9 Tips to  SEO Optimize Your Slugs

By Scarlett Payne | July 21, 2021


A URL is a web address, and the slug is the part at the end that identifies the exact web page the URL points to.  For example, “product-name” is the slug in  www.ecommerce.com/category/product-name/.

What Is a Slug?

Search engines use many factors, including URL slugs, to understand a page’s content and determine its ranking for search queries. Slugs also describe page content for users and play a role in URL clickability.

Why Slugs Matter

Tip 1:  Use the Right Characters

- Don’t capitalize letters - Avoid special   characters - Use hyphens for   spaces - Add a trailing slash

Tip 2: Keep ‘em Relevant

Slugs should accurately represent the content on a page. Using relevant slugs ensures that search engines will rank your content for appropriate search queries.

Tip 3:  Keep ‘em Short

SEO-friendly slugs are short, averaging 3 to 5 words in length. Short slugs are also easier for users to remember and share on social platforms.

Tip 4: Remove  Stop Words

Stop words don’t add much meaning, and thus, don’t contribute much to a search engine’s understanding of your content. They include words like a, the, and, is, on, do and of. 

Tip 5: Question  Each Word

You can shorten slugs by removing unnecessary words, but it’s up to you to decide what has value.  Question each word’s value for users and SEO and if it beats simplicity. 

Tip 6:  Prioritize Users

Reader-friendly slugs improve UX. When choosing between a reader-friendly option and a keyword or shorter URL, always prioritize the reader – even if it means ignoring other tips.

Tip 7:  Use Keywords

Keywords can help a little, but: - Don’t keyword stuff - Choose a head   keyword - Use long-tail keywords - Keep keywords   relevant

Tip 8:  Stay Evergreen

Evergreen slugs don’t go out of date and stay relevant. To stay evergreen, use caution adding dates or numbers, and always ask yourself if you’ll want to change it in the future.

Tip 9:  Consider Site Architecture

You can only use a slug once. Thus, it’s best to consider a page’s context within your website architecture to ensure the right slug is used in the right place.