When you’re new to blogging, a natural question to ask is:what is a permalink?
Let me show you an example to illustrate what a permalink is.
The home page of my blog can be found at the following address: https://www.ryrob.com/
An example of my blog permalink would be: https://www.ryrob.com/what-is-permalink /
In short, a permalink is the full link to an individual post or page on your blog. This is the URL that you will enter or arrive at from a Google search, in order to visit a particular web page.
Here is the full definition of what a permalink is:
What is a permalink?
A permalink, also known as a “permalink,” is a URL (of a blog post or a specific page on your site) that should remain unchanged after the page is published. Permalinks should always be SEO friendly URLs that are easy to remember for people and for search engines.
Here’s an example of what a permalink (URL of an individual blog post) looks like in your web browser’s address bar when you navigate to a particular post or page on a site:
Now the next natural question – why is it considered bad practice in blog SEO to change a permalink?
Why should permalinks remain unchanged?
After the publication of a particular article or page, the permalink of that page should not be changed without a very good reason (and in extreme exceptions). Permalinks should be left unchanged as all inbound links to the post or page from other websites will suddenly point to a missing url.
If you do need To change a permalink at any given time on your blog, it’s absolutely essential that you set up an appropriate 301 redirect to make it clear to search engines (like Google) that your post, page, or post is now moved to the new one. URL you install.
You can use a free WordPress plugin like Fast page / post redirection (as I use it), to quickly set up a 301 redirect for a post or page that you plan to move to a new URL like this:
Changing the URL (permalink) of an existing blog post without setting up a 301 redirect will result in what is called a broken link.
And broken links are very bad for the SEO health of your website because when someone clicks on a broken link somewhere on the internet or in search engine results it basically lands on a blank page that does not exist. more.
When this happens, it will result in a high bounce rate as those visitors will leave immediately.
Search engines will notice this and lower your organic rankings accordingly, so that they don’t send traffic to an empty page on your website. And if you have multiple broken links on your website, the search engines will likely devalue or penalize your website as a whole resulting in a general bad situation that is easy to avoid.
Always redirect any 301 post or page you plan to move to a new URL.
How to create SEO optimized permalinks
If you started your blog using WordPress, the CMS that powers over 30% of sites on the internet, creating SEO-friendly permalinks is extremely easy.
WordPress comes with a few out of the box default options for permalink structures that are automatically assigned to new posts and pages, as you start writing them.
Simply navigate to Settings > Permalinks so:
After clicking on Permalinks, the options page below will be presented to you.
See the clear warning at the top? It says, WARNING: Changing your permalink settings can seriously affect your search engine visibility. This should almost never be done on a live website.
And as we’ve discussed before, that’s for good reason.
To create SEO-optimized permalinks for the URLs of your blog posts and pages, you should always use the default permalink structure of After the name as a starting point for your permalinks.
If you’ve learned how to write a blog post that begins with an SEO friendly title (headline), the default permalink that appears in a blog post draft will naturally include the important keyword phrase represented in your headline.
Here are a few examples of how SEO friendly titles translate to SEO friendly permalinks:
After you’ve done your keyword research and discovered the exact words or phrases your ideal readers are looking for, you can design smart content topics that best meet the search queries they make.
The title of your article should naturally include the main keyword you hope to rank for.
And when you enter the article title (when writing the article), the default permalink structure “Article name” automatically generates a permalink suggestion by inserting the full text of your title. as the URL of the blog post.
The use of the default permanent link suggestion “Message name” is not sufficient
While it’s tempting to settle for the default permalink that’s populated as the suggested blog post URL, it’s rare that you have to accept this suggestion without making some changes (as your post is still a good draft. sure).
If you noticed in my three example blog post titles and corresponding permalink examples above… the permalinks for these articles do not include Each word of the title.
For the permalink, I omitted very short, non-essential words like “to” and “a” so that they don’t get embedded in the URL and make it unnecessarily long.
To create SEO optimized permalinks, you need to usually remove these types of words from the URL before posting your article:
- Conjunctions (for, and, neither, but, or, again and so)
- Prepositions (words like to, from, with, to, from, in, for, on by, etc.)
In general, the shorter your permalink, the more memorable it will be for readers and the easier it will be for search engines to understand quickly.
It is important to include your target keyword in the permalink of your post or page, along with any other keywords like “how” or “why” that clearly indicate the nature of what your content is about.
How to manually edit a permalink (on a post or individual page)
If you are using the classic WordPress editor, you will be able to edit your permalink, ideally before clicking publish on your blog post, by clicking the “button”EditNext to the permalink preview, located just below your post title, here:
If you are using the Gutenberg editor in WordPress, you will be able to change your permalink for a post or page by clicking the “Permalink”, Located in the right sidebar when editing the post or page, here:
That’s it! Manually changing an individual-level permalink for an article or page doesn’t have to be difficult.
Optimizing your off-page SEO is a whole different story.
This type of work can be done manually or more quickly with a tool like Linkio designed to help you monitor backlinks and optimize the anchor text you get, for maximum content benefits while remaining neutral. Maintaining a quality backlink profile with a diverse range of anchor texts can be difficult, so using a tool specifically designed for this purpose can be extremely helpful.
Have a question about the permalink?
Ask in the comments section below and I’ll give you my advice 🙂