Boost Traffic and SEO on Your WordPress Site With Clickable Post Dates

blogdatesPerhaps you don’t want your site to appear to be too “bloggy” but would still like to incorporate links to archives for those who are curious. A convenient and subtle way to include links to archives is to assign them to your post dates. This is especially true if you’ve paid for a custom theme and the post date is designed with an image. Users may try to click on the date image which can increase your traffic and lead people to a flood of more content that may be interesting to them.

Why might you want to make your post dates clickable? Archives can clutter up a sidebar or footer, and it’s not usually very strategic to allocate that space for a list of months and years. Nobody is visiting your blog by way of searching “November 2009″ so why give it prominence in the sidebar? People are searching for specific content and a list of categories or tags is much more likely to lead them to something that will get them hooked. A list of monthly archives is rapidly becoming an archaic stamp that screams “This is a blog site!” which is something that may be wise to avoid when working with WordPress as a CMS, especially with all the readily available dynamic options for featuring your best and most relevant content. However, the archives do help to build a more SEO-friendly internal link architecture. Internal links will help to increase the value and page rank of your internal pages. If you’re dying to keep access to archives but want to remove their prominence on the page, try this little code snippet to link through your post dates:

Find this in your theme’s index.php file:

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<?php the_time('F jS, Y') ?>

Replace it with this:

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<a title="<?php the_time('F') ?>" href="<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>/<?php the_time('Y') ?>/<?php the_time('m') ?>"><?php the_time('F') ?></a>
<a title="<?php the_time('F') ?> <?php the_time('jS') ?>" href="<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>/<?php the_time('Y') ?>/<?php the_time('m') ?>/<?php the_time('j') ?>"><?php the_time('jS') ?></a>,
<a title="<?php the_time('Y') ?>" href="<?php bloginfo('url'); ?>/<?php the_time('Y') ?>"><?php the_time('Y') ?></a>

This tells WordPress to make the month a link to that month’s archives, the day to link to all posts from that day, and the year to link to an archive of posts from that year. I’d like to credit Gunnerpress.com for the code used to accomplish this. You may not see a boost in SEO right away but every little bit counts in building relevance of your pages and maintaining a solid ranking with search engines.

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Comments (14)

  1. It’s always been one of my pet peeves of design to see copyright dates that were 2 years old. For php sites, this fix is SO easy. And, yes this is great for de-blogging your sidebar. I took those archives off before thinking of the SEO implications. Thanks for the reminder of potential implications and providing a fix.

  2. Fantastic. I hate when a site has an archive list in the side nav. Don’t think I have ever actual clicked on one of those useless links. Now if you can figure out a way to get rid of the tag cloud while still keeping its SEO value ;)

  3. Nice post, this sounds like a pretty good idea SEO-wise. I’m wondering though, would a visitor be looking for an archive when clicking on a post date? Wouldn’t he expect to just get more information about the post itself?

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