Marketing & Branding

What is a Slug and How to optimize it?

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In SEO, a slug is a part of the page url that helps you identify an unique page. If you can optimize your slugs, they can definitely help you with improved SEO and get you more traffic for your website. So, let us learn, what is a slug, and about ways to optimize them.

What is a slug?

Look at the top of the address bar on your web browser. The web address you are seeing is the “url” or Uniform Resource Locator. The part that comes after the first single backslash or “/” is the slug.

A slug is that part of the url that identifies the page in an easy way and specifies what the page is all about. A slug helps both the reader and the search engine identify what the page’s content topic is.

For example, if you search for “coronavirus” on the NHS UK site, you will get the link https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/
Here, the slug is “coronavirus/”.

Why is a slug important for SEO?

When you upload a post on your website, you can edit the slug in the permalink. If your slug is easy to read and understand, it makes your url more searchable by Google.

Slugs with meaningful Words are better than slugs full of random alpha-numeric characters.

For example, if your page url is www.brandloom.com/S=123%7e- it gives you no idea what the page is about.

But, if the url is www.brandloom.com/digital-marketing-services – it tells you exactly what the page is about. This helps the search engine index your page easily, and return it as a search result when someone searches for “digital marketing services.”

It also helps readers understand what your page content is about. They are more likely to click on those search results whose slugs they can clearly read.

How to optimize your slugs?

So how can you write the right slug for your url? Here are a few tips to help you out:

  1. Include keywords in your slugs. Slugs including keyphrases make it clear what your page is about. This makes your page more searchable.
  2. Stay focused. When writing a slug, get rid of unnecessary words like “a” “and” “the”. Your slug should be functional. Choose only the words that you need. For example, if your auto-generated slug is “how-to-bake-a-tasty-chocolate-cake”, you can whittle it down to “bake-chocolate-cake.”
  3. Be short and descriptive. If you follow point 1 & 2, automatically your slug will be short, descriptive and functional.
  4. Pay attention to slugs for pages with similar content. Remember, you can use a slug only once. So, if you have multiple pages on similar or related topics, make sure each of them is different. For eg- if you have two pages; one about jean the material, the other about jeans the piece of clothing. You can’t use “jean” for both. So, the first slug can be “fabric-jean”, the second can be “pants-jeans”.

Writing a good slug- think about your audience Ultimately, your slug should tell your readers what content they are going to get if they click on your link. So, think like your audience. Make slugs that are easy to read and that concisely describe your content topic.

If you want to know more about SEO, stay tuned. I will share more information on SEO here.

Branding & Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of BrandLoom Consulting (A $1m startup). Help companies generate more revenue through digital marketing and branding. Growth Driver of Large Global Companies and Successful Startups. Built Sustainable & Profitable Businesses for over 100 Brands during 18 years long global career. Speaker at CII, CITI, ASSOCHAM and several prominent Industry Forums. Covered by TOI, ET, The Hindu, Silicon India, The CEO and many publications.

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