Attorney Marketing 101: Permalink Structures

permalinks are the permanent links to a pageThe process of optimizing your law firm’s website for search engines involves so many factors that you can think of it as a totality of the circumstances test. Some of these factors, like the quality of your content and your backlink portfolio, are crucially important to boost your site’s rankings. Other factors, like the alt tags on your images, are minor details in search engine optimization (SEO).

However, these minor details stack up. When you’re in a competitive market with a handful of law firms going for the top spot in your city, they can make a huge difference.

One of these minor details is your permalink structure.

Permalink Structures

A permalink is the permanent link to a page or post, and is the part of the URL that comes after the domain name.

permalink in website's URL

There are a handful of ways for permalinks to be structured, including:

  • Post name only: https://www.myersfreelance.com/where-you-rank-in-search-results-matters-the-numbers/
  • Post name and category: https://www.myersfreelance.com/where-you-rank-in-search-results-matters-the-numbers/legal-marketing
  • Dated: https://www.myersfreelance.com/2015/11/10/where-you-rank-in-search-results-matters-the-numbers/
  • Query string: https://www.myersfreelance.com/?p=5

These different ways of writing a permalink are not just a matter of semantics. They can impact your site’s SEO and can make it more difficult to share your posts.

Permalinks and SEO

Permalinks are important because there’s some evidence that search engines look to them – along with your domain name, itself – for an indication of what the page is about. This means that permalinks are another place for you to write those keywords.

As a result, the structure of your permalinks can hamstring you. Using a structure that includes your post’s name and its category give you plenty of options for using targeted language. Choosing a query string structure, on the other hand, means that the only thing in the permalink is the location of the post in your post database. This is especially important to remember if you’re using WordPress for your law firm’s website: Query string is the default setting in WordPress.

Permalinks and Sharing

If you can fit keywords into your permalink and boost your SEO, what’s to stop you from writing a 500-word permalink?

Because imagine sharing link.

Keeping your permalinks under control prevents them from getting unwieldy, and can make them easier to share on social media and other sites. This allows them to attract visitors and score the backlinks you need for a highly-functioning website.

This is also why it’s wise to remove the dates from the permalink. All they do is add to the length, and make your post seem dated after a few months.

Ideal Permalink Structure

In the end, the perfect permalink structure is the happy medium between keywords and shareability. As you can see from the URL at the top of your screen, we at Myers Freelance use a permalink structure that only includes the post’s name. It allows us to hit keywords strategically, share our posts smoothly on social media, and also allows us to put our blog posts into more than one category.

Just because that’s how we do it, though, does not make it the perfect choice for you, too. Your law firm’s unique needs and circumstances can make another permalink structure the best one for you to use. Contact us online and we’d be happy to figure which one that is.

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