Have you ever asked yourself what the best WordPress permalink structure is for your website? Do you pay attention to permalink SEO?
What are permalinks?
If you’re a new website owner or new to niche websites, permalinks might be foreign to you. First off, a permalink as the name suggests is the permanent link of your posts and pages. They are called permanent because they don’t change with time.
If you’re having trouble getting your mind around the concept, think about the times that you filled out forms. Don’t you get asked for a Permanent Address? Your permanent address is similar to your posts and pages’ permalinks. It’s the URLs or path in the internet that gets readers to your specific posts and pages.
WordPress’ default permalink structure
In case you didn’t fiddle with these settings when you first set up the site, WordPress uses the following default permalink structure:
Is it SEO-friendly? Not in hell, no.
Does it provide useful information to your readers and site managers? Nope
Is it search engine friendly? Again, not.
Is it even pretty? Of course not.
Your Choices for Permalink Structures
You can customize your permalink structure but let’s discuss the most basic structures.
Default – As mentioned, if you don’t make a choice during setup, WordPress will set you up this way.
Day and Name – Contains year, month, day, and post name
Month and Name – Like “day and name” but minus the day.
Numeric – Shows the archive number
Post name – No date; only shows the post name
Custom structure – If you want to customize your permalink structure
Now let’s take a few minutes to discuss permalink SEO. SEO is a very big undertaking. We’ve already discussed different SEO tips in the past. Now one of the things we’ve taught over and over is to take advantage of the permalink for SEO.
It’s very simple actually. Hardly rocket science. Simply ensure that your focus keyword appears in your permalink. This will tell Google (and whatever search engine) that your post or page is all about this topic. It is one clear signal that the information you are imparting is all about your target keyword.
Just like a specific spot in a map where you want all visitors to go to, you’re putting in all manners of arrows and pointers pointing to your X spot.
So don’t forget. Keep your focus keyword in your permalink. Now, let’s talk about your website.
Finding the Best Permalink Structure For Your Website
We believe that there’s no one permalink structure that’s best. Sure, we have our favorite and we’ll reveal that soon but for now, let’s just say that we recommend YOU considering what you need out of a permalink.
A permalink is much like a person’s address. It gives important information. Consider these questions:
- Is it beneficial or detrimental for your site to display dates in your URL?
Some site owners like dated permalinks. It lets them know a post’s age and when it was written. This is true for news sites, for example. These are date-sensitive sites.
However, if you’re building a site that supposedly has evergreen content, this is not advisable. You’re giving away the age of your old content. Some readers won’t want to read old posts as they’ll be considered outdated. Would you want to read an article about say, health trends from 2006? Or from 2016?
Also, here’s a problem with dated URLs. And we speak from painful experience. If you’re using a featured post plugin that isn’t too customized, regular plugins of this sort just usually order posts according to latest published date. This means that to make a post display more prominently, you’d have to change the publication date. And you can’t do that with dated URLs because you’re going to change your link, break it, and make it impossible for other readers who have your original URL to get to your article. They’ll be getting a 404 error which Google hates.
Essentially, this problem arises when you try to manipulate publication dates. (And trust us, you may want to do this in the future.)
2. Does your website have a particular permalink structure need?
Each website is different and you might have a particular structure that you need for your website. Just make sure you’ll stick to it though. It’s hell having to change your URL structure in the future.
Our recommended URL structure
To cut to the chase, we like the post name structure. It’s simple, clean, SEO friendly, and doesn’t give away dated articles. It’s also less of a hassle if you decide to change publication dates in the future for some of your posts.
Again, here is our winner:
Author’s Note: If you want to be found by more readers and get more website traffic, try out LinkCollider. It is primarily a site that helps you get followers and likes for your social media sites but it can also bring traffic to your site and help with your SEO strategy. Check it out HERE.