Today, I’m answering another question from my I LOVE SEO Facebook Community, which you’re welcome to join. Today’s question is:
“How do I change my WordPress permalinks and what are your tips for an SEO-friendly URL
Now for those of you that don’t know, permalinks is just another name for permanent links to your posts and pages.
And the default when you have your own self hosted Wordpress site isn’t particularly SEO friendly. So I’m going to give you some tips on how to change them and what makes for a more Google friendly URL.
Watch the video
Having an SEO friendly URL is just one of the many factors that can have an impact on your ability to rank in search engines such as Google.
So as I mentioned in the intro there, by default Wordpress permalinks are not particularly SEO friendly. So when you install Wordpress for the first time and start producing content, you need to change the default. It’s pretty much of the first things you should do.
You can find your permalinks settings in the Wordpress “dashboard” under “settings” and “permalink”.
And there is a few options that you can choose from here.
My favourite and suggested permalink structure for a Wordpress blog is “post names” – this one here.
And it keeps it short and sweet. It doesn’t include categories or tags or anything like that. It’s just straight forward, the URL and then whatever the name of the post is.
So that’s the one that I would select and then once you select that, you can just go down and press “save”.
Now many bloggers and site owners will use “category “in a permalink, which is also fine but only when your category name is short and meaningful and you’re not using multiple categories and posts.
I’m not a big fan of using category in a permalink structure because depending on how you’ve set your index settings up, it could cause some duplicate content issues on your site.
Another permalink method which I’m not a fan of is using dates in your permalink.
This takes away your capability for republishing your post at a later date because the permalink will remain the same when you republish your post.
Some other tips when it comes to permalinks are:
- To use dashes. See here we’ve got a littl dash between the words, rather than underscores.
- I would also recommend removing stop words from permalinks such as is or are. It’s not something you have to worry about too much but if I have a post that’s about how to make piglet jumpers, I might have how to make piglet jumpers or I might just have piglet jumpers because that’s a little bit shorter and sweeter. So that’s a call that you can make depending on the content that you’re using.
Now you should never change your permalinks after publishing.
I don’t recommend changing your permalinks after publishing so don’t go around, randomly changing those URLS.
If you do, you’re gonna have to set a 301 redirect up. So you can get a plug in, such as Simple 301 Redirects and redirect that old URL to the new one.
But if at all possible, don’t change your permalink after you’ve published it.
So that’s it. That’s how to change your permalink settings under settings and permalinks, and chose post name and that will make your URL’s just that little more Google friendly.
And if you’d like me to answer one of your SEO questions, head to my I LOVE SEO Facebook Group and I could make you a little video like this.
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Over to you
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