The slug is the text behind the domain extension of a URL that specifically indicates a particular place on a page.
It is the editable part of the domain and that also favors SEO positioning if optimized well.
The ideal of a slug is that it is a short, direct and descriptive text, since otherwise the URL that will be displayed will be much more extensive and with unmicable characters for both the user and Google bots.
In content managers such as WordPress these Slugs are generated automatically and can be modified with SEO plugins such as RankMath or Yoast.
Where are the slugs located?
Slugs can be found virtually all over the web at:
- User Profiles
- History or pagination of pages and posts
- Product categories and items
- Other taxonomies that your plugins or theme may have
What to do to optimize slugs for SEO
They should be simple. It should not exceed 4 or 5 words and you have to eliminate the filler, such as prepositions, articles conjunctions, etc …
They must include relevant keywords. If you want to position that URL, the slug must contain the keyword that is being attacked in that content in the clearest possible way.
Slugs must be unique. The content manager, for example WordPress, will not allow the creation of two equal slugs. You have to be very careful to avoid duplicate URLs because they affect SEO a lot by creating duplicate content.
They must be understandable. In most content managers, slugs are created automatically with a succession of letters and numbers, especially in E-Commerce products. So that the user and Google can easily read that link, it must always be modified in such a way that the content or product that is being offered is clear.
If the content has already been published and you want to change the slug to optimize the SEO of that URL, do not forget to make a 301 redirect to direct traffic to the new URL. If this redirect is not done, a 404 error will be generated and all the traffic that has been achieved up to that point will be lost.
Having the slugs well optimized is very important to have a good SEO positioning, because Google values very much that the URLs are friendly so that the user does not have doubts when navigating to the content.
The user needs to see in each slug the theme of the post or page he is going to read, because it appears in the Google serps or in the browser and invites him to continue reading if he knows at a glance what the content is about.
Search engines also need to know from the slug if the content is relevant, so you have to make things easier for you by having the URLs optimized because this is a good part of a successful SEO strategy.