6 SEO Tips For Better WordPress Permalinks

The permalinks are addresses used by WordPress to distinct the content pages. The correct permalink structure is important for a number of reasons. First of all, search engines will use your website URLs for search results. Secondly, they should attract the potential visitors to click on your links.

In the last post I described what the WordPress permalinks are and how to edit them. Today, I would like to extend it and provide you with a list of 6 tips that you should consider before you start adjusting your permalinks.

Make your permalinks short and user-friendly

In the first place, you should keep your permalinks readable and short. It will not only boost your SEO score. The good URL address should also describe what is inside the content. Furthermore, the full permalink should not be longer than 100 characters. The shorter the URL is, the easier it should be to climb higher in Google.

https://www.example.com/animals-in-europe/birds-in-europe/big-birds/stark

https://example.com/european-animals/birds/stark

Avoid “stop words”

Permalink Manager allows to remove the “stop words” (eg. “the”, “a”, “an”, “in” and so on).

https://example.com/blog/how-to-start-a-big-business-in-a-few-months

https://example.com/blog/start-business-in-few-months

Improve the permalink base and make it readable

https://example.com/portfolio-cpt/foo-bar-com

https://example.com/our-work/websites/foo-bar-com

Keep logical URL structure

As I have said before, you should make your permalinks as short as possible. Above all, as suggested by MOZ it is also good to insert the keywords to the URLs. You can do so, by tweaking the single permalinks or inserting the custom fields.

Add custom taxonomy terms slugs

With Permalink Manager you can insert custom taxonomies slugs to the custom post type permalinks.

There is no need to repeat the single keyword more than once. If your permalinks uses multi-level categories, you should also consider make the URLs flatter.

https://example.com/genres/80s/heavy-metal/ (Custom taxonomy archive)
https://example.com/bands/ozzy-osbourne/ (Custom post type item)

https://example.com/bands/80s/heavy-metal/ (Custom taxonomy archive)
https://example.com/bands/80s/heavy-metal/ozzy-osbourne/ (Custom post type item)

Do not duplicate the keywords in WordPress URLs

There is no need to repeat the single keyword more than once. If your permalinks uses multi-level categories, you should also consider make their structure flatter.

https://example.com/shop/apparel/women-shoes/high-leather-boots

https://example.com/shop/women/apparel/footwear/leather/shoes/high-boots

Use hyphens rather than underscores and avoid special characters

Google in one of the articles published on their websites straightforwardly recommends to use hyphens instead of underscores. In other words, the hyphens are prefered over the underscores.

You should not only avoid the underscores, but also remember to use the hyphens to separate the words.

https://example.com/kitchenappliances/digitalmicrowaveoven

https://example.com/kitchen_appliances/digital_microwave_oven

https://example.com/kitchen-appliances/digital-microwave-oven

Although Google will be able to index your URL even if it contains spaces, commas, underscores & special characters. I would recommend to either remove them or replace with dashes or latin characters.

https://example.com/countries,regions/balkan|southeastern europe/Ελλάδα

https://example.com/countries-regions/balkan-southeastern-europe/ellada

Avoid updating the URLs frequently

A few months ago, John Mueller, one of Google analysts answered on Twitter to a very interesting question. According to him it is better to keep the old URLs intact as long as it is possible rather than to change them & redirect to new address. It takes some time for Google to index all the URL changes.

If you necessarily need to change your permalinks, you should remember about 301 legacy redirects. The 301 status code means that a page has permanently moved to a new location.
To avoid 404 (“Not Found”) error after the permalink is modified, Permalink Manager will automatically redirect the visitors trying to access the old URL to the new address. You can also define additional custom 301 redirects for each post/term using.

Translate your permalinks

If your website is multilingual, you should translate the permalink bases. For instance, you can make your WooCommerce URLs use different format per language. It is not possible in “vanilla” version of WordPress.

https://example.com/en/books/history/herodotus
https://example.com/pl/books/science-fiction/stanislaw-lew
https://example.com/de/books/philosophy/friedrich-nietzsche

https://example.com/en/books/history/herodotus
https://example.com/pl/ksiazki/fantastyka/stanislaw-lew
https://example.com/de/bucher/philosophie/friedrich-nietzsche

Do not add .html extension to the end of URL

It is a common practice to add the .html, .html, .php or another suffix to the end of URL. Nevertheless, you do not need to add the extension endings to your new permalinks. It really does not matter for Google whether you use them or not.

https://example.com/music/hard-rock.html

https://example.com/music/hard-rock

There is one exception to this, however. If you migrated from different content management system where the extensions were appended to the URLs (eg. Magento) yous should also keep them in WordPress.
The extensions can be easily added to the permalinks with Permalink Manager – I described it a bit further in this short article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

*