SEO & WordPress Permalinks

by Jim November 11, 2015

UPDATE: Video transcript available for ‘SEO & WordPress Permalinks’.

I’m nearing the completion of our BloggersSEO System and I wanted to share an easy win with you, that I had this week and how it has managed to double the traffic of one blogger .  We always pay attention to Search Engine Friendly URLs but I was genuinely surprised that this technique would have such a dramatic effect.

Permalink Structure

Is how wordpress decides how the URLs on your site should be displayed. You can find it under settings in your WordPress install.

SEO Permalinks
Permalinks Effect SEO

As you can see above, we always use domain.com/postname/ . That’s because it removes what I would describe as noise from the URL. Why do we need to have the date in the URL anyway? I think it’s just a hangover from the early days of blogging. Let’s face it, if you are writing great content why on earth would you want to “archive” some of the older stuff? Once you change this structure though, you will need to redirect all the old URLs in the site to their new ones. I used a Yoast cloud based tool to help with that. Based on what you have changed your structure from and to, their tool creates a directive that you simply pop into your .htaccess file.

Redirects

Obviously the redirects should be permanent 301s. By using the Yoast tool and .htaccess you will 301 redirect all the old URLs to the new ones. However you really should go a step further and change all the on page links to the new ones or else you will have a site full of redirected links which could have unintended consequences.  If you have a small site that is probably not a big deal and you can go and change them manually. If the site is large you may want to go and edit the database tables if you have someone that is confident of doing that.

Immediate results

Once all the redirects were in place I got Google to refetch. A couple of hours later we had moved up 3 spots to no.6 and by the following morning no.4 .

Changing Permalinks Better Rankings
Changing Permalinks Better Rankings

The change was made on Nov 1st and you can see the immediate jump in rankings. Next came the traffic. For our keyphrase you can see that we had 6 times more traffic by getting to no.3

Traffic growth for keyphrase
Traffic growth for key phrase

The Surprise

What surprised me was that the ranking page did not have the date in the permalink. It was a static page I had setup at domain.com/postname. However it went from no. 10 to no.4 by changing the permalinks on all the other pages. Cool eh. When I was recording the show yesterday one of periscope viewers Myles, went off and did the changes himself. It only took a few minutes.

permalinks-seo-myles

Let me know how you go. Also we have another webinar coming up on the 26th of Nov all about site migration. If you are thinking about a new site soon you cant afford to miss this webinar.

 

 

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