What Is A Permalink? How To Optimize It For SEO?

What Is A Permalink

Being a digital marketer, you must have come across a lot of SEO features. Knowing their significance and how to use them can play a massive role in boosting your search engine ranking. On that note, understanding the basics of Permalink is important.

Permalinks are the URLs shown while navigating any page. Here in this blog, we’ll help you discuss what is a permalink and how to optimize it for SEO.

Permalink: What Is It?

Permalink is a slug of a post or page that helps the search engine understand the context of the content. This allows the users as well identify the context of posts and pages of a website.

It always becomes important to wisely pick a good keyword-rich permalink as you can’t change it later (Actually you can, but you should never do that as it can hurt your SEO pretty bad). There are many ways to get a good permalink for your blog.

Why Is A Permalink important?

As discussed above, Permalink is one of the most important SEO features.

  • It helps the users to link to some specific content on your website easily.
  • It’s a way to track your content in search engines.
  • If someone links to your article, your Permalink is under your blog post so that you can see it on search engine results pages.
  • It helps to do a 301 redirect from your old blog post to your new post with a better permalink.

How To Optimize Permalinks For SEO?

Every website has a permalink, and that’s not such a big deal until it starts interfering with your SEO strategy. Hence, here are the most important things you should keep in mind to optimizing it for SEO:

1. Keep Your URLs Clean & Short

Search engines and users see the URL as a single piece of content. It’s how they locate, bookmark, share and return to it.

Therefore, the structure of a Permalink should be short, descriptive, and should contain keywords relevant to the web page’s content so that it can be understood easily by both search engines and users.

For example, a URL like: ‘http://www.yourblog.com/2014/01/31/myfirstblogpost‘ is not readable and is a surefire way to lose readers. Instead, something like: ‘http://www.yourblog.com/my-first-blog‘ can help your users to understand it easily.

title length vs. google ranking comparison graph

2. Use Only Important Keywords

Permalinks will permanently stay on the web, so you need to string them with the most important keywords you want to rank for. For example, if you’re running a gym and want to rank for “gym,” you should include that keyword in the permalink structure.

By optimizing your permalinks, you’ll help search engines understand what your website is about better, which will ultimately help the search engines to rank you higher.

3. Use Hyphens Instead Of Underscores

As discussed in the first point, permalinks should always be short and readable so that the users can easily remember them. On that note, the use of hyphens(-) can be beneficial. Simply use them as spaces between words, and that’s it. It will help both the users and search engines to identify the content.

For example, use ‘https://yourblogpost.com/my-first-blog’ instead of ‘https://yourblogpost.com/myfirstblog.’

Now, you might think of the use of underscores or dashes(_). Underscores add an extra character to your URL and increase its length. Hence, it’s always recommended to ignore the use of underscores in URLs.

4. Avoid Dates

Avoiding dates in permalinks can be very helpful while optimizing your URL (Just my personal opinion and analyses 😉). First of all, doing so will help you create a simple and shorter URL, which is discussed in the first point.

Secondly, people always prefer to see the latest content, and hence, the search engines rank them. Adding dates often bind up your content to be future-proof. Even if you regularly update your content, the dates will prevent the search engine from ranking it.

5. Start With HTTPS

Search engines always promote the sites using HTTPS.’ HTTPS is short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, and it means that your site is using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to encrypt the traffic.

The SSL certificate allows a website to use the protocol on a server. If you don’t use HTTPS on your permalinks, the traffic between your site and the visitor’s browser is not encrypted, allowing other people to intercept and read them.

Not only that; they can also inject their scripts into the page or even replace your content with something else. Hence, it always becomes necessary to use HTTPS in your URLs.

6. Avoid Too Much Categorizing

People often add categories to their URLs, which is actually a good way to display the different sections of your website. Plus, it also lets you add more keywords too.

However, the real problem with adding more categories is you end up having a very long URL. Yes, one or two categories are okay. But, categorizing your URL can be a bit messy. And, too much categorizing can also let you create accidental duplicate content sometimes.

Hence, it’s better to avoid too much categorization and create a short, to-the-point categorization that can easily be understandable by the users.

A Quick Summary

Permalinks may not be the most essential SEO strategy, but that doesn’t mean you can simply ignore it. You’ll also need to optimize your URLs if you want your websites to be perfect and rank higher in the SERPs.

Hence, use the tips discussed above to create a good keyword-rich URL that will be easy to read and understand and help rank your website.

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