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Podcast Clean Up: Wordpress 101 Permalink Power

What Are Permalinks?

In the podcasting world, these would be the unique url or location of each of your shownotes/posts on your blog. You can find the permalink for each and every one of your posts by looking up at the browser's address bar. According to Wikipidia:
A permalink, or permanent link, is a URL that points to a specific blog or forum entry after it has passed from the front page to the archives. Because a permalink remains unchanged indefinitely, it is less susceptible to link rot. Most modern weblogging and content-syndication software systems support such links. Other types of websites use the term permanent links, but the term permalink is most common within the blogosphere. Permalink is a portmanteau word made from permanent link. Permalinks are often simply stated so as to be human-readable.

Why Are Permalinks Important To Podcasters?

We as podcasters are constantly looking to grow our audience. As opposed to blog posts which you can scan and read easily, it's really hard for people to know our content without having to listen or view it. Permalinks are an opportunity to facilitate discoverability that is often completely overlooked.
  • You can customize your permalinks to focus on any relevant keywords within your podcast episode
  • Paying attention to your permalinks will naturally help your shownotes be indexed well by Google aka better SEO for your site which equals a potential larger audience.
NOTE: Although this article mainly focuses on configuring the permalinks on a Wordpress site some of the practices can apply to any other platform that you might be using: Blogger, TypePad, Squarespace, Posterous, libsyn, etc.

The Best Configuration of Permalinks For Podcasters

There are a handfull of options to configure your Permalinks within Wordpress. In order to configure your Permalinks please go to your Wordpress Dashboard and on the left hand side column go to Settings => Permalinks
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The common settings are:
  • Default- This is the structure that is set on your blog right off the bat. These links have no SEO juice whatsoever. They offer the least amount of information.
  • Day and name- This is a good choice for your podcast. The date before the show episode name will offer important information to search engines.
  • Month and name- This can also be a good choice to use, especially if you have happen to produce a monthly podcast
  • Numeric - Not the best choice for your podcast shownotes
  • Custom Structure- This is my personal favorite. You can configure it almost any way you like. My favorite choice is simply the year and the post name. It allows the permalink to be shorter while providing room for optimal keyword usage.
If you want to know more of the how and why of permalink structure inside of Wordpress, please check out this article from Wordpress.org.

Configuring Individual Permalinks For Your Episodes

Not only does Wordpress allow you to set the overall structure of your permalinks, but it also gives you an option to configure individual permalinks to each of your episodes if you so desire. The permalink does not necessarily have to match your title.

   
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As you see from the picture above the you can very easily rename the permalink.

Why would you want to do this?

It's a really great tool for specific episodes, or important episodes that you may be producing.

Let's say you have a really popular episode where you interview a high profile guest, instead of having your normal permalink of:

http://yourwebsite.com/2011/episode-100-interview-with-high-profile-guest

it could simply be:

http://yourwebsite.com/2011/yourhighprofileguest

With that structure you can easily share that permalink with folks that ask you about your podcast as a way to guide them to one of your best shows.You could do special permalinks as well for holiday focused episodes:

http://yourwebsite.com/2011/Christmas or http://yourwebsite.com/2011/birthday.

The most important thing to remember about permalinks is that they work best when you use keywords within them that your potential audience is looking for.

If you have an in depth tutorial all about iPhoto 11 and your episode name is The Magic of Deconstructing iPhoto 11 a simple and better permalink for this post would be:

http://yourwebsite.com/2011/iPhoto-11-Tutorial

Doing this you can still get fancy and creative with the episode title but your permalink provides a greater opportunity for those searching for what you have to offer as it employs keywords people would naturally use in search engines.

Have you configured your Permalinks? Do you have any other suggestions regarding optimizing your permalink structure? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you :)

Elsie Escobar