There is a industrial and successful marketeer called Ed Rivis who has acquired some creditable acclaim through his online marketing prowess, mainly in the use of online campaigns and the art of the landing page, but what astounds me is that he doesn’t optimise his permalinks on his blog!
But more of that later… so what is a permalink?
WordPress allocates each post with its own URL, created from the headline you give it:
As you can see, this post has been given a permalink of http://fairyblogmother.co.uk/what-and-how-important-are-permalinks/ which WordPress has automatically created for me underneath the headline field. I also have the option to edit my permalink should I decide to change my headline while writing my post, or if I want to create a shorter, more memorable one. (There is also the more advanced option of a ‘shortlink’ if you want to use this permalink in social networking, such as Twitter.)
Most blog permalinks include the date within them, and look like this: http://successnetwork.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/5-things-to-consider-when-writing-adverts/ – so let me break it down for you.
• Note there isn’t www after the http:// because this is a blog, not a website;
• Next you’ll see the username of the original author of the blog: ‘successnetwork’;
• Followed by .wordpress.com because this is a WordPress.com or a ‘free’ blog (WordPress take control of your blog’s URL because they have provided all the software and programming for you, if you have a WordPress.org blog you can choose your own blog URL);
• Next is the date of the post: /2010/06/01/ (presented backwards) which is automatically calculated for you;
• And then you have the headline or title of the post: 5-things-to-consider-when-writing-adverts/ separated by hyphens so it’s easier for the spiders to read and for humans to quickly recognise.
If you have a WordPress.org blog, you have the chance to change how your permalinks look in Settings > Permalinks:
And you will see a number of options for how your permalink could look:
• Default = URL/?p=123 (post number)
• Day and name = URL/year/month/day/post name
• Month and name = URL/month/day/post name
• Numeric = URL/archive/post number
• Custom = whatever you want.
I have chosen ‘URL/post name’ as it makes it much easier to remember my permalinks and to write them in posts and browsers. If your categories are important to your search engine optimisation then these can be put into your permalink: ‘URL/category/post name’ for example. In fact, SEO is an important factor when considering your permalinks, but if stuffing it full of keywords and other goodies as well as what’s in the headline of your post is important to you, then go ahead, but take into consideration the length of your permalink and its practicalities, and that shortening it into tinyurls isn’t always the answer.
Oh, and another tiny point, it’s the permalinks that are live in RSS feeds, and when you are posting your latest blog contribution into a LinkedIn Group news section, the programming automatically recognises your permalink and everything associated with it for you!
So what of Ed Rivis? His latest post was http://www.edrivis.com/?p=517 – which means absolutely nothing to me except that he has probably written 516 more posts before this one. I have no idea what the subject is about (it is, actually, 77 ideas for great email and blog content) but I wouldn’t bother reading it because I only managed to glean about 8 that were worth considering! You’d think that an online marketing chap that is so famous and rich would have optimised his blog better – but no matter, it probably isn’t important to him.