buy this URL, it signals Google and visitors about the content on your website. Create an exact matching URL to stay in a better position to surpass others and maintain a highly qualitative website.
With exact matching URLs it is possible to gain better rankings for less optimized websites. Though you will not witness immediate results, your URL can offer a slight edge with the correct conditions.
Even if you don’t utilize a URL that exactly matches, finding the correct keywords to include in the permalink will help you gain ranking for more keywords and gain organic growth. This way, you can create more memorable URLs and you can always target keywords included in your website’s page.
Use Short and Concise URLs:
When you are fine-tuning the permalink structure, you must aim to utilize a concise and short URL structure to boost your SEO.
The average URL number is only 59 characters. Though it is not much big space, it can generate a huge impact on SEO.
Your brand queries, event updates, and other such instances will always be available where visitors can remember about your full URL. So, if your URL is short, the number of users is more likely to come back or share the URL.
However, make sure you use the correct practices while shortening the URL.
One great way is to use a tool like Bitly. It is a popular tool to shorten the URL, which helps track clicks on social media or sites by altering the URL to a character-count and user-friendly version.
Hence, consider utilizing a shorter URL structure like the post name option within the WordPress settings. This emphasizes keyword on the search engine you are trying to rank for and it helps you achieve the goal of a concise URL.
You Don’t Require a .com or .www:
Surprisingly, the common tag that people use for a site is not necessary for permalink.
It implies you can consider buying something than the www or .com version of the domain. Whether or not you use the www extension, it is totally up to you. Just make sure you must be consistent throughout.
All this depends on what you set as the preferred domain in the Google Search Console.
Simply, select the website settings option on the dashboard.
After this, you may decide the preferred domain for your website to exclude or include www.
Then the www extension can be removed from WordPress’s general settings to ensure everything remains consistent.
When this is done, it signals Google that it must prioritize and showcase the website without www extension. It is a great way to shorten the URL and optimize the overall user experience.
Avoid using the domain or www that does not use the traditional .com. This will keep the URL shorter. Also, you can tap into keywords, which are convenient to remember for the audience.
Avoid Including Dates:
Most SEO experts believe that including dates in the URL is of not much help to start with. Just remember that it is on old content, which had been offering steady traffic rates for years.
By including a date, users are able to find a way that they consider more up-to-date and relevant content. It is because the people here look for updated posts that can impact the organic traffic as well as bounce rate in the long-run. By keeping the data out from the permalink structure is helpful in ranking higher and gain higher organic traffic.
However, if you still want to incorporate a date, publish the same only in the actual post. Moreover, make sure you update the date on a regular basis to keep your content relevant and fresh to the audience.
No matter what kind of website you have, using HTTPS is always a good idea. It is a protocol of using an SSL certificate, which offers web users complete peace of mind as they are sure that the website is secured.
It is of great help in permalink SEO as it encourages users to gain trust on your website.
In April 2017, there was an announcement made by Google that it would improve the alert system for Chrome browser on websites that use only the HTTP protocol. They designed visible notices to warn users about their online safety and security of their sensitive information.
Hence, whenever a red color signal pop-ups in the URL, they are likely to share less personal details with you. It implies rather than interacting with the website, sharing credit card or contact information can make it bounce.
Ultimately, it will hurt your website SEO. Therefore, it is wise to take some more effort and use HTTPS on the website. By using an intricate system of verifications and checks, the SSL certificates are distributed, which keep the business and customers safe.
Your website URLs can create a lasting and direct impact on the website’s SEO. Permalinks may not be a priority in your SEO, but they are highly important. Just follow the above-mentioned tips and create the best WordPress permalink structure to hold a well-rounded SEO strategy.