Hey, do you have WordPress, and you have no idea what a slug is in WordPress? Do you want to know how to optimize WordPress slug for SEO?
Then you have landed at the right spot! Don’t worry if you don’t know about this, it is not as complicated as it seems. I will help you, and you can use it to get an advantage and increase the chance of ranking on the search engine result page of the search engine.
So, in this article, I will tell you what slug is, how to optimize URL slug, and how to change it on WordPress sites.
So, without wasting your time. Let’s start!
What Is WordPress Slug?
The slug is the edible part that you can easily change in a web address or URL of the page on WordPress.
It is located at the end of the URL or web address. In short, the URL is longer, and the slug is just the part of the URL that explains the content of the page.
The URL is https://wpcompare.com/what-is-slug, in this URL “what is slug” is a slug.
The slugs usually contain dates, days and even months, numbers, and the names of authors, but it depends on how the links of the websites are set up or the permalink structure.
Why Slugs are Important?
If you are wondering why slugs are important for your webpage or web post, then keep in mind the underlying benefits you get.
1. Help In Indicating to Search Engines:
Slug assists you in indicating the different search engines and Google to determine what the page is about. The slug helps in the SEO of the web post, and you can easily edit or modify the slug to add the keyword on which you want to rank your web post or web content.
2. Optimized Slug:
The URL is something people often notice in search results. Imagine a search results page with various links about a specific topic. To boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it’s crucial to have a slug that matches what people expect to see.
For instance, our primary article on WordPress SEO has the URL wpcompare.com/wordpress-slug, which is very clear. People are more likely to click on that.
In simple terms, a good slug helps your content appear higher in search results, making it easier for people to find and click on your website.
How To Optimize URL Slug In WordPress?
Optimizing WordPress slugs is important to rank your content. If you want to rank articles and blog posts or other web content, then you need to implement the underlying tactics to create the optimized slug.
- Include Your Focus Key phrase in the Slug
- Make the Harmony in Title and Slug
- Consistency Matters
- Eliminate Function Words in Your Slug
- Trim Unnecessary Words from the Slug
- Keep the Slug Short and Descriptive
- Avoid Adding Dates to Your Slug
- Stick to Lowercase Letters in Your Slug
- Remember the Permanent Nature of URL Slugs
1. Incorporate Your Focus Key phrase into the Slug:
Ensure that your focus key phrase or keyword is a part of the URL slug to immediately convey what your page is about. Without it, the Yoast SEO plugin will signal a missed opportunity. And show you an analysis like that “Key phrase does not appear in the slug.”
2. Make the Harmony in Title and Slug:
When it comes to SEO, your slug should resemble your title, but not be an exact copy. For instance, if your title is “The 10 Best Plugins for WordPress,” a good slug could be “Best Plugins for WordPress.” Leave out unnecessary words.
Titles are long and use spaces and capital letters, while slugs should be shorter, use hyphens or underscores, and be all lowercase.
3. Consistency Matters:
It’s vital to keep the connection between your title and slug clear. For instance, if your title is “What is WordPress SEO,” having a URL like “how-to-get-cheap-plugins” can confuse both search engines and readers. They might think ‘they’re on the wrong page’ due to the mismatch.
4. Omit Function Words from the Slug:
Function words mean that they do not convey any meaning, but they have a grammatical and structural relationship with other words.
By default, slugs may include function words like “a,” “the,” and similar terms. Generally, remove these to maintain clarity in the URL. But sometimes we need them in our slug to understand and clarify the page content and you need to leave them as it is.
5. Trim Unnecessary Words from the Slug:
Beyond function words eliminate any redundant or extraneous terms from your slug. For instance, the automated WordPress slug for this post was “what-is-a-slug-and-how-to-optimize-it,” which is very long. So. That’s why condensed it to “slug.” Ensure it remains coherent and makes clear sense.
6. Keep the Slug Concise and Descriptive:
Sometimes, the URL may appear in Google search results, which influences whether users click on your snippet. Despite limited space, select words judiciously for maximum impact.
Be cautious when adding dates to URLs, as they reveal the content’s published date.
7. Use Lowercase Letters Exclusively in the Slug:
Maintain consistency by employing lowercase letters in your slug. Mixing uppercase and lowercase can, in some cases, lead to duplicate content issues.
8. Acknowledge the Permanent Nature of URL Slugs:
Bear in mind that altering URLs can harm SEO and user experience, even if you replace old slugs with new ones by redirecting them. So be careful and choose a slug that will remain meaningful and relevant over the long term.
How To Change WordPress Slug?
As I told you before, changing the WordPress slug can impact the SEO of the webpage but sometimes you need to change the slug or change the default slug set by WordPress with a new one.
Generally, WordPress follow the two basic rule for setting slugs in WordPress
- First, WordPress replaces the space in key phrases with dashes
- In slugs, only lowercase letters are used.
If you want to change the slug and make it more personalized, then follow the underlying instructions
- Go to the WordPress dashboard
- Then go to Settings> Permalinks> Common settings
- Here, choose the permalink structure for your content.
