SEO Friendly URL Structure for Your WordPress Website

What is a URL

If you’re not familiar with the term URL, you should know that URL is an acronym of Uniform Resource Locator, which is a reference to the location of a webpage or a resource on the web. The URL can also be described as webpage address, website address, or the way to retrieve a web resource.

SEO Friendly URL Structure for WordPress

It would be a bit surprising to find that you’re still using your default WordPress Permalink structure. WordPress uses dynamic URLs made of the blog domain by the unique post ID by default. Once Google and other search engines had difficulties indexing this kind of permalink structure, but they’ve been improved steadily over the years.

Google does not know the contents of the page without visiting it, if it has a dynamic permalinks. With SEO friendly permalink structure, on the other hand, Google will have an idea what the page content is about without ever visiting the page. It also adds some SEO value because the URLs do contain some keywords which are relevant to the page.

To activate search engine friendly permalinks you need to visit WP Admin Panel >> Settings >> Permalinks. Here you will find the options like – Default, Day and Time, Month and Name, Numeric, and Custom structure.

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You may use a date-based permalink or a custom structure /%postname%/. Otherwise, you can test the options and decide which one you prefer. But we recommend the following URL structure-

/%category%/%postname%/

If you prefer a completely static site, you can use-

/%category%/%postname%.html

You can get keyword rich URL structure by using the documentation which will have keyword of the category and the title. The best permalink structure in this case would be- domain.com/category/postname/.

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To use this structure, categories need to be well planned. Once your post is assigned to a category, you cannot change it without losing your position in search engines. By setting it to domain.com/postname/ you can change your categories without consequences for the SEO of each post.

You can organize your URLs in different ways, but you need to know the possible URL structure combination and for that you should know the documentation tags, such as:

%year% – The year of the post, four digits, for example 2004

%monthnum% – Month of the year, for example 05

%day% – Day of the month, for example 28

%hour% – Hour of the day, for example 15

%minute% – Minute of the hour, for example 43

%second% – Second of the minute, for example 33

%postname% – A sanitized version of the title of the post (post slug field on Edit Post/Page panel).

%post_id% – The unique ID # of the post, for example 423

%category% – A sanitized version of the category name (category slug field on New/Edit Category panel).

%author% – A sanitized version of the author name.

Note that date-based permalinks may prevent you from recycling the content.  After selecting the combination, paste it in the field and click “Save changes”. Then your .htaccess file will be updated automatically and the URL will be changed. Further information can be found in WordPress Codex for Permalinks.

If you want to use a new permalink structure and at the same time want to keep the Google likes and references that your pages have already earned, then change the new structures but do not forget to redirect the old permalinks to your new permalinks.

To know more about creating short URLs, read Create and Customize Short URLs for Your Blog.

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Toronto WordPress Web Design - NYTO Group

SEO Friendly URL Structure for Your WordPress Website

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