Team member pages that show employees of a company may not be important for SEO in the usual way, but they still have value.
David: You’re asking about team member pages. Is it better to include some bio on the Meet the Team page, like I’m thinking certifications or a certain bio? Is this even useful? The company links to separate team member pages for bios currently with only name and title on each team member page. Wow, what a common issue. Clients who want to showcase their team, but then all the pages don’t have anything but a picture. What you might find after a while is that Google might give you some issues in Search Console, like a soft 404 error for the page, because there’s really nothing on the page. So basically, that would tell you that Google says, hey, this page doesn’t really have any value. Or sometimes you might find that it’s not indexed, or even “canonical tag not respected” because it’s just basically the same page as a bunch of other pages, except the name is changed. And that’s all that’s on the page. In one sense, if the company is willing to showcase its employees, good for them. Sometimes, companies are really protective and afraid of poaching. Or maybe they’re afraid of losing people. I know. I’ve had a couple of clients in the past who just don’t want to showcase that because those people may move on to bigger and better things. And that’s a problem, but good for you, a company that wants to showcase the employees who make it successful. So, when we think about whether these pages are even useful, I think they’re useful from an SEO perspective for a couple of reasons. It’s not because, typically, when we do SEO, we look for keyword research, right? What is the keyword research for a particular topic? And rarely are we going to work with a client or a company so huge that the person’s name is going to come up in keyword research, right? You really would have to be a real worldwide expert to even register. So, it’s not like we’re trying to rank the pages or get traffic from the pages. So, if that is all that SEO is about, then those pages would be pretty much useless. But that doesn’t mean that just because there’s no traffic to a page, that page isn’t valuable. So, for instance, like the About Us page on most companies’ websites, we’re not trying to rank the About Us page for a client or optimize that page because that page is just an important piece of helping understand what this company is about. Are they credible? Can I trust them? So, it’s not an SEO page, but it’s still a very important page. In fact, the Google Manual Review Guidelines, which we’ve talked about in the past. Right? The document that says here’s how Google wants to evaluate every page. Basically, it says the first thing you should do is a manual review to establish the credibility of a page. Look at the company to understand the company. Look at their About Us page. So, in other words, the About Us page is a very important SEO page, not because of traffic and rank, but because it establishes credibility. In the same way, About Us pages that have about our staff can really establish credibility for a lot of the reasons you mentioned, like certifications, education, and a short biography. Who is this person? Why are we proud to employ them? What did they bring? It shows that the company has experts that you’re not afraid of. And in that sense, it helps establish that this is a credible place. So, if you only did it for authority and credibility, it would be worth it. However, there’s more value. Because when we talk about blogging, and we talk… One of the big pieces of the whole of authority within web pages is the question, who wrote it? Are they a credible source to write this? Now, a lot of times, companies will publish articles, and they’ll publish it by the company. Okay. Well, you’re putting it in the company’s name. And so if the company is credible, the article would be credible. But if you really want to establish the credibility of a blog post, for instance, you have someone in that company’s name on that post. And it would need to be things like. Who are they? Their education, their credentials, their LinkedIn profile, maybe. So, you can kind of verify that this person really does exist because, you know, sometimes people will create fake personas. Right?
David: Oh, my goodness. It’s surprising that anybody would try to cheat Google. So, like that then establishes, for instance, if you can have a system. So, with one of my clients, we have a system where we write the article. Right? We give it to an employee of the company. And we edit it. And now we publish it under their name. So they don’t need to write it. They are experts in a particular field. They don’t need to be writing articles for the website. But if they’re willing to sign off on what we write for them, boy, they’re willing to put the professional name and reputation behind it. It must be good. And so now, to have these pages associated with blog posts becomes a credibility factor for the blog post. This is going to be super important when we move to learn language models. And the learn language model answering questions in Google. They’ll answer the question, and they’re going to establish the credibility of content based on who wrote it. So, from a WordPress perspective, maybe it’s not a series of subpages under the About Us with everybody who works there. What if the blog author’s page serves that purpose? Within WordPress, you can set up the template to publish a page per author. And now on that author page, here’s their LinkedIn, here’s their education, here’s their credentials, here’s their speaking engagements, here’s a little bit about them. They love dogs, they have a cat, whatever. Who cares? The point is to establish that they’re a human that cares about it. So, that’s the second value of those pages. We’re not even talking about optimizing traffic. Right? But here’s the clincher. We’ve talked a little bit about link building. But link building is hard. We kind of talked about that last week, right? It’s a pain in the butt to do it right. But if your employees are active in their industry, let’s say they speak at conferences or contribute to other articles and other websites. Right now, we can approach those other websites and say, “Hey. We noticed that Chris Personson was a speaker at your conference. Would you mind linking to their bio on our website?” Why wouldn’t they do that? Why wouldn’t they do that? They’re proud of this person. They’ve selected this person to speak at the conference. Now, we’ve got a link from a relevant conference in the industry – topically relevant to our website.
Tricia: When you say link to the author page, do you mean the author…?
David: Well, a page about the person, whether that’s their author page in the blog, if they have that, or like in this case, maybe just a subpage of the About Us where it’s just showcasing their employees.
David: So that’s an easy link. And so, one of the things you can do, we’ve talked about branded link building as a strategy. What if it’s not the brand? What if it’s the employees? You do searches for the employees’ names and see how they were mentioned. Again, we don’t have to have 100 million links to our website. If they’ve spoken at a couple of good conferences in the last year, we can get those references linked to us. We don’t want to reciprocate the link, right? We don’t trade links. We want that link coming in. If you pull the backlink profile on Curious Ants, guess what? You’re going to see a lot of links from WordPress conferences.
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