An SEO Slug is a term for the part of the URL that uniquely identifies a page and it’s in a format that is easily readable by both users and search engines.
For example, let’s take all the URLS that belong to this domain (reliablesoft.net). All URLs start with reliablesoft.net and then each and every page or post of the website, has a unique slug.
This is the part that comes after the “/”.
Example 1: https://www.reliablesoft.net/diy-seo-tutorial-for-beginners/ -> The slug is “diy-seo-tutorial-for-beginners”.
Example 2: https://www.reliablesoft.net/search-engine-marketing/ -> The slug is “search-engine-marketing”.
Example 3: https://www.reliablesoft.net/h1-tag/ -> The slug is “h1-tag”.
The domain of a website and the slug make up the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of each and every page.
The URLs for all pages published on the Internet are unique. No published page can have the same URL as another page on the Internet.
Why are SEO Slugs Important?
SEO Slugs are important for two main reasons:
It’s one of the signals taken into account by search engines during the ranking process. They read the slug and try to understand what a page is about.
Easy to read slugs help users identify what content to expect for a page. For example, the slug of this page https://www.reliablesoft.net/what-is-off-page-seo/ is “what-is-off-page-seo”, which tells users exactly what kind of information they should expect to find on that page.
Optimizing your slugs will give you an advantage when it comes to SEO and usability. In the SEO World, the process of optimizing the slug is the same as creating SEO friendly URLS.
What are WordPress Slugs?
It should be noted that the word slug emerged from the WordPress community. You can configure your slug under Permalink Settings.
When you install WordPress for the first time, the URLS may look like this:
This is not SEO or user friendly, so the first thing you need to do is to configure WordPress to use the post name as the slug instead of serial numbers.
When you go to SETTINGS / PERMALINKS, you will be presented with a number of options, as shown below.
The best approach is to select the Post Name so that your post slugs will include the post name separated by dashes.
That was a great first step but there is one more step to make sure that your slugs are optimized for SEO.
When you create a new post (or edit an existing one), WordPress allows you to edit the slug of a page or post.
As you can see in the screenshot below, there is an EDIT button next to the permalink of each page.
When you click EDIT, you can make changes to the slug and optimize for both users and search engines, using the guidelines below.
Note: Optimizing the slug is not a task for WordPress users only. You should try and optimize your slugs on other platforms as well.