We’ll explore the importance of URL slugs in this post and show you how to use Coders Tool to customize them. Finally, we’ll share some tips for using your optimized links effectively, both on and off your website. Let’s get started!
Slugify Your Page Title
Slugs make the URL more user-friendly and visitors know what to expect when they click on a link. Slugs should be short and concise and contain the words that help with your target keywords. A slug is a part of a URL, which usually describes the article. It is the section that comes after your domain name in the URL. It’s a combination of words or a simple phrase that defines the actual meaning of a link with all the unnecessary words and symbols removed.
The slugs help site owners replace the weird data; or codes that signify a category, folders, titles and attributes of a product in an predetermined arranged form. In order to make a URL search engine optimized and user friendly, slugs are added at the end of it and any ID or ambiguous letters are removed, either manually or through an automated task. It assures search engine visibility and user likelihood to click a link that is shared over a social platform or sent through an email newsletter.
What Is A Slugs?
The URL slug is the portion of the address of your web page that comes straight after the domain name. It tells search engines where your web page should be located. Think of a URL as an address. Imagine that the domain is the building of an apartment and each page is a different apartment. A URL slug will be the number of an apartment. Much like home addresses, when someone is searching for your location, unique slugs help avoid confusion. Slugs assign a unique name to a web page. This convention helps prevent one page from conflicting with other pages in the same website category.
It is the part of the URL that uniquely identifies a page and it’s in a format that is easily readable by both users and search engines. A URL slug is /about and its full URL is https://yourdomain.com/about.
Why Is it Called A URL Slug?
Slug is a word born in the business of publishing and media. It refers to news and articles that have yet to be published. In order to easily evaluate the quality of their articles, journalists usually use keywords as their slugs. The first content management system to use the slug language rule is WordPress as a method of defining individual pages on a platform. A slug is a text that comes as part of the permalink that leads to your content after your domain name.
Why Are Slugs Important?
Slugs are important for two main reasons:
- It’s one of the signals taken into account by search engines during the ranking process. They read the slug and try to understand what a page is about.
- The optimisation of your slugs gives you an edge in terms of SEO and usability. In the SEO Environment, the optimization process for the slug is the same as making SEO friendly URLs.
- Easy to read slugs help users identify what content to expect for a page. For example, the slug of this page https://wwww.coderstool.com/blog/slugify-page-title/ is “slugify-page-title”, which tells users exactly what kind of information they should expect to find on that page.
SEO Friendly URLs
A slugify function converts any unrecognized characters into it’s normal encoding character to create a “normal” URL. It converts special characters such as Á to A, ü to u, etc. to generate a simple URL.
When creating a slug from your post or page title, they usually follow a few rules:
- Convert to all lowercase.
- Spaces are replaced with dashes.
- Special characters and symbols are removed.
- Remove the stop words – I, a, about, an, are, as, at, be, by, in, is, it, of, on, or, over, that, the, this, to, was, what, when, where, who, will, with, yours
Example of clean url:
Search engines will not index common words so that it can save time on both crawling and indexing.
Anatomy Of A URL
There are three portions to a URL from an SEO perspective. They are the protocol identifier, the domain, and the slug. In the Wikipedia link, these parts would be:
- Protocol identifier: https://
- Domain: en.wikipedia.org/
- Slug: wiki/Search_engine_optimization
Much of the SEO power lies in the slug, but there are other SEO changes that can also be done. The objective here is to define the problems and act upon them. It can be simple if you have a small site, but if it’s a large one where the page count reaches into millions, without investing in a good marketing tool that will crawl the site URLs and find problems, it’s impossible to manually search each of the URLs for potential problems.
How It Works
Since some content management systems (such as WordPress, Django or Typo3) do not systemically provide good SEO URLs by default, it is always important to change the URL slugs. For example, posts in WordPress often receive a standard identification number (short: ID), which refers to the respective blog post. The problem is that, for either readers or search engines, ID numbers does not make sense. Some URLs also show the technique used since it is implied by file extensions, protocols and robotic practices.
In the following example, a post will get the URL Slug”?P=1234”. The document can be unambiguously referenced, but references to the content are not given.
On one hand, a URL slug defines a resource using keywords which are human and machine-readable, separated by hyphens and extracted from the post title. Usually, in lower case, the device writes keywords. These particular URLs in WordPress are called post slugs. They are automatically created when necessary configurations have been made. Other kinds of tools, such as groups, tags, and pages (subpages), may also be allocated to slugs. An example:
The URL in this example is already a speaking URL. You can change the URL structure (custom Permalink structure) to construct such URLs. In the first example, the URL is set to display the category, the post ID, and the post title. Webmasters would have to make some changes to the settings to do this: the URL structure can be customized under Settings and the Permalinks sub-item. Traditional (date, contribution or numeric) and individual settings are possible. Very often, custom settings are selected here so that the category and the name of the post are given as a URL. The following string adds the category and title of the post to the domain:
Optionally individual permalinks can be assigned to each post. This is done in the backend of WordPress in the article view by clicking on the Edit button, which is located directly under the title of the document. QuickEdit also allows such changes.
WordPress then normalizes each URL of a post according to the given schema. The system uses lowercase for each string, removes special characters that require URL encoding, and converts spaces. A hyphen is inserted between the words. The result is a talking URL whose last part, the URL slug, has been automatically changed.
