How To Change Your Slug For SEO

Photo by arnj
Photo by arnj

One of the most important things to change on your blog for seach engine optimisation or SEO is your slug.

Just in case you have been living under a stone like our erstwhile friend the slug and do not kjnow what SEO is, then a quick definition is in order.  Search engine optimisation is the the process of making your blog or website as attrative to Google and it’s chums yahoo and MSN so that when someone type in a phrase, for example wordpress coaching (give it a go and see who is there) you come out on the first page near the top.

What is A Slug

The slug is the bit that follows your domain name and points to your post, for example:


By default on a WordPress blog, the slug looks something like this:


As far as a search engine is concerned this is not a very useful, it says nothing about the post, there are none of the key phrases people would type in to identify the post, in short, you are going to have a very hard job to drag people in from Google with a slug like that.

Changing Your Slug To Something Useful

All is not lost, you can change the default slug to something far more useful.  From your WordPress blogs’ admin console, scroll down to settings and  click on permalinks.

From there select a custom permalink structure and set it to be /%postname%

What this does is to change the default slug configuration to be the title of your post, for example this post would have the slug:


The search engine has been fed much more information about what my post is about.

Removing Useless Words

There is a school of thought in SEO circles that you should remove all useless words from your slug and leave only hardcore keywords.  The things to remove are “a, the, it, then” etc etc.

There is a plugin to do this for you, imaginatively called Seo Slugs, download it and activate the plugin.  From that point forward your slugs will be trimmmed down by default. My new slug for this post now becomes:


The superflous words are cut down and hopefully Gooogle juice will flow in plenty.

Quick Get The Table Salt It’s Eatin’ The Lettuces

Don’t pour salt on your slug and kill it off, treat is nicely and you will be rewarded with organic search traffic from Google.

Get creative, think what people will type into google to find a post like yours, and match this to your slug.

The How To Video

I have created a screencast video of me doing the config on a real WordPress blog, enjoy.

[local /wp-content/uploads/2009/04/seo-slugs.wmv]

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