By configuring the right type of permalink, you will be able to make your post adorable to leading search engine like Google and Bing. Adding a custom permalink to your post can also give you an extra edge on your SERP competitors as well. If you are not sure about how to configure your website’s permalink or which permalink setting would bring the best profit for your site, then keep reading this post.
What is a permalink?
The word permalink refers to a permanent static hyperlink to a particular webpage or post. In simple terms, Permalink is the URL that you see in your address bar right after you click on a website’s post or a page. WordPress generally puts a randomly generated URL for each and every blog you post on your site. For example, every time you will create a new post WordPress will give your new post an auto generated URL like www.yoursite.com/?p=378.
Well, that is a hideous URL if you ask me. And definitely not something that a reputable blog would ever use. This URL sends negative signal to both your visitor and to top search engines like Google and Bing. If you are using link structures like that for your posts, then no wonder you are still struggling with your site.
If you are serious about getting on top of Google and getting some serious visitor to your site, then such random URL will not cut it at all. You will need to do some clean up first.
Here are some more advantages of using a clear, keyword rich permalink for your blog post:
- Your users will be able to find your blog posts faster using custom WordPress site search
- In case of a 301 redirect error, you will be able to fix the problem faster
- Helps to create a strong silo structure within your website
- Google will be able to produce a clear, precise sitemap leading to better positioning
- Easily create or replace your post’s long title with Keyword reached short URL
If writing on your blog is just a hobby of yours, you do not wish to ruin your passion for writing by digging into the technical stuff, then you can keep your permalink structure as it is. Although it is highly recommended that you do change your site’s permalink setting to avoid future complication.
WordPress offers its user 6 different permalink options to choose from. Each of them has their own importance and necessity, depending on the type and nature of the website. By using the right type of permalinks in WordPress, you will be able to improve your site’s usability, SEO value, aesthetics and compatibility.
To configure your site’s permalink setting access your WordPress back end first and then go to Settings > Permalinks.
As the title suggests, default permalink structure is the one that come as a default permalink setting for a WordPress website. This one is for the hobbyist bloggers, who loves to write without worrying too much about SEO and usability.
By using the default setting, you will have permalinks for your posts like .
If you really care for your readers and someone who likes to have things sorted out, then I would not recommend you to go for such structure at all.
Day and Name
The Day and Name permalinks in WordPress is highly recommended for the website owners who wishes to use their website as a day to day online log. This one is also recommended for the people who wish to use a website to entry their time based logs online.
The structure for this type of Permalink would be sitename.com/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%. For example, if you publish a post on your website on 25th January, 2016 titled “sample blog post” using the Day and Name setting, then the permalink for the post would be like sitename.com/2016/01/25/sample-blog-post.
As you can see the time and date attribute is given the highest preference in Day and Name setting. Thus, this setting would be the one for you – if your posts require high specificity at publishing time.
By using this setting your posts will be structured based on time and day, rather than category or topic.
Month and Name
Month and Name structure is very similar to Day and Name setting. But in this case, your posts will not have the month structure tag, instead it will only have year, month and post name tags. So, each time you publish a post, your permalink structure would be (/%year%/%month%/%postname%). Which means, if we take the example from above, the permalink for your sample post would look something like sitename.com/2016/01/sample-post.
This type of permalink structure should be used by the authors who wishes to sort out their posts, by month, rather than by day. In one sentence, this is a bit shorter form of the Month and Name structure.
The numeric WordPress Permalinks structure should be used by website owners who are interested to post content as logs. While using this numeric structure, WordPress will index and stack one content after the other with numeric serials. By choosing this type of permalink structure, y permalink of your posts will have structured tag like (/archives/%postnumber%).
If you are planning to show all of your posts on your sidebar widget as logs, then this permalink structure is highly recommended for you.
By far this is the most used WordPress permalinks structure by WordPress site owners. Not only is these permalink structure is recommended by SEO experts, it also helps visitors to navigate faster on your website. According to usability experts, by using selecting the post name permalink setting for your website, a visitor will be able to find his/her desired post faster from your site’s dedicated search option.
By using the Post Name structure, your posts will have a URL like (/$post-name%).
While you are writing the title of your post or page, WordPress will automatically create its permalink putting – between the words.
If you have minimum knowledge on how to create a SEO url, then you already know that using the targeted keyword in your title, gives a huge SEO boost to your post. By using the Post name setting, you will be able to write your post title and also the url of the post simultaneously. Which is definitely a great time saver.
WordPress custom permalinks structure allows users to create a whole new url for posts. Unlike post name structure, you can edit the URL of a post, keeping the post title as it is. As you know, WordPress only allows 10 tags on a post URL. So, if you are someone who loves to use long titles for posts, or more into making your title attractive by making it a longer one, then the custom structure will come in great help for you.
By using this setting, you will get permalink structure that will look like (/%post-name%). The only difference between the custom structure and the post name is that, by selecting this structure, you will be the one who has to set a unique, custom url for your blog posts. Generally, you can set custom URLs like /%post-name%, /%postname%/%id%/ or /%catagory%/%post-name%. In short, you can assign any URL you want in a post. A good suggestion is to include your targeted keyword in your posts URL, while assigning one.
More advanced permalink setting
WordPress, now days also allows users to assign Category or Tag based permalinks to posts. If the WordPress permalinks setting that I have already mentioned above, is not something that you are looking for then you can assign Category or Tag based permalink setting for your website.
If you choose to go to the category based one, then your post permalink structure would be like (/%catagory_base/%catagory_name%/%post-id%). As you can see, this setting is all about giving more importance to the category of the post rather than the post itself. And if you choose the tag based one permalink, your permalink structure would look like (/%tag_base%/%tag_name%).
But if you are a complete newbie, then I would not recommend you to go for these two custom permalink structures at all.
How to use the power of Permalink into action
While it is important to write a keyword optimized title for your blog post, it is also important for a post to have a grammatical error free post title as well. This is a phenomenon that most bloggers have to deal with on a day to day basis. Because most keywords are queries, and most of them are not full sentences at all. But by using the benefit of custom permalink settings, you can easily add your keyword in your URL, leading to better exposure and more visitor from Search Engines like Google. This is a nifty tip that has been covered again and again by industry leaders like Jeff Bullas, and Rand Fishkin from yoast seo guide.
And if you are serious about creating a website that will make you money for long terms, then I would highly recommend you to set-up your WordPress permalinks structure from the beginning. Because this simple tweak in the beginning can save a lot of your time and effort in the future.