01 Mar

The Most Overlooked WordPress SEO Tip?

In the last month I’ve seen three blogs running on WordPress that have failed to take advantage of search engine friendly URLs.   It is incredibly easy to turn on search engine friendly blogs running on WordPress.   In less than two minutes you can go from URLs like this:

http://www.johnarobb.com/?p=362

To URLs that look like this:

http://www.johnarobb.com/school-caught-spying-on-students-webcam/2010/02/

Something to keep in mind is that if you can’t tell the subject of a page from the URL neither can a search engine.

There are a number of ways to turn on search engine friendly URLs in WordPress Here is one way:

  1. Open the Settings menu
  2. Select Permalinks
  3. Paste this in the Custom Setting text box – /%postname%/%year%/%monthnum%/
  4. Save changes

That’s it, you are done.  From now on your pages will have more search friendly URLs.

6 thoughts on “The Most Overlooked WordPress SEO Tip?

  1. Why exactly would you put the date after the post name in the URL? It kinda defeats the whole hierarchical organization of the url. If you have it setup date, then title then a user can drill down your site organization much easier just by removing parts of the url.

  2. The primary reason is that a hierarchy based on numbers is not particularly SEO friendly. I get your point of helping the user but from a search perspective getting your keywords to the top of the hierarchy is better. So if you have something like Products or Services it makes sense to have a heirarchy like /products/blue/electrical. What indication of the subject matter does having a hierarchy of /2010/10/title-of-some-length give? It doesn’t give any. The goal from and SEO point of view is to bring the keywords of interest closer to the top of the hierarchy.

    Now to help the user I suggest giving them some other way of getting at the content based on date. Perhaps a calendar or an archive. For me the focus is on making a page rank well for a given term which influences how I’d architect a site.

  3. I suppose I get the point of the keywords closer to the root. Organizing the url the way I mentioned gives you a breadcrumb like structure. Maybe I’m an oddity, but I always want to know how fresh information is on a page I’m reading. Having that info in the url is the first place I look, then I look at the page itself for the date. Another thing is the expected behaviour aspect of the url. Just going to CNN( http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/02/28/stark.chile.quake.haiti/index.html?hpt=C2 ) or CBC( http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/story/2010/03/01/spo-your-view.html ) you see the organization in that fashion.

    Not to say that major media conglomerates are spot on for SEO best practices, just seems to be a common practice in my view.

  4. To start with there is no right way or wrong way, just preferences.

    If you look at both of your examples you’ll see that they have mixed what I’m suggesting with what you are suggesting. In the first example Opinion is something CNN is trying to make sticky. For CBC it is the Olympics. They don’t start doing the date hierarchy until after some keyword they are emphasizing.

  5. This is a juicy topic IMO. My take on URL structure is that the deeper a phrase (in this case the date) the less relevant it is. So theoretically a /my-post-title/01/2010 will likely have a better chance of ranking over a /01/2010/my-post-title/. On some of my newer WordPress blogs/sites I started purging the slashes and changing the URLs to /my-post-title-012010/ this makes a less convoluted URL, though I don’t have any proof that it’s more beneficial for search, and I don’t think the user cares.

    To get this URL set up your permalinks like this:
    /%postname%-%monthnum%-%year%

    As far as i’m concerned the most important key to proper on page SEO on a WP driven site is matching the page title, with the URL and the or entry on the page, if your WP site is set up properly and you have a decent theme this should happen automagically.

    and finally just because CNN on CBC do it a certain way it doesn’t mean it’s proper, but thats an opinion as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *