Pages Versus Posts – What is Best for SEO?

I have been asked this question before:  What is best for SEO?  WordPress Pages  versus Posts?

The answer is really easy if you know WordPress.  And if you know Search Engine Optimization.

The answer is-

it depends!

WordPress pages and posts are created differently and treated differently by WordPress.  They are used for different purposes.

A WordPress Post is time stamped, and typically displays it's date, category, and author name.  It is typically displayed in a website in a chronological order.  They also generate a ping upon creating or editing.  A Post is best for content that is added on a regular basis and for content that changes.  Like this blog post.  This is a post.  And this content is best displayed in a post.

Wordpress Pages on the other hand, do not have categories, or time stamps.  And they do not ping (unless a plugin is installed, which I have).

So Pages versus Posts?

Pages are best for content that does not change, or change very often.  Posts are more useful for displaying relevant, fresh content.

Wordpress can be used as a Content Management System (CMS) and display mostly pages.  And you can add a plugin to your WordPress installation designed to send an RSS ping whenever a page is added or edited.

You can and should have a "blog" section where your time-relevant and Social Media can interact.  You can and should add blog posts on a regular basis.  We can call it blog, or news, or whatever, but your website can and should have fresh and relevant content added as a blog post.  So yes, regular contributions of content should be added as posts not pages.

Save your static content for Pages.  Your Privacy Policy (you do have one don't you?), your terms and conditions, your contract information, and content that doesn't change or changes rarely should be on pages.

What about SEO?  What about Google on- and off-page SEO optimization?

Google has indicated that the next author rank update will make Panda update look like a teddy bear.  But on page SEO should not be neglected.

Write for people first but don't forget the search engines.  Therefore taking a little extra effort to have page/post title tags and meta tags properly filled out, is still important.  Most quality, premium WordPress themes come built-in with SEO support.  If not add a SEO plugin which encourages good practice of on-page SEO during creation of each post and page.

In summary, use WordPress Pages for static content that changes little, and use Posts for content that gets updated on a regular basis.

Add a plugin to ping RSS feeds from pages.

And lastly, add a ping optimizer plugin, which prevents the website from sending too many pings and then getting banned (every edit to a post or creating a new post sends a ping.  Lots of edits can result in lots of pings which can result in a blog/website getting  banned or delisted by ping sites.)

Pretty Versus Money

Search engines can’t “see” a site. They can only “read” a site. And search engines only read text, not graphics. Gorgeous graphics or a pretty flash slide show mean nothing to a search engine.

Pretty does not talk to a search engine.

Search engines are blind to graphics.

Search engines love text.

What “talks” to a search engine are the words, the content, the material in your site that explains, shares, informs, educates, and babbles. Make sure you have quality word content for a search engine to examine and compare with all the parts and pieces to give you a good “score” with the search engines.

Why?

Because people are looking for content. Not for pretty. A people looking for content have money to spend.

Write Your Content with Searchers in Mind

How do you find information on the Internet?

If you are writing something that you want to be “found” on the Internet, think about the words and phrases someone would use to find your information. Use them more than once as you write, but not in every sentence. Learn how search engines scan your content, evaluate it, and categorize it so you can help yourself get in good favor with search engines.

Content First

A search engine enters your site and, for the most part, ignores the styles and CSS. It just plows through the site gathering content and information. Few search engines scan more than the first third of the page before moving on. Make sure your site puts the content near the top.

Keywords, Links, and Titles Meet Content

Search engines do not evaluate your site on how pretty it is, but they do evaluate the words and put them through a sifter, giving credit to certain words and a combination of words. Keywords found within your meta tag keywords listings and within your document are compared to words found within your links and titles. The more that match, the better your “score.”

And this is such a simple thing – create a page around each keyword with the keyword in the page title, meta tag description, meta tag keywords, the H1 tag, in the content, and in links. So simple but so frequently not done. If you do not take the time to properly build your site so it is search engine friendly, then it is harder for the search engines to crawl and score your site. And if it is harder for the search engines, it becomes harder for people to find your website.

Why make it hard for your customers to find your website? Are you trying to hide from your potential customers?

Of course not, so make it easy for search engines and customers.

Content in Links and Images

What if you have a graphic rich site?

Your site may not have much text, mostly photographs and links, but you have places in which to add textual content. Search engines look for alt and title in link and image tags. While these have a bigger purpose of making your site more accessible, having good descriptions and words in these attributes helps provide more content for search engines to digest.

Again, simple, but few people (read website designers) take the time to do this.

Link Popularity

It is not how good your site is, it is how good the sites are that link to you. These are called incoming links or backlinks. The number of backlinks, contrary to what you hear by SEO “experts” still holds weight with search engine favoritism.

It’s about who links to you. The number of incoming links your site has that have been recognized by Google can be checked by typing link:www.yoursite.com into Google or Yahoo. Other ways to generate incoming links to your site include:

  • Add your site’s url to your signature on forum posts on other sites.
  • Submit your site to directories such as DMOZ.
  • Publish articles with your sites url in the resource box

What about leaving comments on blogs? Usually this will not help, because all modern blogging tools use the rel=”nofollow” attribute.

What about link farms, or paying to have your websites url placed on a website with a high page rank?

Run don’t walk from that scam…

Build quality content and you will find other websites linking to your website because they are finding great content on your website, and want to link to your site.

Good Navigation Links

Lastly, help the poor search engine out. Make it easy for Google, Yahoo, and MSN to crawl your site by using navigation links in the content of your website.

A search engine crawls through your site, moving from page to page. Good navigational links to the categories, archives, and various pages on your site will invite a search engine to move gracefully from one page to another, following the connecting links and visiting most of your site.

Viola!

Your site gets crawled quickly and easily, and thus your precious content becomes quickly indexed by the search engines, making it easier for people searching information to find YOUR site.

Easy, eh?

But few website designers do this.

For a free on-line marketing audit of your website which includes a SEO evaluation, call 541-480-3113.