8-Bit John

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The Importance Of Permalinks

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Every url you create is given its unique ID and on the blogging CMS WordPress it is usually in the form of whatever the title of the blog post or page title is. An automatic permalink may not be the ideal url and I explain why below.

Urls are a part of your SEO strategy

The words you use in your url act as a part of Googles ability to index your written blog post and one aspect to index your urls higher than the rest competing for that particular keyword. For instance in this blog post “www.jawilsondesign.com/permalinks” is the url of the post because if someone searches for that word it will be seen by the search engine and return the url to the searcher in a list of other urls that also use this particular keyword.

urls need to be humanised

If I had let the CMS create the permalink for me I would have ended up with “www.jawilsondesign.com/the-importance-of-permalinks”. This is both good and bad for your website. It is bad for users to manually type in the url to their browser address bar but it IS excellent for the long tail keywords ( long tail keywords are words that have less competition from other sites for search rank positioning) of SEO.

urls need to be easy to type for users

You need to ask yourself what is important. Is it making your url easy to type in incase they want to visit your page easily or is it to be found organically on the major search engines? I believe when it comes to blogging the best way to generate urls is to consider what people might type into google as a sentence. I.e. “how important are permalinks” or “the importance of good permalinks” etc. which would give you a long url but great search indexing.

Not every country understands what a “hyphen” is

As my globe trotting boss mentioned to me the problem with long urls like “www.jawilsondesign.com/the-importance-of-good-permalinks” is that not every country understands what a hyphen is. Not only is it very difficult to remember the whole url it would be even more difficult to understand if you are not from a country that regularly uses the hyphen.

When to use hyphenated urls and when not to

It is in my belief that hyphenated urls are best used when writing blog posts. The well known search engines will love this and help generate natural traffic to your website but when creating the url for your static pages such as services, about etc a short simple url such as www.jawilsondesign.com/about is much better than a url like “www.jawilsondesign.com/about-ja-wilson-design-the-multi-discipline-designer

Sharing changes things

When sharing your latest blog post it is usually good practice to use url shortening tools such as goo.gl particularly if you share your work on Twitter. This being the case the whole decision of what the url should be doesn’t matter as much when sharing.

In conclusion I recommend that you use long hyphenated permalinks in blog posts to target long tail keywords but keep your main page permalinks short and easy for users to remember so that the pages can be found easily. Should you have any further suggestions please comment below.

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