Quick Permalink Structure Fix Improves Blog Traffic!

Ninja SEO trick!

You’re probably familiar with the wordpress permalink structure showing some sort of date on the url, right? Something like this:

Common permalink structure with the post date

If you know a little bit about SEO, you know that the first place search engines look for keywords is in the domain url. As we see in the example above, 2009/07/10 is not a keyword anybody but a horoscope writer would target.

So, how can you change that silly date insertion to a more interesting, SEO-friendly url?

Changing your Permalink Structure

A permalink is the address given to a blog post, which is an abbreviation for “permanent link”. They are permanent because unlike your main domain url, which changes as you write new posts, the url on your permalinks remain the same. Therefore their importance for SEO.

To make changes to your blog’s permalink structure, follow these instructions:

  1. Log into your admin area (blogdomain.con/wp-admin)
  2. Scroll down to Settings >> Permalinks

At that point, you’ll see some WordPress suggestions like these:

This is what WordPress suggests for permalink structure

You don’t want to use any of these. Instead, at the bottom, where you see “Custom Structure”, enter this code:

/%category%/%postname%/

Your configuration should look something like this:

This is how your permalink structure works best

What happens now?

WordPress will use the categories you determine for each post as part of the permalink url, which will include (hopefully) more relevant keywords to your url.

After you’ve finished, your permalink will look like this:

Here's the optimized permalink structure in action

The Difficult Part?

So far, all you had to do was enter a half-a-line code to your wordpress admin area. That was ridicuosly easy.

The part that actually requires some thinking is determining which Categories suit your blog best.

For that, I highly recommend an extensive keyword research.

Make sure your categories:

  • are relevant to your content,
  • have decent traffic volume,
  • are generic enough to hold more than one or two posts.

The key with categories is that they’re not TAGS, but more like umbrellas from where your tags will come out.

After a week of updating all of the permalinks, I experienced a better indexation for most of the keywords within my categories, and an overall blog traffic increase of 20-25%.

It’s definitely worth it.

3 Responses to Quick Permalink Structure Fix Improves Blog Traffic!
  1. BloggerSum

    Thanks for this post. Now I can easily change my permalink structure to improve on my traffic and better search engine indexing.

    Determining the Blog Categories is yes, difficult. I’ve been torn on having too many categories for fear that I won’t be able to post enough content to match them.

    So I’ve decided to start with two and work my way up – trying to match content with categories.

    I like the metaphor about categories being umbrellas and tags arising from them. Simple, yet now I understand a bit more about what tags do and are for.

    Thanks for the tips – simple yet powerful and easy to implement.

    Faith

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