- For custom settings, you will find multiple settings for making a permalink.
And it is more appropriate for you to set the permalinks before you start to publish your content on the website.
1. Change WordPress Slug (Post And Page):
If you want to change the WordPress post slug, then use the WordPress Quick Edit or Text Editor.
Remember that after changing the Post slug, click on the save draft option before publishing it.
In Gutenberg Block Editor:
- Open the Gutenberg editor block
- Then click on the permalink located at the side panel
- Change your old slug to the new one
In Classical Editor:
- In the classical editor, you will find the permalink under the Post Title
- Click on the permalink “Edit” option
- Delete the old one and type the new slug
In Quick Edit:
- Go to the WordPress dashboard
- Then click on Posts > All Post
- Here click on the Quick Edit button under the article post
- Here edit the post slug and click on the Update Button
2. Change WordPress Author Slug:
- If your website is a magazine-based or blog website, then you will have multiple authors. Then you need to customize the slug for different authors.
- For this, you must install and activate the Edit Author plugin
- Go to the WordPress dashboard
- Then, go the Users> All Users
- Here, choose the particular user and click on the Edit option
- Find the Edit Author Slug section and click on the custom option
- Now make a customized slug, click on the Update Profile Button, and save the settings.
3. Change WordPress Tag and Category Slug:
- Go to the WordPress dashboard > Post > Categories
- Under the Add new Category heading, write the custom slug.
- But if you leave this field empty, then WordPress chooses the Category name as a slug by default.
- Through Quick Edit
- Click on the Quick Edit option under the category
- Then type the new slug and click on the Update Category button
If you want to change the slug in tags, then follow the same instructions as discussed above, but go to the tag page instead of the category section.
If you are wondering what is the difference between Permalinks and Slug then let me clear you with the help of the comparison between them.
What Is The Difference Between Permalinks And Slug?
|Definition||Permanent URL of a post or page on your website.||The end portion of a permalink that identifies the page or post’s content.|
|Changeability||Should not change once the page/post is live.||Part of the permalink, and it may change if the slug is edited.|
|Role||Represents the complete, unchanging web address.||Aids readers and search engines in understanding the content topic.|
|Structure||Consists of the domain and the slug.||Typically includes keywords separated by hyphens, and may contain dates and categories.|
|Example||https://www.example.com/what is slug||What is slug|
|Uniqueness Consideration||Ensures each page/post has a unique permalink.||Should be unique within a website but can repeat across different permalinks.|
|Implications||Changing permalinks can affect SEO and user experience.||Editing the slug may affect SEO but has less impact on user experience if redirects are in place.|
Significance of Unique Slugs:
|Two Posts with the Same Slug||It is possible if they have different permalinks.|
|Two Posts with the Same Slug||It is not possible within the same permalink structure.|
Permalink Structures and Possibilities:
|Permalink Structure||Example Of Permalink||Example Of Slug|
|Domain + Slug||https://www.example.com/what is slug||what is slug|
|Domain + Date + Slug||https://www.example.com/2023/10/what is slug||what is slug|
|Domain + Category + Slug||https://www.example.com/category/what is slug||what is slug|
|Potential for Duplicate Slugs||Yes, with different permalinks.||No, within the same permalink structure.|
If you ever heard the word slug, then it might come to mind the garden slug that creates problems for your plants and is useless for your garden. But that’s not the slug that we have talked about above. This slug is not useless and super essential for your website’s SEO growth.
The slug might seem significant before your eyes but the clear, to the point, and optimized slug is loved by audiences and Google search engines.
In this article, I have discussed how you can optimize slugs and make more personalized slugs for your website.
If you want to change the slug, then changing them will not be difficult for you.
I hope this article will clear your confusion related to Slug in WordPress. If you have any confusion related to this post, let me know in the comment section.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is The Difference Between A WordPress Slug And A URL?
The WordPress URL is the overall web address while the WordPress slug is the last part of the URL that indicates to the search engine and visitors what the content of their page is.
For Example: www.wpcomapre.com/what is SEO is the URL, and what is SEO is the slug of the webpage.
How Does WordPress Generate Slugs?
The slug is the last part of the URL, and WordPress generates slugs by default whenever you create a new page, post, category, tag, etc.
These default slugs follow specific formatting rules. Spaces are usually replaced with hyphens or underscores, and uppercase characters are converted to lowercase. Special characters and symbols are removed or replaced.
Where Slugs Are Found?
All pages of your website have slugs. You can find the WordPress slugs on
- Posts: All custom and standard posts have slugs
- Pages: After creating a new page, you get the slug option that you can edit
- Categories And Tags: Slugs are also found under the Categories and Tags section
- Author Archives: You can also find the Author section slug if you have a plugin.
Can Slug Of The URL Affect SEO?
Yes, slug plays a beneficial role in making the content search engine optimized. You can add the focus keyword in the slug that will indicate to Google and other search engines your content relevancy and make it easier for Google to rank it in the search engines.