Keeping up a regular, well kept blog is one of the best ways to generate traffic to your website. Although there are some great blog platforms out there that require very little technical knowledge, there are the occasional things that need some attention. Your URLs are one of them.
What do all these numbers mean?
Most blog platforms (e.g. WordPress) generate incomprehensible looking URLs for your blog posts by default. Something along the lines of www.blog.com/blog/p?=54 is not uncommon. Unless you know a little bit of PHP, this won’t make much sense to you (or anyone else).
These sorts of URLs are the raw database code that your blog platform uses to identify and retrieve each post. But as you’ve probably seen on other blogs, it is possible to change them to reflect the title of the post.
Why change them?
There are two advantages to changing your post URLs. The first is SEO.
Google uses a number of factors to determine what a particular page is about (and therefore where to rank it and for which search terms), one of them being the content of the URL. If your URL is a string of PHP, Google has less chance of understanding what your topic is.
Get your URLs right and you will rank higher, if only in Blog Search.
Secondly, it’s useful for readers to know what the post is about. This is particularly true when the link is being shared and for whatever reason a preview isn’t generated (as happens sometimes on Facebook) or on text only services like Twitter. Without it, potential readers won’t know what it is, and most instinctively distrust strings of code.
How do I change them?
Most blog platforms have an option to set how you want your URLs to be generated. In WordPress it’s called change permalinks. Whatever you’re using, poke around your dashboard and you’re bound to come across it. If you get stuck, try googling changing URLs in <insert blog platform here>.
If you can set URLs individually on each post, do. Sometimes your witty title isn’t the best signifier of topic (particularly to search engines) so it’s worth creating a variation that includes a keyword or two to help search engines know what to rank your post for.
So if your post is about a downturn in online gaming, instead of www.blog.com/the-end-of-the-road use www.blog.com/end-online-gaming
Check your blog posts now to see if youre missing a trick when it comes to URLs.