Three Pages On Your Blog You Never Dreamed of Optimizing – But Should!

WordPress is an amazing tool and of the Content Managment Systems I have used, it is by far the most SEO Friendly out of the box. However, there are still issues with pages on your site straight out of the box. A lot of the pages on your blog can cause duplicate content issues. However, straight out of the box this isn’t an issue. Your blog will still rank for all your keywords and there is no danger of your blog – which is full of unique content – from being deindexed. Not actioning the duplicate content issues on the pages I’ve detailed below won’t harm your site.

However, if you make changes to your site detailed below, you’ll find more of your site will be indexed in search engines. More of your site indexed in search engines means more long tail phrases will rank highly in search engines, which should give your more traffic.

Monthly/Yearly Archive Pages



Okay, this is a bit of a lie here. Archives of months and years, whilst important, hold no easily changed SEO value. They are simply archive pages that hold very little SEO value. So you’re best off disabling them.

This is easily done though in WordPress using Yoast’s WordPress SEO. After installing the plugin (if you don’t already have it, which you should), go to the SEO > Indexation page in the WordPress Administration and tick the boxes next to “Subpages of archives and taxonomies” and “Date-based archives”. This will prevent search engines from indexing the pages:-

Seo WordPress pages

(The other boxes I’d recommend unticking, for reasons I’ll highlight below)

Note: These pages will still be crawled by search engines, so any links will still pass juice, just that the pages won’t be in the search engines. This is important as you want to highlight your best and most relevant pages. Your archives are likely less relevant than individual posts.

Tag Pages

Tag pages can be a great source for long tail traffic. But you need to treat them with respect.

First of all, you need a structure for the tags. You shouldn’t call tags the same as your categories. Furthermore, you should try to limit tags as much as possible (so don’t have a separate “SEO” and “Search Engine Optimization” tag). Furthermore, you need to push your tag pages. They are automatically linked but need some content on them. If you introduce tags using the description (a paragraph or two will suffice), then you can turn your tag pages into effective landing pages by adding a couple of lines of code to your tag.php template file (I have written about how to add tag descriptions to your tag.php file here).

I also use the plugin Tag Images to add images to the page, making it more user friendly. An example of this is on one of my blogs, which has a Chester FC landing page.

Author Pages

Rich Author pages are going to be vital for your blog in the next few years. By creating a rich author page, with an author bio, links to social networks and other websites that the author helps run, you can rank for the author’s name. This could lead to an influx of traffic when – say – an author of your blog gets a bit of coverage in the major press.

Furthermore, with effective implementation of rich snippets, and you have authoritive guest bloggers on your site, you can increase clickthroughs to your site by having familiar avatars appear in the Search Engines by your link. Here’s an example of one of my posts on Famous Bloggers:-

WordPress SEO Pages

Implementing rich snippets is fairly straightforward with a tool such as Author Plus, though it does take time for Google to show them in the search engines.

However basic implementation can be done fairly easily using your current author bio (the one shown at the end of posts) – a tutorial is available here. This will give you rich author pages such as the ones seen on this very blog.

In Conclusion

None of the above is mandatory for your blog, your site won’t drop from search engines because you fail to do the above. However, if you want to make your site get more traffic from search engines, by optimizing less obvious pages, you will give yourself a competitive advantage over other bloggers in the search engines.

[ois skin=”Contact Page Optin”]

About 

Rhys Wynne is a 8 year blogger that has been featured on the BBC and The Guardian in the UK, About.com in the US and on a number of blogs around the world. Rhys has 4 years experience of working in SEO, bringing results for large multinationals down to freelancers. He runs The Blogging Dojo, which latest work is Author Plus, a piece of software that can help you create rich author pages simply and easily.

46 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Solid tips and all are indeed effective for SEO. May I add, creating whenever possible, user friendly (and SEO) category pages. In addition, Hesham just created a new plugin that also helps for the “rich snippets” issue where I believe is of great value. The plugin is Author hReview and it can be found on the WordPress repository. Just my two cents..

    • Hi DiTesco,

      Yes Category pages are important as well. I do find though that category pages can get filled with nonsensical posts at times, so I recommend creating squeeze pages to post your most informative/profitable posts first.

      Will check out Author hReview :)

    • Hi Jennifer,

      It depends. As alluded to above, often tag pages are cleaner than category pages (as there could be a category – for example – “Site News”). So I recommend tag pages. Nevertheless, if you modify one or the other, then that’s good enough :)

      I mentioned tag pages as they usualy get forgotten :)

  2. I have not explored “Yoasts WP Seo” Rhys, I will definitely now check it out. Author bio, you are correct will show up in results. You do not want to get caught with a blank space or no description of what you do; who you are.
    Should write an article about a quality photo of yourself(I am not suggesting yours is not quality), but this has most likely already been written. Just saying if you are to present yourself as a pro or someone with knowledge, you want to at least look reputable, right?

    Great stuff Rhys!

    • Yes Bryan you should definitely check out “Yoast WP SEO”. I believe it is one of the best WordPress plugin’s. And Rhys you are absolutely right about the author info page.

      • Right after this post, I installed the “Yoast WP SEO” plugin and it is amazing. More importantly easy to work with. Fill in the blanks as you would your pages. Thanks for the extra tips!

  3. I usually set category pages and archive pages to not be fallowed by search engines to concentrate all search engine attention to posts and pages but if I build larger sites with thousands of tags and many categories then I leave this categories fallowed, like you mentioned to get more long keyword traffic
    Thanks for the tips!

