From time to time, I find WordPress powered blogs that use a certain default setting.
Nothing wrong with defaults in general, but the one I’m talking about today is one of the key essentials for getting high rankings at the Search Engines, and it makes folks remember and recognize certain pages more easily.
Therefore, I find it essential for your Internet Business.
What am I talking about anyway?
Permalinks (or “Permanent Links”)
When people visit your WordPress blog they will see a list of the most current posts. But what happens if a user wants to come back to read a specific post in a few days or months time? It could be that it has disappeared off the home page and is now archived somewhere. This is where permalinks come in.
Permalinks are quite simply permanent links to your post, and per default these look like…
The “p=123” means something to WordPress, however it means very little to anyone else, or Search Engines for that matter. These are the two main reasons why you might want to change your permalink structure in your WordPress application.
SEO is a hot topic nowadays. Just in case you have been living with cotton wool in your ears for the past few years then it stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” This basically means making your site more attractive to Search Engines.
When Search Engines are crawling the Internet they may pay attention to certain sites and index them. “p=123” means absolutely nothing (other than that it’s the 123th post,) unless of course someone searches for “p=123” which is very unlikely! What would be better is to change this link to something meaningful.
Changing the format of these links will also make it possible for humans to remember certain links. Including the post name in the permalink will make it much easier for people to remember the content of the post.
Also, when someone sees a post of your blog, s/he decides whether or not to click-through to that particular blog post. Having a “p=123” may not accomplish this.
Changing The Permalink Structure In WordPress
To change the permalink structure in your WordPress application, click on OPTIONS -> PERMALINKS. Under “Common Options” check the radio button beside “Custom, specify below” and enter the following…
This will result in a structure such as http://www.yourblog.com/name-of-post
Why only %postname% and nothing more, like the date or the category?
The reason why I use %postname% only is word-of-mouth, which is a crucial part of any Internet business. Similarly to choosing a good domain name, the longer the URL the harder to remember and the more difficult it will be to have a clickable link in e-mails, comments, chatting, etc (may be chopped off.)