Permalinks, or permanent links are the URLs WordPress uses to link your website content. They are an essential ingredient of onsite SEO and of website usability. As the website owner has a choice of what Permalink structure to use, getting it right is essential.

There are main three types of Permalink in WordPress.

The ugly version which looks something like ?https://coastalcontent.co.uk/?p=140?. This lists the site URL, a query string ??? and the post or page ID, the ?p=140?. This is called Plain in WordPress. A similar version is called Numeric.

The slightly better Permalink uses date and name. They look like this: ?https://coastalcontent.co.uk/2016/02/28/permalinking-in-wordpress??. There are Day and name and Month and name options in WordPress.

The most useful Permalink structure is Post Name and is the most user friendly. It looks like this: ?https://coastalcontent.co.uk/permalinking-in-wordpress?.

You can change the Permalink structure in WordPress by navigating to Settings > Permalinks. I would suggest doing this only once, when you first set up your site or blog and setting it to Post Name. It works best for your users, which is most important. It?s also the most useful for SEO which is a bonus.

There is also the option to create customer Permalinks but since Post Name was introduced into WordPress, these are not really needed for the vast majority of websites.

Permalinks and SEO

As mentioned, we think the Post Name structure works best as it is easier for users first and foremost. It?s also what Google recommends.

For example, if you Googled ?Permalinking in WordPress? you would be presented with four pieces of data. The title, description, date and URL. If that URL contains the words you?re looking for, a user will be more likely to click on it.

So if a return comes up

Permalinking in WordPress

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Permalinks, or permanent links are the URLs WordPress uses to link your website content. They are an essential ingredient of onsite SEO and of website usability.

Or

Permalinking in WordPress

Permalinking in WordPress

Permalinks, or permanent links are the URLs WordPress uses to link your website content. They are an essential ingredient of onsite SEO and of website usability.

 

Which would you be most likely to choose? Google itself would promote the latter example over the former because they keywords pertaining to the content of the page have been included in the URL. Users are most likely to choose it too as it directly reflects what they asked for. The first example could be anything.

Taking Permalinks further

If you run a specialist site, news site or well organised site, it may benefit you to include a date or category in your URL. This is down to personal choice and how you think it would benefit your users. As far as SEO is concerned, Google doesn?t care.

As long as you include the Post Name in the URL, it is under 100 characters long, avoids words such as ? and, or, but, of, the? and the page content reflects the URL, you?re good. In fact, Matt Cutts himself said aside from those considerations, the exact Permalink structure you choose is down to personal choice.

So to recap. The best Permalink structure in WordPress is Post Name. It should be configured when the site is launched and never changed. The title of the page or post you publish on WordPress becomes the URL and that URL should accurately reflect the contents of that page. That is all there is to it!

If you are considering launching a website or blog and need some help, contact Coastal Content today!

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