Why Are URL Slugs Important?

How to change your URL slugs in WordPress

Let’s take a deep look at why URL slugs are important and how you can easily adjust your URLs in WordPress. 

SEO is a vast subject that involves a plethora of seemingly insignificant features of a website. URL slugs are one of these aspects. We’ll look at what a URL slug is, how it works, and how such a small part of your site can have such a big impact on SEO and usability in this article.

WHAT ARE URL “SLUGS” AND WHY ARE THEY VITAL FOR ON PAGE SEO?

The final part of a URL is referred to as a “slug.”

For example, the slug in this blog post’s URL is: /seo-importance-of-url-slugs/.

In contrast, the slug of the blog’s URL is simply /blog. A slug’s function is simple: it identifies a certain page/post within a website/blog. The word was coined by the WordPress community, who began utilizing slugs to identify particular pages of a site rather than the random collection of letters, numbers, and symbols that make up a default URL.

To identify all of the many sections in the site’s architecture, most websites now use short, straightforward slugs. And there’s a compelling rationale for it. Although slugs may appear to be inconsequential, they can have a significant impact on your site’s SEO. Using slugs that are clear and relevant to the keywords you’re aiming for that specific website is a wonderful approach to inform search engines about the page’s content and drive organic traffic from search.

HOW DO SLUGS HELP YOUR SEO EFFORTS?

Slugs can effect a website’s SEO in two ways: they help communicate with visitors who come across your site in search results, urging them to click on your content, and they help communicate with search engines. Slugs are an excellent way to connect with Google and other search engines, first and foremost. Keep in mind that search engines strive to offer users with the greatest possible internet experience.

They utilize algorithms to offer the best possible content in response to a user’s search query. The algorithms use a range of different metrics to find this content. They look for terms used in search queries, for example, in critical areas of a webpage. As a result, incorporating specific keywords in your URLs that are relevant to the search queries you’re pursuing is a pretty solid hint for Google that your page might have relevant information to give.

Slugs can also help you communicate more effectively with real users. When people look at Google search results, they consider a lot of factors before deciding which link to click. Obviously, the ranking of results is important, but other factors such as a page’s information and slug are also important. Slugs can help search engines understand what your page is about, and they can also help human users understand what your page is about. If you’re looking for something in Google, you’re more likely to click on a result that has a slug that contains the keywords you’re looking for than one that doesn’t.

 

For Blog Posts Consider Using Permalinks Tab  

If your website was developed with WordPress, you can change the slugs of your various pages under the “Settings” permalink tabs. If you haven’t changed your permalinks yet, you may notice that they default to a random collection of letters, numbers, and symbols.

As a result, your post URLs can appear like this:
http:/www.exampledomain.com/blog/?p=189

You should update these settings as quickly as possible, and you should also update the slugs of all live links on your site. WordPress’ default slugs aren’t SEO-friendly, and they’re unlikely to persuade users to click on your link. We propose updating your permalink settings to “Post Name” in the best-case scenario. WordPress will then utilize the name of the post/page you’re creating as the slug automatically.

Matching Page Title and URL Slug Isn’t Always Best

There are instances when matching the title of your page to the slug is not a good SEO practice. For example, many websites have an “About” page and the typical slug can look like : http:/www.exampledomain.com/about 
Now imagine how many domains have an “About” page with this exact slug…..quite a few. 
The video above shows a method for changing URL slugs that allows you to alter your URL slug without adjusting the title of the page. 
 

WHAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN CREATING CUSTOM URL SLUGS

It may appear that creating custom slugs for your website is simple. However, you’d be shocked at how many websites still make this mistake. Here are a few pointers to assist you generate outstanding URL slugs that will enhance your SEO.

1: USE THE KEYWORDS YOU’RE TARGETING

Remember that the greatest method to ensure that search engines properly rank your content is to make it as simple as possible for them to understand what it is about. As a result, make sure your URL slugs include the keywords you’re aiming for with each page/post. Use the keywords “best restaurants Chicago” in the slug if you’re starting a blog on the best restaurants in Chicago, for example. This will both assist Google understand what your post is about and appeal to users looking for information on the subject.

2: CUT OUT STOP WORDS

Words like “the,” “in,” “to,” “of,” and others are examples of “stop words.” These terms are usually ignored by Google and other search engines since they don’t help their algorithms better understand the text they’re looking at. Because search engines overlook these words, it’s best to exclude them as much as possible from your slugs. This will help you keep your slugs short and simple, which will make them easier for algorithms to understand and more appealing to users. 

3: KEEP IT SIMPLE

The length of your slugs is arguably one of the most essential characteristics about them. The easier a slug is for search engines to analyze and interpret, and the better it looks in search results, the shorter it is. When writing a URL, the common rule of thumb is to keep it to a maximum length of about 50–60 characters. However, we recognize that this is not always possible. As a result, we just advise you to keep your URLs as short as possible without going insane. That is, if your URL is longer than 60 characters, don’t be too hard on yourself.

4: USE 1 DOMAIN AND 1 SUBDOMAIN

Take the following advice with a grain of salt. Wherever practical, we recommend spreading your material across a single domain and subdomain. This is why: There are numerous SEO horror stories about webmasters losing rankings after switching to a new subdomain. This is because search engines may treat information on two separate subdomains differently, and your principal domain’s ranking may not always carry over to your subdomain. There are, however, some reports of people who saw their rankings rise after moving their content to a subdomain. This demonstrates that the methods used to rank material across multiple domains aren’t always consistent.

5: REMOVE DYNAMIC PARAMETERS

Numbers, symbols, and equations are examples of dynamic parameters. They’re unsightly, clutter your URLs, and make them appear less trustworthy to your readers, so get rid of them as soon as possible. It’s true that using URL parameters is sometimes unavoidable. Don’t bother about them unless you have several arguments per URL in that case. If this is the case, it may be worthwhile to have them redone.

6: USE FEWER PAGE CATEGORIES

 In general, we recommend keeping fewer folders in your URLs. Again, this helps keep them shorter and makes them appear easier to read for both users and search engines.

For instance, https://www.exampledomain.com/liquor-library/beer/styles/craft-beer

The numerous folders give the impression that the site is extensive and difficult to navigate. If you alter the same URL to something like https://www.exampledomain.com/liquor-library/craft-beer, the site appears to be much easier to use and navigate, both for Google’s crawlers and for users who come across it in a search. Again, this is dependent on the layout of your website, which may or may not be changeable. Nonetheless, it’s a useful reminder to keep in mind if you want to make sure your URL slugs are optimized for both search and usability.

 

Tell me what your favorite technique is for naming your URL slugs? Have you ranked for your favorite keyword with the technique?