In WordPress, the “slug” refers to the portion that comes after the domain name of the site’s address. If you visited a blog post at “wptechonline.com/blog-post”, the first part “wptechonline.com” is the domain name and “blog-post” is the post slug.
SEO also speaks of having the right slug for a page. If we are not talking about bugs that you find eating plants then, what’s that ‘slug?’ Why are you supposed to optimize it? We’ll clarify what you need to know in this article.
By default, the slug of every post you write will be the same as the title, with a lowercase and a dash rather than a space. For instance, if you start your blog and write a post called “My first blog post,” the default post slug becomes “my-first-blog-post.” But of course you can change it anytime.
Why would you like your post slug to be customized? Slugs help you find a page on a website in a user-friendly way. They will help users and search engines assess the content of the page. Personalizing your slugs will help boost the SEO rating of your site and provide a great user experience for users.
What is a URL Slug?
For example, WordPress will automatically generate a unique URL for a post based on its title when you create a new blog post. You may change the identity or the name of this URL for your choice. This editable URL component is known as the slug.
Slugs are in certain ways like the addresses of your website and blog posts. Every slug is special and helps to keep your pages apart.
People will determine whether or not to click a connection based on your slug. Optimizing your slugs helps to provide openness and tells visitors what to expect from the connection.
WordPress slugs will help Google recognize how your post works and help your posts to better rank in search results for the right keywords.
Difference between Slugs and Permalinks
Permalinks (stands for permanent links) and slugs have very close relationships. But they’re doing two separate roles.
Permalinks are the default URL scheme that you use in WordPress. By going to Settings >>Permalinks tab, you get to choose which URL structure to use on your website.
No matter what Permalink structure you choose, you will always have a unique name at the end of each blog post and page you make to recognize them individually. This specific name is called the slug.
When you change the settings of Permalinks, it affects your whole website. But, if you alter the slug, it only affects a single tab.
Note: Once you have selected a permalink structure for your website, do not change it. It would change all of your website’s page URLs and lose all search engine traffic going to your website.
Why are slugs relevant to SEO?
Writing a good slug for your page or post can have a positive effect on your SEO. It enables you to do the following things:
- Insert your keyword in your URL
The key SEO advantage of the slug is that you can adjust the terms and make sure they have the words that you really want to rank for. It’s one of the metrics that Google uses to assess what the website is about.
- Create user-friendly URLs
The URL is also one of the things users see in the search results. Picture the results page: you’re going to see a lot of different URLs about a subject, right? But you need to make sure that your slug is in line with what people expect to see. For example, our current article on “What is a slug in WordPress?” has the URL wptechonline.com/what-is-a-slug-in-wordpress, which is very relevant. People are far more likely to click on that than on wptechonline.com/?P=2364, although that’s the URL WordPress produces by default.
Different Types of Slugs Used in WordPress
In WordPress, multiple sections of the software are used to generate unique URLs for each segment.
- Post Slugs: URL names for blog posts
- Page Slugs: URL names for pages
- Category Slugs: Unique URLs for category pages
- Tag Slugs: Unique URLs for tag pages
- Author Slugs: URL for author profiles
- Custom Post Slugs: URL for custom post types
How to Set WordPress Post/Page Slugs
As we discussed earlier, WordPress sets a slug for each page and post that you make based on the title of the page. You can modify the slug to make it more comfortable and convenient.
Before setting up a slug for a post or page, initially make sure it’s saved as a draft. Take the steps below.
3 Tricks on using slugs in WordPress
The web page URL is one of the variables that search engines look at as they try to understand the content of a page as well as how to rank it in the search results.
Follow these tips when you use slugs to make the most of them.
- Write Slugs Short and Descriptive.
The slug of a blog post or website does not have to define a word-by-word title page. Instead, use a short slug that defines the key-phrase tab. For example, if your post is called “10 best and easy to use plugins for WordPress” use a slug like “best-plugins-for-wordpress”.
- Ignore numbers and capital letters.
Avoid the use of numbers and capital letters in slugs. Write the slug in plain (or small-cap) letters. This makes it much easier to read the URL. Also, if you’re writing a top-ten style list article, avoid adding a list number to the slug. Just in case you want to add more things to your article at a later time.
- Use keywords that are long-tail.
Inserting keywords into the slug is a successful SEO practice. This makes it easier for Google to find your blog posts and pages based on search terms and keywords. In your slug, consider using long-tail keywords.
The slug, despite its insignificance and small size, can have a huge impact on the growth and effectiveness of a WordPress website.
You’ll be able to use slugs to rate your website higher on Google and push more traffic to it now that you know how they function.
Pro Tip: To improve your website’s ranking, use the Rank Math SEO – Best SEO Plugin for WordPress.