Why You Should Optimize Your Links
Links are an efficient way to provide the website with new traffic. Longer or un-optimized links, however, may discourage individuals from clicking through, as they may seem untrustworthy. These URLs often appear to lack descriptive details about the relation content, which can adversely affect the rankings of your search engine.
By customizing your URL slugs, which are the descriptive parts located at the very end of your links, you can prevent these problems. Optimized slugs look neater, and are also better at drawing the audience’s attention. As they provide more valuable information, they are therefore more likely to be clicked on.
Consider Removing Stop Keywords
Most search engines use Web page URLs along with the title, metadata, and content itself to determine where the website may appear on the search results. Google suggests using hyphens (-) (to distinguish phrases, as they are viewed as whitespaces. You can also keep URLs short and succinct so that each word has more web crawler value on the engine. Too many similar terms can be called the stuffing of keywords and some search engines may penalise or ban your site.
Helpful Rules To Create A Perfect URL Slug
- Add key queries to a slug – You help search engines index and rate pages correctly by using keywords in the URL slug. Users can guess the primary idea of the web page at once.
- Divide the words in a slug – Use the “-” symbol. Use the Camel case method.
- Optimize a slug length – It is easier to understand and process shorted slugs than long ones.
- Contain only lowercase characters. In general, Microsoft servers will show uppercase slugs but many Unix ones will display a 404 ‘not found’ error instead.
- Include your primary SEO keyword – It will tell users what your content is about, and search engines. That’s even better if you can use your keyword near the start of the slug. If you have space, you might add a second keyword as well.
- Contain only letters, numbers and hyphens. Some other characters can be included or encoded but this is usually unnecessary and creates opportunities for errors.
- Be easy to read. As in all aspects of SEO, your URL slugs should make sense to the people you want to visit your content — your target market.
Why Are Slugs And Permalinks Important?
Some considerations when generation SEO friendly URLs:
- URL slugs are important for indexing and you should write your URL for it to be easily understood by people. The URL of each page is indexed by the search engines and it follows that the search engines give attention to the URL slugs.
- URL slugs are important for ranking and you should write your URL for the search engines. Search engines factor in the URL slugs as it is used when ranking the web page for a certain specific keyword/keyphrase or search terms.
- Before publishing, make sure your URL is well-optimized for both readers and search engines alike.
- URL slugs are important for ranking and you should write your URL to rank well for your keywords or key phrases.
A frequent SEO issue is the use of poor URL structure, which in turn can have a negative impact on a page ranking. Automatically create seo friendly slugs like WordPress for your pages. Not all websites owners can optimize their URLs. However, webmasters should make an effort to publish URLs that are easily read by humans.
URLs are an important aspect of optimizing your website for internet search engines and web crawlers. By crafting SEO-friendly URLs you can expand the reach of your web site through organic search results and attract new traffic via search engines.
URL Creating Principles To Keep In Mind
- A well-optimized slug helps people and search engines quickly understand what your page is about
- Keep your slug short to increase shareability and make Google’s job easier
- Only use keywords relevant to your content to make your page more likely to rank for related searches
- Clean slugs can help provide the information your target audience needs with just a quick glimpse of your permalink.
- Your URL slug is vital to your SEO strategy. Therefore, you need to make sure that each page on your website has a unique one.
- Using the same slug on different web pages might create duplicate content. Note that duplicate pages are often ignored by Google and other search engines
Changing URL Slugs On Existing Content
It is very easy in SEO to change the URL slug of a piece of content. However, when changing the URL slug on a new piece of content, there is one crucial move you need to perform. If you change the URL slug on a piece of existing content, you need to do one more thing.
You Need To Redirect Traffic From The Old URL
Redirecting traffic means that all the users who visit your old URL (and the search engine crawlers too) are immediately sent to the new URL. This ensures that you don’t have to go and locate and upgrade every single internal connection on your web to the new URL. More importantly, you don’t have to find any backlink to your content and try to persuade the appropriate employees to upgrade the links to your latest URL on those websites.
There are a range of common types of redirections. If, for some reason, you are just momentarily changing the URL, a 302 redirect can be used. However, in most situations, you will be changing the URL indefinitely so that you can use a 301 redirect.
WordPress does not have a simple way to set up 301 redirects and getting redirect chains will cause users and search engines problems, so it is better to build a good URL plan so that 301 redirects do not have to be enforced too much. But, when you notice that you need to redirect a piece of content, Yoast SEO ‘s premium edition includes a redirect manager. However, if you do not want to buy the premium edition of Yoast SEO, there are other plugins and other forms of implementing redirects.
Does A 301 Redirect Negatively Affect SEO And Ranking?
As much as 90-99% of the current SERP rating power is transferred to the redirected page by a 301 redirect. However, it will take a little time for search engines to discover the 301, remember it and credit the new page with its predecessor ‘s rankings and confidence. This method can be speeded up by your webmaster by sending a new sitemap once the new URLs have been introduced.
If you are upgrading your URLs from the default WordPress to SEO-friendly ones, with their own enhanced ranking power, the new URLs can more than compensate for any slight loss in ranking power.
How To Optimize URL Slugs
These are the top two best practices for optimizing a URL slug:
- Keep it short
- Use your target keywords