The default setting of WordPress permalinks is not the “most strategic” for proper positioning on search engines (SEO).
WordPress Permalinks Seo, also called Friendly URLs or Pretty URLs, are not a difficult concept, but for those who are novice there is the need of an explanation.
In This article I will explain how to make the most of the WordPress permalinks for making your URLs “friendly”, both to the search engines (SEO) and to the users of your site.
Why edit WordPress permalinks?
When you create your website you have to think about the structure you want to give to the organization of content.
This is crucial for you (to find the content you work with easily) and for your users, so that they can navigate your site and take a look at the URL to understand exactly where they are.
Important and also know that, having a pretty URL, makes the address of your article much easier to remember and share among users.
To figure it out at sight, here’s how they present WordPress custom permalinks by default:
And here’s how, by setting the permalinks, we can change the same URL:
Both lead to the same article, but without a shadow of a doubt the second provides additional details to the user, useful both at the information level and to be stored with more facilitates.
It is essential to say that in the URL you must try to target the keywords, the keyword, so you want to be proposed by the search engines.
Think that in the SERP, the words that the user has researched, are placed in bold even within the URL, so they will have even greater visibility.
Also, a good URL structure, makes the job of cataloging your site by search engines, much more facilitated.
Taking a look at the SEO importance of the keywords in the URL, I know very well that the temptation is to insert them at will, but it does not work like that.
Don’t aim for more keywords: focus on one word for each article.
And that’s why choosing the right is fundamental.
In essence is good to have the keyword in the first words, the important is that the URL is sensible and “natural” to read.
Manage the structure of WordPress permalinks
Now let’s see how you can manually intervene to create perfect URLs.
The first thing to do and open, from the left menu, the Settings panel > Permalink, which will bring you to this screen.
Note: Depending on the theme you choose, you may also find other fields below this screen. Which allow you to customize the specific WordPress permalinks for the theme you have chosen.
As you can see there are several options to choose from.
There is no basic rule to follow. Much depends on the type of site, the structure, the quantity of content you publish etc…
The trick and “Put yourself in the user’s shoes” and try to understand what the URL structure that can be more congenial.
In case it is a site with many news, published daily, you can decide to use the option with date and name or month and name, while the custom structure/% category%/% postname%/can be fine for a blog such as that of Codeless.
Attention! The choice on the format of WordPress Permalinks is a decision to evaluate and take in the design phase. In fact the search engines will index the pages of your site with the URL you propose.
Think if after a month you decide to change the structure of permalinks. All indexed pages will have a different URL and then bring to pages 404 Not Found making you lose the indexing of your content!
If after some time you realize that for strategic reasons or because you have opted for a different structure, you will have to modify the structure, you need to proceed to a delicate operation Redirect 301 of your pages.
You will essentially have to tell Google to send the user back to the new URL in case the previous one is requested.
Manage the single article permalink
Once you’ve set up the permalink structure, it’s time to customize the single URL for your article.
Maybe you noticed that this is created automatically once you have entered the title.
The title and the URL must be correlated: being two fundamental aspects for placement. They must target both the same keywords.
Often our titles are too long and full of what are called in the jargon “stop words”. For example articles, prepositions etc. and a manual control is always recommended. You can also usse Yoast Plugin for that purpose.
Remember that you are free to try the composition of the URL. Just press “edit” and enter the words you prefer. Deleting for example the repetitions we will get a clear title, short and even more targeted for the search engines.