How to make WordPress URL structure SEO friendly

When you install WordPress and start working on your articles, you will notice that your URLs don’t look quite attractive. Default URL structure in WordPress is based on post ID numbers and if you keep everything untouched, your URLs will all look practically the same.

But, it’s not the looks of your URLs that really matter. It is all about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Once you start publishing your articles, you’ll want them to be accessible on the Internet and you will want people to easily find your content via search engines. That’s why you want your URLs to contain keywords and to be readable by humans as well as by search bots.

First step into making your site SEO friendly is changing those URLs. And we suggest you do that right away because it is only few clicks away.

  1. Navigate to Settings->Permalinks
  2. Choose “Post Name” setting if you want your URL to be derived from article’s title
  3. Save Changes

Choosing Post Name in your settings is enough to make your URLs SEO friendly and you will see the results immediately.  But if you want even more control over the structure of your permalinks, you should be looking at the next option in your permalinks settings. We’re talking about Custom Structure.

Just below “Post Name”, you will find “Custom Structure” where you are free to create your own permalink structure. As you can see, there is a textbox ready for your orders. Let’s see what you can write in here and what you can achieve with this option.

Custom Permalink Structure options:

%year% – Places a year when you have created the post. Your link would look something like this: https://firstsiteguide.com/2015

%monthnum% – Displays a month of the year, for example 05

 %day% – Day of the year

 %hour% – Hour of the day

 %minute% – Minute of the hour

 %second% – second of the minute

 %post_id% – It shows a unique identification number of the post

 %postname% – transforms title of the post into a part of the URL. For example, “My First Post” will become “my-first-post” and this is the same thing as the previously “Post Name” option.

 %category% – Transforms category name into part of the URL. It is actually the category slug field.

 %author% – Displays author’s name

You are free to combine these tags however you want. For example, if you want to have author’s name included before your post name, you should place these tags into the textbox of your Custom Structure option:

/%author%/%postname%/

Maybe the most popular permalink structure is category/postname. To have your URLs show category and the post name, you should use the combination of those two tags:

/%category%/%postname%

If you choose a Post Name option, or use the category/postname option, that will be enough to make your URLs SEO friendly. But if you want to learn more about permalink structures in WordPress and go into deeper customization, you should visit this detailed article about permalinks.

If you want to customize your WordPress links even more, you should see how to convert all links into clickable version, or similarly how to stop WordPress from doing that.

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2 thoughts on “How to make WordPress URL structure SEO friendly

  1. […] It’s an ongoing process that evolves over time. Everything you add to your website, content, friendly url structure, and from posts to pages, you will need to work on it to maximally optimize it. SEO plugins for […]

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