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The Most Important Piece of SEO You Can – And Should – Do

By Britt Malka / October 4, 2012

Push seo button

Even if SEO seems more boring to you than a Swedish black and white movie without subtitles, there is one thing you MUST do.

It will make all the difference for your site, and it’s a one-time-only event.

The good news is that it only takes about 30 seconds to do it. The bad news is… In fact, there is no bad news.

Ready to push the SEO button?

Content is King – and URL is Queen

If you haven’t already done so, you’re going to change the URL of your blog posts to something readable.

No more /?p=4 in your URLs. Let’s show some real names, preferably with keywords in, but at least names.

Why?

I’m glad you almost asked. Here’s why.

My Experience – a Change 5-Doubled my AdSense Income

Many years ago, back in the Stone Ages, I made my own HTML and PHP to use for an authority site, I ran. I’d taught myself PHP, learning from books and homepages, and I was pretty proud of the result.

Just imagine this: My script could fetch headlines and texts from a database! How cool is that?

<cough>

Yeah, I know, every WordPress blog can do the same, but back then, there were no WordPress (to my knowledge, at least). I started out by using PHPNuke (and the dinosaures among you will know how old THAT is).

Anyway, when I looked at one of my articles, the URL would go something like this: MyDomain.com/?id=414

I got traffic, yes, but that was because I’d started list building already by forcing ten of my friends to join, and it just spread from there.

But I didn’t get many clicks on my AdSense blocks. They just didn’t seem relevant to my readers.

And no wonder.

Yes, Google already used the words from the contect to decide which ads to serve, but they also used… yes, you guessed it: the URL.

And they still do. Not only for AdSense, but also for rankings.

So if you’re telling Google and the other search engines that your latest blog post is really about the keyword “4”, don’t expect to rank very high for “how to teach your dog to beg for cookies”.

So, now that we aggree that it’s important to have words in your URL, are you ready to do the little switch?

Change Your Permalink

This is easy.

In order to change your URL to something that contains names and words, you need to change the permalinks for your blog posts. And it’s something you do once and for all. This is how you do:

  1. Log into your Dashboard on your blog. You can find it by going to your blog and adding /wp-admin. For instance: MyBlog.com/wp-admin
  2. Find Settings in the left column. Mouse over it, and go to Permalinks.
  3. Choose either Post name (really simple), or make your own path by clicking at Custom Structure and write the code there (for advanced users).
  4. Click on Save Changes, when you’re done.

permalink settings

Using Post name is really good.

When I prefer to have the post_id first, it’s because it makes it easier for me to shorten a link to my blog. These two links will lead to the same post, but the first link is much shorter:

http://getmoneymakingideas.com/1947

http://getmoneymakingideas.com/1947/do-not-buy-a-new-domain-name-the-first-of-the-month-ever/

It’s a trick I learnt from Lynn Terry a couple of years ago.

You can copy the code from here, if you want to go with the same custom structure: /%post_id%/%postname%/

The Two Things You Should Do Next

If your URLs include /?p=123 (or any other number), I need you to go and change that now, just as I’ve described above.

Second, I want you to write a comment to this blog post and tell me, if you found this tip useful or not.

Will you do that for me?

Click here to add a comment

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