WordPress is such a great tool for blogging and building websites alike. But do you sometimes get tired of reading the same old SEO tips for WordPress? Yeah. Well I do too! This time I’m going to tell you about a couple of tips you won’t likely hear anywhere else. To be honest with you, I learned both of these shortly after I had already started blogging here. Which kinda sucked because it usually takes a lot more work to fix up your website after you’ve created a handful of blog posts.
These two search engine optimization tips are for making the most out of your permalinks in WordPress. However, theoretically they can also be applied to other blogging platforms and content management systems. I figured both of them out by carefully studying what some of the most well-known SEOs were doing. Then tested them out for myself. I didn’t read them in how-tos, on any blogs, or in any books. It seems as if these are some the trade secrets you’re not supposed to disclose. I don’t know. But it did surprised me to see only the best of the best were doing it. Regardless, here are two awesome ways to use more effective permalinks in WordPress – for the search engines, and of course, your users.
Now I know you’ve probably heard this one before, but I bet you weren’t told to use a Custom Structure, and you’ve probably never been told to set it like this: /%postname%.
You’ll will find your permalink settings under Settings >> Permalinks >> Custom Settings.
So what does that do?
It changes the default url structure of your posts to something like this:
Which has a few major advantages:
You’ll likely notice most people optimize the permalinks in thier WordPress blogs to look something like this:
Compare that to our optimized URL:
Do you see how far away your keywords are from the root domain in the former? Can you see how unnecessary the directory structure and the date is? That doesn’t tell us or the search engine robots anything important about the post, and it also doesn’t include any helpful keywords. It’s really a waste!
Typically search engines give the greatest weight to the most prominent words in the URL, and considers each word slightly less important the further it is from the beginning.
Now let’s take it even a step further.
Do you ever optimize individual post URLs? Most people don’t. But with all else being equal, don’t you want to find an easy way to get a leg up on the other guy? Well, that’s what I’m going to show you next.
This step is pretty straight forward and is set on individual post pages, as shown below:
This allows you to customize individual blog posts and remove unnecessary words. For example, some times you might have a blog post title that gives you a default URL like this one:
And compare that to our optimized URL:
Can you see how many unnecessary words are in the former? Doesn’t the latter look a lot cleaner, giving only the important keywords all of the weight? From my experience, this is a much better way to structure your URLs.
Note: If you decide to go back and update your established blog, just be sure to permanently redirect the old URLs to the new ones using a 301 permanent redirect. That way you make sure the old link-juice gets passed on to the new pages.
Well I hope you’ve appreciated these two SEO tips for WordPress. Please feel free to leave me a comment or subscribe to my blog if you liked this post!