SEO Written by 0

There are so many different elements you can look into to improve the search engine optimisation of an article and website. The content, images, the title, structure and much more.

One area that is often overshadowed, when it comes to SEO, is with the slug. The ‘slug’ is the part of the URL that comes after your domain name. The reason its called a slug? There’s different views on where the term ‘slug’ came from, ranging from journalists, news reporters shortening down words to make life easier for them. For me, maybe because it’s trailing behind the domain name, like a slug? Who knows.

Either way, when it comes to the slug, there are a few good things you can do to optimise it. In general, there are two different slug structures you should be looking to adopt.

 

domain.com/%postname%/

This is generally considered the best approach for the slug. To have your post name appear after your domain name gets rid of any potential junk in your slug (such as dates, author etc.) and is generally considered the best for SEO. It is also the shortest type of slug, which means you can be a little more descriptive in the post name of the slug if you should so wish.

 

domain.com/%category%/%postname%/

An alternative to the domain.com/%postname%/, this slug structure introduces the category of the post into the slug, giving a little more structure to the slug.

This has a few positives and negatives associated to it, outlined below:

  • This has a more logical approach to the slug, which web users will better understand what the content is about and how it is categorized
  • The fact the category is mentioned in the slug will enable the web user to know there are more articles, just from the slug, on that category
  • It can provide better SEO if the category is strongly linked to the post
  • However, adopting this structure will tie yourself down to having a contextual and SEO optimized category for each post you publish moving forward (which might not always be possible)

 

Ultimately, choosing the right structure for your slug will depend on your sites content. For example, for one of my websites, Poem Analysis, having the category/postname structure might work really well, since each poem that is analysed has the poet as the category (so the slug structure would be ‘poetname/poemname’). However, where the category is not always as related, it is a safer bet in the long run to go with the top option of just the post name, shortened down, as the slug.

Will created AskWillOnline.com back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging, SEO, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as PoemAnalysis.com and RestoringMamods.com. You can follow him @willGreeny.

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