Search Engine Friendly URLs

search engine friendly urls - SEF-URLsSearch-Engine-Friendly URLs can make a significant difference to a website’s positioning in the SERPs. This is not achieved by a plugin. In fact, its a core WordPress mechanism for controlling the URL’s on every page. By default, the URL’s are garbage: e.g. www.yoursite.com/?page_id=16

What you want is an explicit, keyword-rich URL! A search engine friendly URL… something more like; www.yoursite.com/guaranteed-bad-credit-mortgage-finance.html

However, a lot of people never get it quite from an SEO perspective, so lets shed some light on it.

Using Permalinks

This is controlled from within in Admin / Setting / Permalinks. The default is;

permalinks-default

So, what we need to do is change that so we get an explicit Category / Page name format like this;

permalinks-custom

Having changed the setting, and clicked on “Save Changes” you will need to check that the required Mod_Rewrite code is inserted in your .HTACCESS file. Depending on how your site’s file access permissions are configured, WordPress may, or may not, be able to write directly to the .HTACCESS file.

permalinks-htaccess

If WP cannot automatically update .htaccess, you have two options;

  1. Change the .htaccess file access permissions so that WP can write to it, then reset back to original permissions afterwards
  2. Manually edit the .htaccess file and paste in the Mod_Rewrite code

Once you’ve completed this step, you will discover that editing page and posts now displays verbose, plain-English URL’s based on the page or post title as you enter and save pages / posts.

permalinks-se-friendly-url

You can edit this as / if required, to ensure the URL is exactly as YOU want it to be…. For this site, page URLs start to look like this; www.website-designers.net.nz/the-best-plugins/title-meta-tags-management.htm

Post Slug

The “Post Slug” option also allows you to manually control the URL for the post

permalinks-post-slug

– and this appears in the Posts / Edit / Quick Edit options;

quick-edit-post