Permalink

A permalink is a permanent URL attached to a web page that appears in SERPs. Permalinks are made up of a domain name, which comes before the ‘.co.uk’ or ‘.com’ and the slug which follows the backslash.

Why Are Permalinks Important?

Permalinks are important for a range of reasons.

  • They help both crawlers and end users locate a web page 
  • They provide information about a website’s content before the end user clicks on the link
  • They provide information about site architecture
  • They create a permanent location for your content
  • They aid with the indexing process
  • They can help websites rank highly if they contain target keywords 
  • They enable users to save your website via bookmarking
  • They allow end users to repost a website

How Can You Optimise Permalinks?

The importance of permalinks is sometimes underestimated by webmasters, but it is essential that you optimise them if you want to improve your ranking and enhance UX (User Experience).

1. Be Wary of Length 

This is essential for creating an SEO friendly permalink. Anything over 5 words, and it will look unsightly and also contribute to a decreased ranking in SERPs. Try and stick to around 59 characters.

2. Maintain Consistency 

This is key for optimal UX. Make sure your URL structure reflects your site’s architecture.

3. Change It Up

For each page on your website, you should assign an exclusive permalink that is not repeated anywhere else. Duplicated permalinks are endlessly confusing, and will never work in your favour.

4. Make It Relevant 

Your permalink should relate to the content on your website. So, don’t choose something random that isn’t relevant to your core subject matter/brand.

5. Don’t Change It After Posting It

Doing this will lead to a 404 error, which will detrimentally affect your ranking. Instead redirect the old URL to the new one with a 301 redirect.

6. Make It Easy to Read and Remember 

This is another important element. Make sure you choose a static URL rather than a dynamic URL to improve readability, and omit stop words like ‘a’, ‘in’ and ‘an’.

These choices will make your URL easier to remember.

7. Integrate Keywords

Don’t forget about your URL when you formulate your keyword strategy. Integrate keywords into your permalink to boost your SEO. This will also help the Google bots to understand your page’s relevancy.

But as always steer clear of keyword stuffing which can land you in trouble with Google’s Panda algorithm, which can lead to a drop in SERP ranking.

8. Stay Away From Underscores

This is a rookie mistake made by webmasters which can confuse what you are trying to convey. 

Search engines interpret words divided up by hyphens as separate words in a permalink, while underscores connect additional words. 

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