Perfect Permalinks For WordPress SEO

What’s a Permalink?

For those who don’t know what a permalink is, they are WordPress’ (optional) system for configuring how it creates URLs for your pages, posts and other content. If you have ever seen a WordPress blog with URLs like http://example.org/?p=123 it was because they had not configured their permalinks. URLs are a critically important on-page factor for SEO so if you care about traffic you really want to get this one right!

I’m in a Hurry and Don’t Care About the Theory… Just Tell Me What To Do!

Perfect Permalinks

It is rare that I see a SEO topic covered so well that I have nothing to add, but this is one of them. Yoast’s post on WordPress SEO URL / Permalinks considerations is pure gold.

Here’s a few of the topics he covers…

  1. What is the perfect permalink structure?
  2. Should you use categories in your permalinks?
  3. Which file extensions in your permalinks can kill your traffic.
  4. How to create Google News URLs without the annoying numbers at the end.
  5. What matters about using keywords in your URL.

This is a great post with several videos from Matt Cutts (Google Spokesman on such things) to back up Yoast’s advice.

Oops, I Lied

I guess I do have one thing to add… On the issue of using categories in your permalinks or not I’m firmly on the side of… not.

My first reason is the confusion caused by being able to post a URL in more than one category. If the category is part of the URL then what is the correct URL? Confusion is almost never good.

The second reason is one of flexibility. I can’t count the number of times I have decided that my categories needed to be rearranged years after a site was launched. If you use the category in the URL then you will need to setup 301 redirects for all of the old URLs which is a performance issue, loses a small bit of link juice, and is a pain in the rear.

Third… it makes for shorter URLs which are just as understandable and that’s pretty much always a good thing.

Reason four isn’t really a reason, it’s a clue. Look at Yoast’s site and see what permalink structure he’s using. Yep, there’s no category there. If it’s good enough for Yoast it’s almost certainly good enough for you and me :)

I’m in a Hurry and Don’t Care About the Theory… Just Tell Me What To Do!

Okay, okay. Use a custom permalink setting of:

/%postname%/

If you are using a recent version of WordPress it will look like:

There you have it… perfect permalinks and the thinking behind them. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or you just plain want to argue about them in a comment below.

23 Questions from Google for High Ranking Sites

Over on the Google Webmaster Central blog there is a post everybody with a web page should read. Titled "More guidance on building high-quality sites", Google lays out the kinds of questions they ask themselves and which they try to design their ranking algorithms to evaluate.

Regardless of how good or poor of a job Google’s ranking algorithms do of answering these questions today, they (and the other search engines) have a lot of very smart people working on this problem and they will only get better.

The more you start asking yourself questions like those listed instead of questions like "Do forum links help my rankings?" the better your pages will do. As an added bonus you (or your clients) will never have to fear another update like the recent Panda/Farmer update that hurt so many sites who had short term thinking.

Elon Musk – The Entrepreneurial Drive

To understand what it takes to succeed I can’t think of a better example than Elon Musk‘s response during a Wired Magazine interview after his third attempt in a row at launching a privately funded rocket, the Falcon 1, into orbit failed:

Optimism, pessimism, fuck that; we’re going to make it happen. As God as my bloody witness, I’m hell-bent on making it work.

Some would say that the sort of person who says things like that is just a fanatic. I’m pleased to report to those people that on SpaceX‘s very next launch the Falcon 1 successfully achieved orbit and their second generation rocket, the Falcon 9, has done so as well!

Learn Why Frank Kern’s Results In Advance Works So Well

This article was republished from the Kingmaker Marketing blog. Please go to Learn Why Frank Kern’s Results In Advance Works So Well to leave any comments.

Frank Kern is a legend in the information marketing world and one of his most powerful techniques is known as “Results In Advance.” If you are not familiar with this technique do yourself (and your business) a favor and go watch the Results In Advance video right now. It is pure marketing genius.

