SEO Beginners may come acquaintance with a word ‘Slug’. Various articles and post refer to it as an important part of an effective SEO strategy, but what does this mean?
In this post, we’ll discuss what is a slug, why it’s important for SEO and how to create a slug using a WordPress website.
What is a Slug?
A slug is a part of a URL which helps in identifying a particular page. It is a format that is easily readable by search engines and users. Let’s explain this with an example.
Here are two sample of URLs with a slug from Digital Shiksha site:
Example 1: https://digitalshiksha.com/about-digital-shiksha/
Example 2: https://digitalshiksha.com/seo/how-to-boost-seo-using-schema-markup
You can see that each URL start with a domain -‘www.digitalshiksha.com’ and then each and every post have a unique slug. This is differentiated with a symbol ‘/’. In example 2, where ‘Seo’ is the category of the web post.
What does Slug mean to SEO?
The benefit of a slug in a URL is that you can customize the words you want to rank in SERPs. In fact, it is one of the indicators used by Google to determine, what a page is about. Also, it’s one of the things the audience see in the search results. Slugs are important to SEO in two main reasons:
- During the ranking process, it is one of the main reason that search engines take into account. They read slug to understand’ what is the page about’.
- Easy to read slugs helps readers to understand what to expect from the content. The slug in example https://digitalshiksha.com/about-digital-shiksha/; helps readers to understand that it is an informative page ‘About Digital Shiksha’.
How to optimize a Slug?
When it comes to SEO and utilize, optimize URL is very beneficial. It’s similar to creating a search engine friendly URL. Here are few things you need to keep in mind while constructing a slug to optimize the page.
1. Remove stop words
Slug does not accept any unnecessary words. Filter out words like ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘of’, ‘and’, ‘if’, ‘you’ and other similar words. These are known as ‘stop words’ in WordPress SEO. This is an important part of optimization.
Stop words are the common words that don’t have any value or help in an actual understanding of the page.
2. Include keywords want to rank
Adding keywords in the slug aids Google and other search engines to understand for which keyword you want to rank for a particular page. For example, let’s say that you want to rank a keyword ‘Schema Markup’. You wrote a post – ‘How to Boost SEO with Schema Markup’.
WordPress by default will create a slug – ‘how-to-boost-seo-with-schema-markup’. This is not bad, but it’s not effective for search engines to read. This might confuse search engines as well as the users. If you need to optimize a URL then write- ‘how-to-boost-seo-using-schema-markup’. This is shorter and easy to understand.
3. Use lowercase characters
It should be a common practice while worth mentioning again. Avoid having capital letters in your slug. Always use lowercase characters. Because many web servers like Apache interpret capital letters URLs as wrong.
4. Keep it QR short
A short slug is easy to understand and fast to read. However, the other reason to keep a slug shorter and free from stop words is that, during a crawling and indexing process of search engines, they type to match the keywords enter by users in the search box.
If they find exact match hence they will display your particular page in the search results.
A slug is a part of a site URL. Every webpage of a website has a unique URL. While creating a new page, optimizing your URL, plays an important part. You can optimize a slug by including keywords you want to rank and excluding stop words. Keep it short and descriptive. Also, use separator and lowercase characters for effective SEO.