The identity of a website page, which is displayed by most browsers in the address bar, is called a url, which stands for Uniform Resource Locator. By default WordPress urls look similar to this: http://websitesessex.co.uk/?p=123, obviously you would have your own domain name. When search engines rank pages of a site they take notice of many factors – and most people believe that the url is an important factor, and so an SEO friendly url is essential. Even if you are not a believer in the importance of the url for SEO purposes, the default WordPress url is not very memorable for your users.
SEO Friendly URL
Most people who write pages for websites are familiar with keywords – these are words or short phrases that a user could use to search for your page. So imagine that you were writing this page, you might want to rank for the phrase “seo friendly url”. For SEO purposes you would optimise your titles, text and even titles and alt-text for your images – what a shame to have the url as http://websitesessex.co.uk/?p=123, when it could be an SEO friendly url like http://websitesessex.co.uk/seo-friendly-url.
If you’re not a believer in the SEO friendly url, imagine reciecving an email telling you to click on http://websitesessex.co.uk/?p=123 – it looks odd, slightly spammy and you probably wouldn’t click on that link. Or imagine telling your friends that you have a new technique that they can find at http://websitesessex.co.uk/?p=123 – would they remember that? Would you remember that to tell them the url in the first place? Probably not.
How to do it
WordPress can manage this for you – no plugin is required – it all comes pre-packaged in the WordPress functionality. Log onto your WordPress website and from the dashboard page select Settings > Permalinks. You will see the screen shown to the right.
There are several options, but select the “Post Name” option and this will set WordPress to default to using an SEO friendly url for every page.
Still not quite right?
Setting the permalinks to this mode, WordPress uses the page title to create the url. But sometimes that isn’t exactly what you want to use. Go back to the top of this page and you will see that the title is “How to Create an SEO Friendly URL with WordPress”, but the url is websitesessex.co.uk/seo-friendly-url/. So how did we manage that?
This is also pretty simple. At the top of the edit page screen, just under the title, is a smaller block called “Permalink:” with the whole permalink available and an edit button. Just click on “Edit” and then change the website title to what you want it to be.
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