Welcome back. You did go watch the video, right? Unfortunately you can no longer purchase the product, Mass Control 2.0, that Frank mentions at the end of the video. In fact, Frank has retired from teaching marketing and only takes private clients these days. Now let’s dig into some of the reasons why Results In Advance works so well that Frank didn’t explain and maybe you can find ways to leverage the same principles throughout your own marketing.

Propulsion Mechanisms – What Drives Action

Propulsion mechanisms are a model used by hypnotists to motivate their clients to change (and keep the change.) There are two kinds of propulsion mechanisms; towards propulsion mechanisms and away from propulsion mechanisms.

Towards propulsion mechanisms are the positive benefits you get from achieving your goal. To stick with the example Frank used they would be things like companionship, an activity partner, love, and perhaps the prospect of someday having a family of your own. The problem with towards propulsion mechanisms is that they are very weak and provide little motivation when your goal is far away. People tend to treat towards propulsion mechanisms as little more than entertaining daydreams until they get fairly close to their goal.

Away from propulsion mechanisms are the negative things about where you are right now that will go away, or decrease, if you achieve your goal. Away from propulsion mechanisms are very powerful early on in a change process, but lose strength as progress is made. Using our same example if you want a fulfilling relationship, but you don’t know how to approach somebody you are attracted to the obvious away from propulsion mechanism would be your loneliness. Many marketers and sales professionals understand this and “sell to the pain” and might do something like encourage their prospect to imagine a life all alone, growing old without anybody to care for, and never having a family of their own. This can be very effective in getting someone to take action, but there is a side effect that few people ever consider and which the Results in Advance technique sidesteps quite neatly. Which brings us to…

Subconscious Associations – Everything Is Related In Your Mind

Your subconscious mind stores everything you experience, even those things you never consciously noticed, together in your memory. It then decides how important that set of associations is primarily based on how strong your emotional reaction was. Therein lies the problem with motivating people using away from propulsion mechanisms… you get associated with that negativity!

One of the reasons Frank has such fanatically loyal customers that are willing to pay premium prices for his products is that he totally avoids selling with negativity. By using Results In Advance he is able to move his prospects close enough to their goal before he ever asks them to buy anything that he can focus on the positive, towards propulsion mechanisms in all of his marketing.

If that was all there was to Results In Advance it would still be a very powerful marketing technique, but it turns out that it also leverages several principles of influence popularized by Robert Cialdini in his groundbreaking book, Influence: Science and Practice.

Reciprocity

The principle of reciprocity is quite straightforward. When somebody does something for you, you then feel obligated to do something in return for them. Results In Advance begins with you giving several valuable and useful things to your prospects which builds high levels of reciprocity which they tend to balance by buying your product when you finally make it available to them.

Commitment and Consistency

The principle of commitment and consistency states that once you take an action you are predisposed to defend that action and take similar actions in the future. With Results In Advance your prospects start out taking actions that cost them nothing and are therefore easier for you to convince them to take, but each time they take an action you recommend they become more likely to take additional recommendations from you.

Liking

Just about everybody understands the principle of Liking intuitively. You are more likely to do what a person you like recommends than what somebody you have neutral or negative feelings towards. By giving your prospects several useful things while asking for nothing in return they naturally begin to like you.

Authority

The principle of authority states that a person is more likely to do what they are told if that direction comes from somebody they recognize as being in a position of authority. As a potential customer takes advantage of the early free stages of your Results In Advance campaign they get undeniable proof that what you are offering works and they begin to look at you as an authority figure. Even if they don’t actually follow your recommendations or use the free things you offer if they just imagine what it would be like it has the same effect on their subconscious.

Wrapping Up

There is actually a fair bit more to say about Results In Advance, but this post is getting a bit long so I think I’ll wrap it up here. Post your thoughts and questions in the comments area and I’ll be happy to respond.

This article was republished from the Kingmaker Marketing blog. Please go to Learn Why Frank Kern’s Results In Advance Works So Well to leave any comments.