WordPress SEO in 5 Minutes – What is a Slug and How to Optimise it?
Slugs that are optimised will help you improve your ranking in SERPs. Of course, we are not talking about the slimy thing that can make you feel green. Our slug is an important part of a URL that needs all your love. In this latest WordPress SEO in 5 minutes, we list out how to optimise slugs and why they are important for SEO.
What is a slug?
A slug is the particular part of a URL used to identify a webpage on a website. It appears after the domain name, which explains the page’s content. It should be simple to read for both users and search engines.
Every webpage or post has a unique slug. For example, let’s take the domain “https://computingaustralia.com.au/” and consider the post-https://computingaustralia.com.au/what-is-a-slug. The part that comes after the “/” is the slug. In this case, “what-is-a-slug” is the slug.
Why are slugs important?
Here are some of the benefits of optimised slugs for SEO.
Defines the content of the page
Optimised slugs, which are short and readable, will help users recognise what the page is about even without opening the page.
Slugs are editable, and you can include your keyword in your slug, which you want your page or post to rank for. This helps to boost your ranking in SERPs.
User-friendly & appealing URLs
Readers find a short and readable slug appealing over a lengthy one. For instance, you search for “what is a slug” in the search engines, and the below two URLs appears in the SERPs.
Which one will you click? The first one, because it clearly represents the essence of the page.
Easily readable for search engines
Like how keywords define the content, the slug does the same. It helps search engines understand the webpage’s content easily, making it simpler for crawling the pages.
How to optimise a slug for SEO?
Here are some practices to create effective slugs.
Short but meaningful
Also, avoid using stop words such as “a”, “is”, “on”, etc., because search engines filter them out. Avoid them unless they are essential for a meaningful slug.
Add your target keyword in the slug to inform users and search engines what your page is about. This will also increase the chance of click-through rate and lead to an increase in ranking.
Use dashes to separate words
Separate words using dashes, which will make it sensible and readable for both your audience and search engines.
Always use lowercase to avoid duplicate content. Some servers like Apache, which is used by many CMSs, including WordPress, will interpret capitalised URL as a different URL which will lead to duplication.
E.g., https://computingaustralia.com.au/what-is-a-slug and https://computingaustralia.com.au/What-is-a-slug will be read as two different URLs even though they both lead to the same page.
Keep users in mind
Always try to create slugs that are appealing to your users and are easily readable for them. Help them to get an idea about what to expect from your page if they click the URL. Remember, Google loves what users love.
URL – Universal Resource Locator – The web address of a specific page or file on the internet. It includes the protocol, the domain name, and additional path information.
Duplicate content – is a similar or exact copy of content that appears on various places, either on different pages of the same website or on other sites.
SERPs – Search Engine Results Pages – Google’s response to a user’s search query includes organic results, featured snippets, paid results etc.
Optimise – A process that modifies how a campaign is delivering, improving its performance. It includes improving any metric like CTR, Page Load Speed etc.