This post is part of a five-part series about creating better blog pages. You can see all the posts in this series here.
When someone looks at multiple pages/posts on your blog, they’re more likely to become a regular reader, subscriber, or customer. Google also cares about bounce rate and time on site, so its a no-brainer to include pages on your site that help keep people sticking around. There are three main types of pages that can do this that we’re going to cover today.
In order to make your blog as easy to navigate as possible (for both humans and search engines), consider including a sitemap or archives page on your blog. People love to find posts that interest them, and when they’re new to your site, an archives page can help.
I recommend doing some testing to find the right format. For example, Glen from ViperChill has an archive of posts via category. You can also auto-create pages with posts listed by date. These are definitely not your only options; how you set up your archives page depends on your niche and your specific content. The point is simply to make everything as easy to find as possible.
“Start Here” Page
When I visit a blog for the first time, I absolutely love when I see a “Start Here” page for newbies. I find this page invaluable because I know it’s going to point me to all the posts I need to read first.
On your “Start Here” page, you want to link to your backstory (whether that’s on your About page or is its own post on your blog). I also like to see a section for beginners in the niche, linking to blog posts that fall into this category, as well as more resources from both your own blog and from others. This page can also include product recommendations, testimonials, or even a video intro.
What would you want to see if you were a new reader coming to your site? Be as helpful as possible on this page.
“Best Of” Page
Even more important than a “Start Here” page, at least to me when I’m visiting a blog for the first time, is a “Best Of” page. As the name implies, on this page, you want to include all of the very best blog posts you’ve written. A good option is to split them into categories and list about five for each.
The reason I like this page is that I know, as a new reader, I can check out the posts listed and determine immediately whether the blog is my cup of tea or not. If I don’t really like the posts the blogger him/herself believe to be the cream of the crop, I’m probably not going to like other posts on the blog either.
Your best of page should be updated regularly. You can still include old posts, but having newer posts on this list is important as well. So, every few months, go through and add new posts, taking away some of the older ones if your lists become too long.
Remember, the stickier your blog is, the better. People can’t become fans of your site if they spend ten seconds on a page and then leave! You have to have good content, but to truly optimize this content, create the above three pages so you’re encouraging people to stick around.
Join us tomorrow for Day Five of our Better Blog Pages series!