16 common mistakes bloggers make about SEO
Studies show that including a blog as part of your website increase your chances of being ranked highly on search engines by 434 percent.
In addition, companies that use blogs as part of their content marketing strategy receive 67 percent more leads than those who don’t. However, simply having a blog on your site isn’t enough. It’s important you’re strategic about the way you use it.
Here are 16 common blunders to avoid:
1. You start without a plan.
Before you start blogging for SEO, you need to create a strategy. Ask yourself questions like:
- What are your blogging goals?
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What types of information will help them?
2. You publish inconsistently.
Irregular publishing can greatly affect your results in a couple of ways:
- Search engines are constantly looking for new high-quality content. If you aren’t sharing articles regularly, they’ll visit your website less often and show results from your pages less frequently. This will affect your SEO rank.
- If articles on your blog are dated, potential customers won’t have new, helpful information to inform them. With half of online shoppers researching online, it’s important they see the latest and greatest from your brand so they know you’re a thriving, up-to-date company.
3. You focus on quantity over quality.
Well-written, quality content is much more important than publishing just anything to stay on schedule. Search engines want to get the best possible information to users, so they look for quality content. Make sure everything you take live on your blog will help, not hinder your content marketing efforts.
4. Your writing lacks a consistent voice.
Before you write anything for your company, you need to establish key branding elements – including the type of language you will use. Then, make sure anyone blogging for SEO is familiar with this voice and uses it.
5. You lose track of your target audience.
What’s the point of blogging for SEO? Reaching your target audience. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep them top of mind. Every article you write, think about what they’ll be interested in. How will your post relate to them?
6. Your topics are boring or irrelevant.
This relates directly to No. 5. If you choose topics that your target audience will find boring or irrelevant, you’re wasting your time and resources. As you select your blog topics, think about ways to provide value.
- Do customers regularly ask you the same questions?
- Is there new industry research that may affect customers’ purchase decisions?
- Is there something in the news that relates to your field?
7. You choose the wrong keywords.
Keywords are incredibly important when blogging for SEO. These words and phrases directly relate to how consumers will find your articles online.
One really useful tool to use for keyword research is Keywords Everywhere. When you search for a term on Google, it tells you the search volume per month, cost per click and competition. It also suggests a list of similar keywords that might be helpful to consider as well.
8. You keep the first title you write.
The blog headline has an important role: it captures readers’ attention right off the bat and convinces them to click on the article or keep scrolling.
After you finish writing your blog post, go back to your title and play around with it. Can you think of a more compelling way to capture your target audience’s attention?
Aim for 6 to 13 words. This length attracts the highest and most consistent amount of traffic. Remember to:
- Draw on emotions.
- Keep it short and to the point.
- Use strong keywords.
- Use data and numbers.
9. You use chunky paragraphs.
If you’re writing 1,500+ words for your articles you’re sharing a lot of helpful information! However, 43 percent of consumers report they skim blog posts.
Knowing so many potential readers skim posts, it’s important you break up chunky paragraphs however you can.
10. You ignore visuals.
Add images or videos to your post to break up the text. Just make sure you only use visuals you have the right to use. Read about following copyright laws here.
11. You don’t edit.
When you’re done writing, you’re not ready to publish yet. Walk away for at least 30 minutes (although overnight is better) and come back with fresh eyes to read over what you wrote.
Do all your points make sense? Does the article flow in natural way? Are you missing any words or typos?
12. You don’t promote your finished content.
Waiting for search engines to find your article isn’t the only way to increase your online visibility. Share your blog post on all your social media channels and in your email newsletter. If you really want to increase the number of eyes on your post, consider running a social media ad or Google ad promoting the article.
13. You never republish old posts.
Do you have a blog article you wrote a while ago you wish more people had seen? Republish it! Carefully review it to make sure all the statistics are still current, and refresh any details that may be dated and then reshare it on your blog as a new post.
14. You don’t check Google Analytics.
How will you know if your strategy is working? Install Google Analytics on your website and then look at it every four to six weeks. Ask yourself, which blog posts are performing well? Are there trends you’re noticing? Use the answers to these questions to help you develop new topics that are likely to perform well.
15. You are always in a rush.
Studies show that nearly half of those investing six or more hours per blog post report strong results. When blogging for SEO, you need to take the time to make sure your blog articles are well written and provide value for your target audience.
In addition to actually writing the post, you also need to factor in the time of editing, finding the perfect visuals to use within the post, uploading it to your website and promoting it.
16. You expect immediate results.
Content marketing is a long-term strategy. Don’t expect to see a huge return on your investment right away. Anticipate it will take at least 12-18 months to start to see positive results from your blog.