What is an SEO Slug? and its Importance and Benefits

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In this post, I will you about what is an SEO slug? and its importance and benefits. Search engine optimization or SEO, is a set of techniques carried out in order to get higher rank in search engine result pages. It includes everything that helps identify and locate your website and web pages across the internet when people make search queries.

For this, it is important for search engines to know what kind of content is present on a specific page.

To maximize your SEO efforts, every aspect of a web page needs to be optimized including keywords, titles, web layout, mobile responsiveness, quality linking and many more. These factors make web content easy to read and found by search engines.

SEO depends on many elements and there are several best practices to maximize SEO, the detail of which you can see in following articles: what effect does SEO have on your research? & Is SEO worth it for small businesses?

It is important to consider every element that plays a role in up lifting SEO for a business and one of these is SEO slugs.

What Is an SEO Slug?

It is essential to include content keywords in your web page meta descriptions and URLs, to make search engines effortlessly crawl through the content and assess for your web page. URL is the starting point from where the search engines start their search process to find webpage as a result of search queries.

URL of a webpage is the first thing search engines analyze for SEO. This is why it is important to optimize part of the URL on your web pages with an SEO keyword in it. This is called slug. Slug is vital for rankings well in search engine results pages (SERPs).

SEO Slug:

An SEO slug is an important aspect in search engine optimization (SEO) process which lets search engines comprehend the structure and content of a webpage

Slug is the part of a URL that is in easy to read, simple English and used to identify a particular page on a website. For instance, in https://website.com/blog/rock-climbing, “rock-climbing” is the slug.

In other words, slug refers to the part of the URL that describes the page’s content. It consists of a short, descriptive text present in the URL of a webpage that usually appears after the main domain name. The SEO slug is also termed as permalink or URL slug.

By the end of this article, we will be able to know what an SEO slug is, its significance in SEO, and how to make good SEO slugs.

Why the Term Slug is used?

Slugs are small, shell-less insects commonly found in plants but why this term is used in SEO? The term “slug” was used in Journalism for small pieces of writing and description written for internal purposes. The term was probably taken from there by web developers to refer to the small, descriptive part of the URL.

What is URL?

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or web address is a unique identifier that is used to locate particular resource on the Internet.

Importance of Slug for SEO:

Why is slug important for SEO? If you think of it, you will know that URLs influence your SEO strategy. If you have ever found and tried to copy a long stream link consisting of random numbers, symbols and letters, you must have found it irritating. Such links do not only seem bogus but also look trustworthy and might have prevented you and search engines from copying and citing them.

URLs that are clean, clear and concise are more appreciated by the site users and search engines. They help search engine algorithms and website users to better understand the content they come across with.

A URL slug can be a potential source of elevating web SEO by using keyword in it. It is beneficial to place a keyword in the slug targeting specific terms that best suit your content. It will help search engine to place your keyword high in search engine ranking results.

Benefits of Effectively Using SEO Slug:

  1. Better Understanding of Website Structure: SEO slugs give search engines a better understanding of the structure of the website by making it easier for them to crawl and index the content.
  2. Elevate Search Engine Rankings: SEO slugs help elevate search engine rankings because search engines use the URL and slug to know the content of the webpage before actually viewing it and rank it accordingly.
  3. Better User Experience: A descriptive SEO gives hint to visitors about the web content and help them learn what the webpage is about in advance, assisting in easier sharing and navigation of the content.
  4. Aids Bookmarking: The SEO slug turns to be the title of the webpage when it is bookmarked.
  5. Helps Social Media Sharing: In the same manner, SEO slug helps sharing content on social media platforms as it is kept as the title of the shared content.



Best URL Slug Practices:

E-commerce websites need to rank well for SEO, and to optimize search engine optimization slugs is important as it helps improve product visibility and sales. Some of the best URL (uniform resource locator) slug practices for e-commerce websites are:

  1. Keep Slug Short and Simple:

SEO slugs must be user friendly and therefore they should be short and descriptive usually between 2 to 5 words. For example:

A short and descriptive URL slug: /body-shape-gym. Bad URL slug: /the-best-body-shape-gym-in-town-for-all-levels

  1. Infuse Keywords:

Using keyword in URL is a recommended because it gives a short, accurate description of page contents to search engines and they rank the page accordingly. For instance, keyword slug: /best-homemade-strawberry-ice-cream

  1. Use Hyphens to Separate Words:

Using hyphens (-) to separate words in the URL help users and search engine crawlers to read and understand easily. Hyphens are preferred over underscores and other symbols as search engines do not correctly comprehend other separators. For example, a good URL slug: /best-travel-destinations. A bad example could be: /besttraveldestinations

  1. Avoid Using Special Characters:

Word separators impact the readability of a URL slug. Special characters and symbols (like %, *, #, !, &) should not be used in URL. They hinder URL readability and interpretation.

  1. Make URL Slug Descriptive:

SEO slug must accurately point out the content of the webpage through its description. A descriptive URL slug help search engines and site visitors in performing better analysis of associated content. Such as:

Good URL slug: /best-air-fryer

Bad URL slug: /2575

  1. Avoid Using Date & Time:

Numbers, dates and time that are likely to change in the future should be avoided like a publishing year, age, number of recommendations in an article etc. Example includes:

Good URL slug: /how-to-bake-vanilla-cookies

Bad URL slug: /10-tips-to-bake-vanilla-cookies-in-2022

  1. Use Lower Case Alphabets:

Lower case alphabets are more commonly used. URLs and search crawlers can often be case-sensitive so it is better to stick to one convention and lowercase characters to avoid problems. The content might not get ranked or can face duplicate issues if URL is created in both lower and upper cases.

Lowercase URLs are also easy when typing manually.

Good URL slug: /camp-site

Bad URL slug: /Camp-Site

Tools and Resources to Aid in SEO Slug:

There are some tools and resources designed to help developers optimize their sites by using SEO slugs. These include:

  1. Ahrefs:  Ahrefs has its content optimization tools to optimize and analyze SEO slugs.
  2. WordPress SEO Plugins: WordPress SEO have plugins like All in One SEO Pack or YoastSEO to optimize site’s SEO slugs.
  3. Google Search Console: Google’s search console optimize your slugs according to your website’s previously searched data
  4. Moz: Moz’s keyword research tools are helpful in finding relevant keywords for SEO slugs.
  5. SEMrush: SEMrush’s SEO audit tools assist in identifying and optimize your SEO slugs. It checks and notifies your URLs for common mistakes made by developers, such as:
  • Too many parameters in the URL address
  • Too long URLs
  • Use of underscores instead of hyphens in URLs

Final Words:

Summing up, an SEO slug is a vital element in SEO. it is not only a means of conveying page name to visitors but a key to provide data to search engines that help them to organize and display web pages.  Slugs allow search engines to understand the purpose and structure of a webpage.

Creating effective SEO slugs help improve user experience, search process, search engine rankings and website structure. Make sure to keep slugs short and concise, make them descriptive, use keywords and stick to standard formats of writing them to get the most out of them.


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