WordPress SEO in 5 Minutes – What is a Permalink?
Search engines use permalinks to visit and index your site, and visitors use these URLs to visit and share your page. WordPress comes pre-installed with the default permalink settings, which are not optimised. It is important to optimise your URLs to make viewers and search engines understand what the content of your web page is all about. Let’s hear what our Perth SEO team says about what a permalink is and why it is important.
What is a Permalink?
The full URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of a page or post of your WordPress site is called the permalink. It’s a permanent link; permanent + link = permalink.
It mostly includes your domain name plus a short description (called a slug). Let’s see an example.
Domain name – computingaustralia.com.au
Slug – wordpress-seo-in-5-minutes-what-is-a- permalink
Why is a permalink important for SEO?
WordPress creates a permalink by default for every page in the below format.
202 is the post number on your site. As you can see, this does not tell you anything about the post. Google may still visit and understand the content on the page, but this link is not SEO-friendly. And any web designer will tell you that it looks highly unprofessional. Users will hardly visit or share the page.
WordPress lets you choose the type of permalink. A suitable link type with relevant keywords gives both search engines and users better information about your page.
Common Permalinks in WordPress
Plain – https://computingaustralia.com.au/?p123
Day and name – https://computingaustralia.com.au/2020/07/09/sample-post
Month and name – https://computingaustralia.com.au/2020/07/sample-post
Numeric – https://computingaustralia.com.au/archives/123
Post name – https://computingaustralia.com.au/sample-post
Custom – https://computingaustralia.com.au/%postname%
Make sure you choose a type that is most suitable for your purpose. Our recommendation is the Post name option, which works for most sites. This is the most direct and shortest, with no extra words or dates.
If you are launching a new site, choose the permalink setting before you start publishing posts or pages. You need to do it only once. After that, WordPress will propose it for each new page based on this setting. If you need to edit the proposed link, you can easily do it in the page’s editing screen.
A word of caution
Characteristics of a Good Permalink
- Should be short and enticing
- Should contain relevant keywords
- Should accurately describe the page or post content
- Words should be separated by hyphens
- Remember to edit permalink before publishing a new post
Permalinks vs Page Titles
While most permalinks and page titles are the same, it is not necessary to keep them so. It needs to be attractive to visitors but can be more search-engine focussed. Page titles, on the other hand, can be longer, and reader – focussed.
Tips to Optimise Permalinks for Your Website
1. Structure your URL the right way
2. Include a keyword in permalinks
Including keywords does not mean to creating a lengthy URL. Always keep it concise and easy to remember. SEO wise, it is ideal to use your site’s own permalink rather than using a URL shortener like Bitly or Rebrandly.
3. Move to HTTPS
HTTPS or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure refers to an internet communication protocol that secures the reliability and confidentiality of data transferred between the user’s system and the website. By adding SSL certificates to your site, you can keep your business and customer connections safe. When using a website, visitors always expect a secure and private online experience. Along with better web security, switching to HTTPS also improves SEO rankings and organic traffic.
404 Error – an HTTPS status code, that indicates the specific page you were trying to reach could not be found on the server. The server itself is reachable, while the page is not.
URL Redirects – also called URL forwards is a way to send (or redirect) visitors and search engines to from one URL to another. Ideally, redirects should be avoided or kept at a minimum.
URL – short for Uniform Resource Locator. Also referred to as web address, it is the location of a website or page on the internet. It is what you see in the address bar of a browser.
Article updated on 25/06/2021
Article updated by Silpa Danish
New section added ‘Tips to Optimize Permalinks for Your Website’ and introduction paragraph