How to Fix WordPress URL (Beginner’s Guide)
When it comes to your website’s performance, WordPress URL matters. They help users identify your web page conveniently, and optimize each page or post for search engines. But, how do you make sure your URL accomplishes those purposes? Here’s How to Fix WordPress URL (Beginner’s Guide). Know what it does and understand how you can use it to leverage your WordPress website!
URLs in Your WordPress Website
Before you proceed any further…
What is a URL?
By definition, it stands for uniform resource locator. It finds a particular blog post, web page, or any other “resource” in the internet—similar to a physical home address. You and your website users type it in a browser’s address bar to visit a specific resource in your website.
There are basically 3 types of WordPress URL.
In your website’s General Settings, you’ll find the WordPress Address and the Site Address. Like this:
Your WordPress URL serves as the address of all your WordPress core files. It’s where YOU’ll find your admin pages along with their components in the directory.
On the other hand, your Site URL is the address that’s available to the PUBLIC. It’s what you and your website users use to find your awesome website. It’s what you might want to showcase on your social media account, LinkedIn profile, business cards, or anywhere else that will guide people to you.
Apart from these…
You also have the permalink. From the name itself, permalinks are permanent links that refer to specific resources in your website. While the Site Address is your classic “home address” in the internet, a permalink serves as the address of specific content, page, or any other “place” within that “home” or website.
Think about this…
Every time you create a blog post or a page, you also create a permalink for it. No two pages can have the same address. Otherwise, it will not work.
Each permalink should be unique from others. That way, you make it easy for search engines to index your website and for users to understand its location.
Set Up a Permalink Structure
First thing’s first…
You need to set up a uniform structure for your permalinks before you create a new post. Doing so helps organize your website’s content, and makes it easy to understand.
To set up a permalink structure, log in to your admin dashboard and hover over Settings at the left tab. Go to Permalinks, where you’ll find different permalink structure settings.
WordPress gives you the freedom to choose how you want your permalinks to look like. But by default, they offer you a plain URL that may appear like this: http://blog.slapshotstudio.com/?p=123.
123 serves as your post’s ID. Now, is that pretty?
The thing is…
You want each permalink to be easily understood by both users and search engines. You may choose to include the date if you want, or create a totally different structure. But for many WordPress website owners, the Post Name structure does well.
It comes with these benefits:
- Removing the date in the permalink makes a shorter URL. And the shorter the link, the more space people have to put in their thoughts (when sharing your content to their social media networks, like Twitter).
- Ideal for search engines to identify what your post is about. When someone types in a keyword, for example, a search engine will look for relevant content. Through the links provided, engines will be able to provide people with answers to their searches.
- Easy to read and understand. That makes it easy for both search engines and users.
In all these, your goal is to make your website easily accessible to your target audience. The more exposure your content has on social networks, the more chances for people to visit your website. The more visits you receive, the more valuable your content becomes.
Consequently, you receive a ranking boost in search engines—more chances of reaching more people.
Optimize Your Permalinks for SEO
Search engines look for relevant content to provide answers to people. That includes keywords from the content itself. And, that applies to your WordPress URL (permalink) as well.
“The future of SEO is here: understanding and marketing to specific and defined audiences through search engines.” -Adam Audette
How do you optimize your permalinks for search engines? Here are some tips:
1. Include a Keyword in Your URL
Before creating a new post, research on keywords that people type in search boxes. You can use Google Suggest for this. It will display popular searches on Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, and the App Store.
Simply type in a word or phrase about a topic you want to create content for, and it will show you key searches from a specific country. You will also find relevant questions asked about it.
Once you find your keyword or phrase, use it in your permalink to serve as clue to your content. Make sure it matches your post title as well, and use the keyword moderately in your post.
Keywords are like breadcrumbs.
Search engines have so-called hunters that look for clues in your content to identify what it is about. They use the crumbs to identify it and to index your post. Later when someone looks for the type of content you created, they will use those crumbs to provide the answer.
2. Place the Keyword at the Beginning of Your URL
Which gets easily found: the one at the back or the one at the front?
The same applies to your WordPress URL. As much as possible, place your keyword/phrase at the very beginning of your permalink. That makes it easy for “search engine hunters”—often referred to as crawlers—to pick them up and identify your content.
That also helps people easily identify what your post is about.
As much as you might want to avoid it, research is important when creating content. You need it to know what piques target audience. You want to narrow down your search to provide them the most relevant piece of content possible.
When you have a URL that strongly goes with the content you have for them, they easily get the clue you want them to find. Research on that one interesting keyword, and make it clear enough for people to act on it.
Where to Edit Your Permalink
For any type of post you create in WordPress, you can find its corresponding permalink right under the post title at the top of the page. Simply click on Edit, and it will allow you to make changes.
Should you want to organize your posts in a specific category, you can go to the Permalinks section in Settings. Type in the category title you want inside the “Category base” box.
Other option is to click Categories under Posts in the left tab of your admin dashboard. You will find there the option to create or edit a category.
Improve Your Website’s Performance
Needless to say, fixing your URL improves your website’s performance. It comes with a clear understanding of the fact that how you display content affects both search engines and users.
Before creating a new post, consider carefully the kind of value you’ll create. Is it relevant to the needs of your target audience? How will they benefit from it?
With blog posts alone, millions of new content are released every day. You don’t want to drift away and drown in a sea of websites and web pages and posts, don’t you?
Research on what’s relevant, define clearly what you want to achieve, and use that idea in your WordPress URL and content. Be aware and stand out.
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