Overall the goal is to index content that is content and not junk pages. Category pages could be removed from the below by adding content to each category page – otherwise
1) Permalinks. Change this away from default before starting page/post creation. I like “post name” but day and name / month and name are also ok. You could go for something custom like category+postname but imo this gets a little long, depending on category names used. The default uses post number id or something retarded so you end up with www.sitename.com/12312/ for a post “how to improve at shock rifle” rather than www.sitename.com/how-to-improve-at-shock-rifle”. This can potentially be changed when making posts/afterwards but inexperienced users will probably not notice it and I have had issues changing the slug after posting. Easier to force a meaningful default and leave it at that.
2) Archives use post title+excerpt only or simply list post title. This is to avoid the post showing up in multiple places in its entirety. eg a post about “shock rifle improvement” might be put in the tutorials category and then also tagged for “weapons” “shock rifle” and “cool stuff”. If archives/categories/everything uses full posts the post will be duplicated for each category as well as the date archive it was posted for. 5-6 times instead of having one strong page with the content.
The question of how? I am not sure. I do not recall what I used in the past for this. It might be a default wp option. Maybe not.
3) Yoast seo. Plugin. Primarily to stop unnecessary indexing of cruft. The main changes here are in “Titles & Metas” settings. Post types, Taxonomies, Archives and any other things that end up being created by themes/plugins. An example would be portfolio and pricing tables.
The goal is to not index duplicate content or content that is useless. I would start selecting “noindex, follow” as below. This plugin has a lot of useless functions.
Post types – Posts, Pages, Media (noindex, follow)
Taxonomies – Categories (noindex, follow), Tags (noindex, follow), Format (noindex, follow)
Archives – Author Archives (noindex, follow), Date Archives (noindex, follow)
Other – If you want to prevent /page/2/ and further (noindex, follow)
This allows indexing of all posts and pages but nothing else. This is partially achieved by point 2, but we want to make sure that the pages with excerpts are not also indexed and traffic sent there over the “real” content.
The follow allows search engines to crawl these pages and links on them to find new content but it does not allow engines that follow the directives to index and use these pages in results. These pages will always be weaker than the post/pages they are linking to.
4) Disable sitemaps using yoast for the above sections that were noindex’d. Option for this in yoast. The remaining sitemaps can be submitted to webmaster tools for potentially better indexing.
5) Make sure that posts/pages have the post/page title as h1 and the site name is not taking up the h1 spot. This is very common in themes and generally requires some butchery to fix.
6) Give the front page content beyond a post feed. If the site is to be the hub for au/nz ut then 500-1000 words should be spent explaining this. Use lots of terms for the same thing. eg australia, au, aus. unreal tournament 4, ut4 and include the older title names/abbreviations as well. This might be an ok place for a “history” to go for long tail stuffing.