9 types of pages that add value and trust to blogs - and improve search rngine optimization too

A blog is known by its posts, not pages, right?  Yes, but pages have their own special role in blogs. While posts are the life-blood of a blog, standalone pages give the blog the required background support. Their content is more permanent than posts and therefore need not be updated too often.

If you have not yet created static pages on your blog or not considered them important, take action now so that your blog becomes more valuable for readers and optimizes your blog for search engine visibility.

What are the standalone pages on a blog and how to make best use of them?

Posts and pages both are technically web pages and have a URL or web address of their own. Pages are those web pages that are  not pushed down like posts when new matter is posted on the blog. Usually they do not have a time stamp and thus are eternal. 

In the typical web design of blogs, pages are not displayed in the main column - which is reserved for posts - but in special places (widgets/ gadgets).  Since the standalone pages have a unique personality, they quietly define your blog's standard and trustworthiness. 

The additional information the pages provide helps visitors to know more about the blog and blogger. Some pages add to the blog's reputation by establishing the blogger as trust-worthy. Google itself has said in its Page Quality Rating Guidelines that the trust generated by such information helps web pages and websites come high on search pages.

Therefore, you should not take the creation and placement of standalone pages lightly. I give here some common uses of pages on blogs and blog-like websites:
  1. Giving information about the blogger and/ or the blog: Usually we call such a page as an 'About us' page. It tells how the blog started, what all it contains, who all are behind the blog, what is its guiding principle and so on.
  2. Giving contact information: There could be a separate 'Contact us' page or the contact information could be part of the 'About us' page. Google says, blogs/ websites with a page on the owner's contact details are more trusted as compared to those whose owner remains hidden. The contact information includes contact details for specific purposes (e.g. customer service, product details, downloads), email ID, telephone number, physical address, etc.
  3. Giving background information about the topics covered in the blog: Since posts come and go, they do not stay on top of home page unless specially pinned. Pages, being static, serve well as the storehouse of background information that does not change too often. 
  4. Giving the visitor additional information on your product or service: Let us illustrate this with the example of an author blogger. There can be information about the book on some posts, but if you want to share a chapter or take the visitor to your creative journey or give interesting information on characters/ locations or display purchase information, a page can be the best way to do that. Same goes for other products and also services.
  5. Asking visitors to take action: Such pages are called 'call to action' or 'landing' pages. A page comes handy when you want to hook the visitor - a potential client - to buy your product or take any other action (e.g download an ebook, subscribe to updates, refer your blog to a friend). Bloggers/ website owners who sell products and services often have a long promotional article with a pitch for purchase, testimonials, etc on the landing page.
  6. Providing manually curated resources: Many bloggers manually make a list of the best posts on the blog. Some give a list of external resources. Some produce an FAQ list.
  7. Providing specific information. Standalone pages come handy when you organize a web event or a real-life event, or carry out a project. Standalone pages give all details of the project in one place.  
  8. Giving website policies: You can put all policies such as privacy policy, cookie policy, and comment policy on a separate page and link it to the homepage of your website/ blog. Similarly, disclaimers and disclosures about your content and conditions for using it can be included in that page.
  9. Guiding visitors in case of broken link: You should have a '404 error page' that is displayed when any web page in your blog is not displayed due to misspelling or using wrong URL by the user or the web page not being available due to some other error. This page should apologize for the inconvenience caused to the reader and guide him where to go from there. 

 Best places for displaying pages on the blog?

Standalone pages do not pose problem of display unlike other design elements. Static pages are best displayed as links or buttons on the homepage and within posts when they need to be cross-referenced. The menu bar just under the title is the best place for some or all pages. 

Sidebar is also good for displaying standalone pages. 
You should prominently display the 'About us', 'Contact us' and 'call to action' pages. 

From web design point of view, the footer area is the best place for linking pages relating to disclaimer and website policies as they need not take up prime space. 
There is no need to display the 'broken link' page. 

Some bloggers like to make a static page as the homepage of the blog to give the blog the look of a standard website. That is a design choice but in my view it partly reduces the 'blogging' feel and serves no good purpose.

importance of pages in blogging
Facebook blog's homepage. Compressed and shortened for clarity.

WordPress (both CMS and free blogging platform) and Blogger allow easy creation of pages and customization of their placement, with the help of widgets/ gadgets. Both have Pages Menu widget, and you can play with both to place all or a few pages with other menu items in different places on the blog.

You can place static pages - because they have their own specific web address or URL - as links anywhere on the blog, including on posts.

Please look at the screenshot of Facebook's blog, which I have tweaked for the sake of easy viewing. It has a menu bar in the title area with links to a number of pages. The sidebar has a widget for upcoming events, but they could have displayed one or more pages here. The bottom has pages for Ábout', 'Çontact Us', etc.

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