The Importance of Permalinks

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Understanding how permalinks improve your WordPress Website

It’s been a busy time here in Trigger Movement HQ. We launched our new website, and detailed our new offerings. Once the website was launched, we started looking forward to writing articles about a number of topics. I mentioned that I was going to update our permalink settings for the new website, and Ben asked why. It was a very valid question, and something I took for granted, but many people don’t update their permalinks from default settings within WordPress. This blog post is about why I changed our Permalinks, and why you should too.

First off, some of you might be thinking,
what is a Permalink?

A Permalink is basically the structure for your url content online. It helps define what the link is when you share it, and it helps Google rank your site with SEO. The best way of describing how they look is with a few examples:

  • https://triggermovement.com/?p=123
  • https://triggermovement.com/2018/05/31/sample-post/
  • https://triggermovement.com/2018/05/sample-post/
  • https://triggermovement.com/archives/123
  • https://triggermovement.com/sample-post/
  • https://triggermovement.com/author/category/post-name/

Each of the links above is an example of a different type of Permalink.

Plain Numeric – The first gives a numeric value to the post. These numeric values are in order, and can give you a quick idea of how many posts are on the website. The issue with numeric however, is that you cannot get any more information from the link other than p=123. This doesn’t help native SEO, and would inhibit the ability of a website to rank. It is also surprising how many websites have this permalink. If you have it too, I’d strongly suggest changing it

Date Centric – Knowing when you publish your post is great. If you publish posts regularly, you will be able to see when the post was published. This is great for those websites who publish loads of content. But if your business only posts once in a blue moon, your website can seem dated and out of touch if the last post was in 2016 or 2017.

Post Name – This gives a bit more structure to websites, and posts. When you see the url, you can see what the post is about before clicking in. What’s more, having the post title match the permalink, you get to leverage that extra SEO boost. The only issue with the Post Name permalink, is that there is no difference between pages, and posts. The same url could either direct you to a page or a post. While not an immediate disadvantage, it may be as you start to write more content.

Custom – This is where I think the most value is with permalinks. Here at Trigger Movement, we want to leverage not only the post title, but also the category the post belongs to. That is to say, you will know from looking at a url */digital-marketing/the-importance-of-permalinks/*, you will see what section of content that belongs to straight away. The secondary benefit is from SEO, as it will help boost our organic results for Digital Marketing. We have also included Author into the permalink, as some people might want to follow content by a specific author. Here in Trigger Movement, we want to give kudos to people who write the articles, and we can report every month on how many users read content from each user. This structure also gives a hierarchical structure to your online content, and helps group articles as well. If you go to TriggerMovement.com/digitial-marketing/, you will get to see all our articles on Digital Marketing, and so on for other categories.

A lot of this information, we take for granted. If you have a WordPress site, be sure to check your permalink settings (Settings > Permalinks), and check that they best match your business objective.

If you ever need advice or assistance with Permalinks or SEO optimisation, be sure to get in touch with the team here at Trigger Movement, we’d be more than happy to help.

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