  4. I think another page that people forget to play around with is there 404 error page.
    While I know you can’t really optimise it for search engines and the likes, and hopefully your readers never have to see it… but I think you should make it interesting and informative, offer something from that page, like a link to a similar article, or at least an option to get to somewhere else on the site, as well as reporting the issue

    • Hi Robert,

      I do agree. You shouldn’t optimise it – your 404 page shouldn’t be seen in search engines – but it should be good to help your user experience.

  5. I have over 40 tags on one of my websites but I checked in webmaster tools and it says that all of them have duplicate titles. How can this be and how do I change this as I don’t even remember inputting these tags!

    Some of the tag ‘pages’ have content but again, i honestly don’t know where that content is coming from. Any ideas?

  6. I must say.. I’m glad to hear about the tags.. I thought that might be looked at as spam. I was actually trying to find a way to turn them off. LOL.. My SEO plugin is looking out for me.. This has gotten me well over 600 pages indexed in Google with a site I’ve only been blogging on since November…

    Im slipping on the author page though… I’ll be creating one as soon as possible.. Thanks for that tips…

  7. Hey Rhys, these are really excellent ideas I have already done a few and I will try and follow the rest. And you are totally right a author info page help to develop brand. Seen that personally.

  8. Wow its unique for me. I heard that Monthly/Yearly Archive Pages Matters but next two topic i never heard that i should Optimize. Thanks for info y Rhys Wynne.

  9. Informative post,
    in addition category page is must through this we can easily know what are things you have covered in this blog,and we can easily choose our interesting category and read those post’s…it makes to save a readers time…

  10. For the rich snippet, I have actually hooked it up with my G+ account and I tested using http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets. I saw my photo appear at the right hand side of the search in the webmaster preview tools, which is odd as oppose to the normal left hand side (like the one shown in this post).

    I got “Verified: Authorship markup is verified for this page.” shown on the webmaster tools but still in the search results did not show any photo. Do you know anything else I can check or change to fix up the rich snippet?

    • Hi Ming,

      It does take a long time. You may also need to check that your author page is searchable by the search engines. That screwed me for ages :S

      • Thanks Rhys. I think you point me in the right direction. Just checked the webmaster tool again and found my linked author profile also points to G+ profile, which doesn’t seem right….

        I will troubleshoot the author page on my blog…Thanks mate!

  11. I’ve personally never thought about that, but as soon as pages get in achieve, changes to get picked by search engines are getting lower, as well it is quite possible those pages to lose PR. Blogs are successful because fresh content, not because the volume of content.

  12. Each time I read one of your posts like this, it makes me think I may have been better off using WordPress instead of Blogger – it just seems much more customizable.

  13. I wasn’t aware you could have your author page show up in Google like that, I actually thought that pic was of a Google+ profile because they look almost identical. Can it work with an author plugin like the Advanced Author Bio plugin from Abhik?

  14. I never thought about optimizing my about me page but it looks like , I have to optimize
    excellent tips…
    but besides from tool is there any other way for Blogspot bloggers….? to optimize about the author page…?

  15. This is awesome. I un-installed Yoast ‘s WordPress SEO because I didn’t understand it, although it seemed like a pretty cool tool. If you could direct me to a tutorial, I’d be willing to give it a shot. Thanks for sharing this.

  16. I am preventing categories and tags from being indexed ! going to check these two boxes . tell me should i prevent categories and tags to be indexed ? waiting for your reply

  17. yes its true .. in starting of my blogging journey i indexed the tags also ;) .. but now i know more about proper SEO .. thanks for sahre :)

  18. I remember a few years ago there was a lot of talk about optimizing error pages which I think is a good idea. Like you say, it’s not critical to do these things, but they could possibly give you a bit of an edge.

  19. Most articles on SEO are pretty much the same. Your input was different… Suggesting that you optimize the lesser pages makes all the sense in the world. Most people who do SEO do not know how big of a job it is for search engines to rank blogs. There are dozens, if not hundreds vying for every worthy keyword combination. Therefore, any advantage that can inch us forward could make all the difference.

  20. Archive pages have little value but as time passes they do get valued if the content is good enough. What do you think ?

    Tags, I have used but the placement of tags somehow I feel is important.

    Author pages is one of the neglected part on my site but I always that it will only pop up on google if one enters an Authors name.

    Good insights though. Thanks

  21. Rhys – Thanks for the tips on the proper way of using tags, I’m looking forward to implementing some of your suggestions.

  22. Melanie

    Thanks for this post, it’s very useful. The Author Pages are really a great thing, and they looks great on the Google Search :)

  23. Plug-ins are very best part for any wordpress supported blog, I know plugin for SEO, ALL in one SEO, I am quite exciting to more about Author+ plugin.

  24. Nice useful tips on optimizing three important pages. Optimizing the most left out pages is definitely a good way for SEO optimization.
    Keep up the good work.

  25. Danny

    Great tips!
    I have everything deindexed in that yoast page except the category archives. But maybe I should look into the tags. But that would mean I would have a lot of cleaning up to do for my sites as I have many tags that overlap eachother.

  26. The only page i always try to optimize in my blog is the “About” page. I optimize it for my readers because i found out that it is one of the most visited places in my site

  27. Although I had Yoast SEO plugin for a while I never gave much thought to all the options. Will definitely explore them more and work on creating an rich author profile.