What Is A Slug And How To Optimize It

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What Is A Slug And How To Optimize It

The following article elaborates on what is a slug and how you could optimize it to improve your SEO.

You might have seen this word slug very frequently in the SEO of the webpage or a website. Various articles talk about the post or page slug on WordPress and the importance of optimizing it for improved SEO. But the main question that arises is what exactly does a slug mean? Keep reading the article to know in detail what is a slug in SEO and gain some basic knowledge about how to optimize it. 

What Is A Slug

A slug is a component of the URL that specifically identifies a web page. It is represented in a format that is clearly readable by both users and search engines. In other words, it distinctly defines the page content.

Let’s take a URL that belongs to the domain 10seos.com. 

Example: "https://www.10seos.com/blog/what-is-search-term"

The slug is “what-is-search-term”

Each URL of the website begins with 10seos.com, followed by a unique slug for each page. Here you must note that the part of the URL that is present after the “/” is the slug. The domain of a website and the slug together form the URL for each and every page.

Know More:  Internal Linking For SEO: Why And How

Importance Of Slugs

Now that you know the meaning of a slug let us know why slugs are so important.

  • A slug produces a sign considered by search engines during the ranking procedure. They in turn scan the slug and try to understand the basic idea of the webpage.
  • Easy-to-read slugs help individuals to refer to what content they can expect from the page. 

For example: The slug of https://www.10seos.com/blog/what-is-search-term is “what-is-search-term”, which informs users exactly what kind of information they can expect on that page.

Optimizing your slugs will be a plus factor when it comes to SEO and usefulness. In SEO, the process of modifying the slug is similar to making SEO-friendly URLs.

What Is The Slug In WordPress

The word slug comes out from the WordPress community. You can set up your slug under Permalink Settings. When you set up WordPress for the first time, the URLs may appear as:

http://www.example.com/?p=123

This is not SEO or user-friendly, so you need to set up WordPress to utilize the post name as the slug rather than serial numbers. Follow these steps to modify SEO-friendly slugs in WordPress.

  • In WordPress, go to SETTINGS. 
  • Then click on PERMALINKS. You will be shown a number of choices, as shown in the picture below.


  • Choose the Post Name so that it will consider the post name divided by dashes. This was the first step, but there is one more step to optimize slugs for SEO.
  • When you produce a new post (or edit the current one), WordPress permits you to alter the slug of a webpage or the published post.
  • When you click on the EDIT button, you can edit the slug and modify it for both users and search engines.

Read More:  What Are The Types Of SEO & How Do They Work

How To Optimize Your Slug

By now you might have got a clear idea about what is a slug and why it is very important for SEO. Now let us proceed further and know how to best optimize it.

Consider Keywords For Ranking

You can help Google and other search engines read for which keywords you wish to rank for the specific webpage or post, by adding those keywords in the webpage slug.

For example: Suppose, you want rank for the keyword “What is a slug” and you composed a post title “What is a slug and how to optimize it?”.

Now, WordPress will by default create this slug: “What-is-a-slug-and-how-to-optimize-it?”.

This is not preferred as good practice because the long slug can confuse Google and its users. You can modify it, alter the slug and make it “slug-and-its-optimization”. This is short and easy to be understood by users. Plus, this will also help the search engine to search for the keywords and rank your post or webpage you added in your article.

Remove Stop Keywords

As a part of optimization, you need to look at eliminating stop words from your slugs. These are ordinary words that don’t add any value or help in understanding the actual content of a page.

For example: Words like a, the, on, and, is, of, you, and other similar words. 

If you take a look at the above example, you will notice that we have deleted these words to make the slug clear, short, and crisp.

Read More:15 SEO Tips For Structuring Of URLs That You Probably Didn’t Know About

Apply Dashes Between Words in Slug

This is a standard exercise these days, but as a reminder, you should separate words in a slug using a “- “and not any other character.

Keep It Short And Sweet

Shorter slugs are easy to read and faster to understand than longer slugs. Hence keep them crisp and understandable.

For example: “slug-and-its-optimization” looks far better than “What is a slug and how to optimize it?”

The reason for choosing short slugs and not using stop keywords is that search engines use them for crawling and indexing. If they detect a true match, then the special page has an added advantage over pages using longer slugs.

This is not the only element considered during the ranking procedure. This one is really of low value. There are various important factors that are applied, but since SEO is all about improvement, you need to try using these and optimize your slugs.

Slug In Search Results

This is a also common activity but worth noting. Use only small letter characters and avoid having upper case characters in your slug, as this will help the search engines find appropriate results.

Conclusion

A slug is that part of the URL that is specific for each and every page of a website. While making a new page or post, you need to invest some time optimizing your slug. This can be done by adding the keywords you wish to rank for and by eliminating stop words. Also remember to keep your slugs short and sweet, put dashes in between the words and use small letter characters only.

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