When you hear the word slug, and you Google it, you might see some kind of slimy objects circling around your computer! However, the slug in SEO is different. The slug is a part of the URL that gives identification to a page. The identification is in a format, that is easily readable by the visitor of your website and the search engine.
According to reliablesoft.net, the slug is the part that comes after ‘/’ in the URL. This slug shows which page you have visited, or if you click on a URL, which page you will be directed to.
The domain of a website, along with the slug defined above, makes up the Uniform Resource Locator.
Importance Of A Slug In SEOThere are two main reasons, according to seo-hacker.com, as to why slugs are important:
• When search engines are ranking webpages, then they take slugs as a signal; they read the slug and try to make sense of what your page is actually about
• User experience gets better because when they read the slug, they are able to identify the content that they will read on the page and they know what to expect
This is why you need to have a user friendly and search engine friendly slug, for your every webpage.
Optimizing The Slug in SEOAccording to yoast.com, there are different ways through which you can optimize your slug and some of these ways are discussed in detail, below.
Stop WordsWhen you are writing a slug, you should not include unnecessary words and filter out words like ‘the’ and ‘a’. If you get yoast plugin, they would solve the problem for you and get you the best slug, without any unnecessary words in it. Look for billlentis.com/what-is-seo-in-ecommerce.
FocusIf you are only taking out the stop words, and putting in all the other words that you don’t need, then you are making a mistake. Your slug should make sense, because that is its main purpose. For example, if you are writing an article about slugs, then your slug would be ‘slugs’. However, if you are focusing more on how to optimize slugs, then your slug can be ‘optimize slugs’. This is to the point and doesn’t add any unnecessary or stop words.
Short And SweetShort and sweet works in this situation. Your slug should be to the point, but descriptive as well. When Google shows search results on its page, it includes the slug of the specific webpage, which is why it is best that you treat it as a breadcrumb and make it appealing and descriptive.
KeywordsThe golden rule of SEO, according to kinsta.com, is to use keywords, and it is not any different when you are using a slug in SEO. You should use the keywords that you think would give you a ranking. For example, if your article states ’10 Ways to get rid of Type 2 Diabetes’, then that is exactly what should be appearing in the place of the slug.
Don’t forget to use dashes to separate words in slugs. Even though this is a common practice nowadays, a little reminder never hurts.
Lowercase Characters in SlugThis is a common practice, as SEO experts don’t use capital letters when they write a slug in SEO. You should remember to only use lowercase characters.
According to prettylinks.com, you need to follow certain standards when making a slug in SEO, because these URLs are the reasons why people come to your website. If you don’t have an appropriate slug, then people won’t be visiting your website and it will see less traffic.
Categories And TagsIf you think only your webpages have slugs, then you are wrong. When there are categories on your website and tags as well, then there are slugs too, which means when someone clicks on a category, then they are redirected to a page and in the URL, they would be able to see the slug.
Same Slugs In SEOIf you are using the same URL for content that is similar, then you need to change them; both the content and the slugs. You can’t keep the same slugs for two webpages, because that would be duplicated and that is something that Google doesn’t like. If Google doesn’t like it, then this would mean that Google won’t give you a good ranking.
Less FoldersAccording to moz.com, when you are making a URL, make sure that there are less slugs, or fewer folders. For example, if you have already written keywords after ‘/’ in the URL, then you can’t write another slug, because that would make the URL confusing, long and it won’t stand out. Note: if you don’t want to use hyphens when writing slugs, you can always write underscores.
Readable For HumansWhen you are writing your slugs, make sure that you know you are doing it for humans and search engines, but for humans to read. Thus, don’t make slugs that have exclamation marks or unrelated characters in it, or they are in a language most people can’t understand like code language. Make it readable for your users, so that they are able to get good experience from it. For example, some slugs have so many alphabets in it, which don’t make sense. This is probably because the web designer has not made slugs for each category. The user will feel like that if they click on the link, their drive will probably implode.
SEO slugs are usually made in WordPress, where people give slugs to their blogs. If you want to learn about this aspect of slugs, then you should watch this video:
It is informative and it will show you a different application of a slug in SEO, than what is discussed in this article. Just know, that slug in SEO is important because it gives your website a good ranking and makes it easier for both search engines and the user to know what information a link holds for them.