What is the best permalink structure for WordPress SEO? How to set up your permalink settings in WordPress so that search engines like Google love it?
What Are WordPress Permalinks
The permalink, short for permanent link, is the actual URL address of your page. So for example the permalink for this article is https://businesscookhouse.com/best-permalink-structure-for-wordpress-seo. The default permalink for WP and for any type of CMS in fact looks more like a code. In my case, the default URL would be https://businesscookhouse.com/?p=3090 , including a query string at the end (in this case ?p=3090 means web page #3090). You can even try this by the way, both will show you the same content.
Permalink settings let you change the structure and the look of these URLs, thus have what’s called a nice URL. What this means is having human readable URLs which are also preferred by search engines.
As a rule of thumb, any human readable URLs or nice ULRs are better for SEO than a URL with query parameters.
WordPress Permalink settings
To actually set up the best SEO-friendly permalink structure in WordPress, first head over to Settings » Permalinks in your admin dashboard. Here you see a couple of options to set up your permalink structure.
Best Permalink Structure For WordPress SEO
If you want a quick answer, the best permalink structure is the one which is the default setting these days, that is Post name. This is a human readable URL, it’s short and it contains the title of your article. Unless you have any other things to take into consideration, simply select this setting.
In some cases though you might want to consider one of these other options:
- This is not strictly SEO, but if you want to be able to later retarget people based on the type of article they’ve visited, you might want to use the Custom Structure option, with the setting /%category%/%postname%/. This will include the post category and the post title in your URL. And although this is longer than just the title, I find it works just as fine for SEO purposes. But again, this way you can create custom lists in Google Ads or Facebook Ads, and showing remarketing ads to those people who visited one specific category.
- If you’re running an online news portal or an online news website, where the actual publication date of an article might be important, you might want to select the Day and name or Month and name settings. These will include the publication date in your URL, making it easier to find for search engines and visitors. But be aware that this is only recommended for news websites publishing several articles every day where the publication date is important, and is considered bad SEO practice for most “normal” websites.
More Tips On Setting The Best Permalink Structure For WordPress SEO
- Set up your permalink structure as soon as possible. Make sure to check your permalink settings right after installing WordPress and save the structure you want.
- Don’t change your permalink structure often, in fact don’t change it at all later if possible. Google and other search engines index URLs, so whenever you change your permalink structure, you can almost start from scratch when it comes to SEO results.
- As a rule of thumb, any human readable URLs or nice ULRs are better for SEO than a URL with query parameters.
- Always include the post name in your URL.