A permalink is the unique URL of a single post on your WordPress site. One of the first things you should do after installing WordPress is to create a custom permalink structure.
This will magically transform the WordPress default URLs into something more appealing to the Google search engine. It will make all your posts much more SEO (search engine optimization) friendly.
So instead of an ugly default URL, with its question marks, equal sign and page number, you can choose to have a URL that includes the title of your post, and the category.
Change Permissions on .htaccess File
1) First you’ll need to change the permissions of your .htaccess file, which is found on your hosting company server. This is so that WordPress can access this file and update the permalinks. Log into your server either through FTP or cPanel (in cPanel you use the helpful File Manager to navigate to the file). Change your .htaccess file’s permissions to 666. After you complete the steps below, change the permissions back to 644, to prevent other people from possibly accessing this important file.
2) Login to your WordPress Dashboard. Go to Options > Permalinks.
3) Under Common Options, you’ll see that the first one, “Default”, is currently selected. The second option is “Date and name based”. This will include the date and your post’s title insided the URL. The third is “Numeric”.
4) The fourth and final option is “Custom” – the one we are going to choose. Paste the following code in the custom structure box:
/%category%/postname%/ – then click “Save Changes”. This is the custom Permalink structure I use and recommend. It means your post URLs will include category name and post name. If your post title is too long you should create a post slug when writing your post.
AN EXAMPLE of the clean URL you get from using this custom permalink structure -
Custom Permalink==» http://www.themediapro.com/tips/photoshop/whitening-teeth-with-photoshop/
Wordpress Default==» http://www.themediapro.com/?p=123
Doesn’t that read a lot better? The search engines will think so too. It will help to maximize your pages’ visibility on them and drive a lot more traffic towards your site.