How many of you thought about what your permalinks, aka URLs, looked like when you first started your site? Usually, this is low on the thought totem pole. However, once you’re up and running, have you ensured you have returned to optimize your permalinks for past, present, and future?

I know I’ve mentioned it before as a blurb in one of my past articles, no doubt one about SEO, but this is a pet peeve of mine, so I want to be loud and clear. Please use words in permalinks! In other words, is much better than / page90.

Not only is using words much friendlier than alpha garble (I should patent the use of that word) since it gives your visitors a good idea of what to expect, but it will also help your SEO. People who say that it doesn’t matter are fooling themselves.

Benefits of using words in permalinks

  • Helps visitors understand what they’re clicking to
  • Builds visitor confidence in the content of the link
  • Allows visitors to remember easier if they want to return (OK, it’s a stretch, but it counts!)
  • Makes good friends with search engines

Like anything else, you can intend to do well but royally screw up in the process. Please do not:
Use generic names (e.g. page90.html or news070712.htm)
Overuse keywords (e.g., make-money-online-mmo-blogging-blog.html)

What am I using? I love using a Custom Structure in WordPress. I merely go with /%postname%/and, and my titles become my permalinks. I then shorten the name if I need to.

And yes, it certainly doesn’t hurt that I’m also using words for my domain. Woohoo! How are your permalinks set up?