Blog archives are the place where your readers can uncover the answers they have been seeking, in one convenient and well-ordered location. Like walking into a beautiful library, your archive should be filled with all your best works with easy access in a place that is inviting and quiet; no advertising, no flashing links, no distractions.
While your recent blog posts appear on your blog’s home page, older posts require some searching to find. Thanks to the archiving feature in most blogging applications, your older posts can be found online at any time in the future, however, you must set up your blog in a way that makes it easy for visitors to find specific posts within your archives.
How Blog Archives Evolved
Blogs were once online journals where entries were published in reverse chronological order with the most recent entry (called a post) published at the top of the blog’s homepage. Readers would scroll through pages of blog posts to read the complete journal.
As blogs became sources of online commentary, news, and business communications, readers needed to be able to navigate through old posts to find the content that answered their questions. Blog archives became much more important, and blogging application providers launched features that would enable readers to easily navigate through older blog posts, or blog archives.
Why Blog Archives Matter
Blog archives are important to your blog’s success for a variety of reasons.
- They give your blog depth and credibility. A blog with years of archives has more credibility, and with each new blog post, search engines have another way to find your blog.
- Blog posts shared by their online connections, discussed through entries on other blogs or through Twitter updates give people more entry points to find your blog and website.
- Most blog archives have a mix of timely posts and evergreen posts. Evergreen content is always relevant. This is the content in your blog archives that will continue to drive traffic to your blog for years to come. Often new visitors find that archived content continue to read your content and become loyal visitors.
- Blog archives are important to your regular readers because they make it easy for people to find content that matters to them. For example, if a visitor is reading a current blog post about a new product review, they might click through the blog’s archives to get related information such as similar product reviews, product tips, and so on. All of that content is easy to find with the archive function.
How to Configure Your Blog Archives
Not all blogging applications offer the same level of customisation and accessibility for blog archives.
- Make your blog archives accessible by both post category and date in your blog’s sidebar if you have the functionality.
- Display post categories (for Blogger users, display labels) at the bottom of each blog post.
- Display links to related posts at the end of each blog post.
- Display feeds to your most popular and most commented posts.
You can also make your blog archives easily accessible is to display a category feed in your sidebar or footer. Show the most recent 3-5 posts in a popular category to make it quick and easy for people to access.
If you use WordPress, adding these feeds is easy through the use of widgets built into many themes or through WordPress plugins.
Blog archives are useful for attracting and keeping an audience. You can make your blog an industry touchstone if it is correctly configured and your evergreen content is easy to find.
Remember to update your evergreen content about every 6 months to make sure it is relevant and performing on SEO functionality. Site traffic is vital to the success of an eCommerce business, and ensuring that your blog is as peaceful and as ordered as a university library will keep the right people returning to your site for reliable information.