Blogging has long surpassed this purpose of being an outlet for the writers and those fond of sharing their stories in a written form. It has turned into a type of a business model that requires a lot of optimization and planning to turn it into something truly successful.
This reshaping of the blogosphere and how blogs reach fame nowadays has left some bloggers in the dark concerning what they’re doing wrong. They often question the quality of their content, its originality, and they even complain about content saturation. All of these are potential reasons that could be slowing down your blog, but SEO is another factor that has such a powerful influence on whether your blog will be visible or not.
Hence, the need to be familiar with SEO mistakes to avoid when blogging.
1. Cluttering content on your blog
If you’re at least a little bit familiar with this whole SEO concept, you’ve probably come across a recommendation to create a lot of content. That’s indispensable. You can’t have a website or hope to promote your business without a blog. And that blog has to be regularly updated, with plenty of content.
While there’s some truth to this, let’s stop for a minute to analyze what happens if you go by this “recommendation.” You’ll boost up the pace of publishing, probably to once a day, or a couple of times per week. So you’ll need at least three blog posts per week. You’ll need a lot of time to write those, or you’ll need to hire someone to do the writing. Both ways – expensive! You’ll then slowly start to cut down on quality. You’ll hire writers with less experience and expertise to lower the expenses, or in case you’re doing the writing yourself, you’ll reduce your quality to be able to keep up with such a pace.
The outcome is that your content quality will drop. When it comes to SEO, this is a problem because over time your page rank will drop as well. You’ll find it more and more difficult to get search engines to index and feature your content if they start interpreting signals such as high bounce rate, poor engagement, etc.
How to avoid this issue:
For starters, determine a publishing schedule you’re comfortable with. Don’t set yourself to become a new Huffington post and publish by the minute. That isn’t a realistic goal, nor will it do any good for your blog promotion. Quality should always take precedence over quantity.
2. Focusing solely on writing
This approach might seem a bit contradictory at first but think about it for a second. Content that isn’t optimized is unlikely to be found by the search engines. It doesn’t matter how extraordinary it is. It doesn’t matter that’s the best article you’ve ever written. If it doesn’t appear in the SERP, the audience you’ll reach is somewhat limited. Since you’re promoting your influence or your business through blog content, poor exposure reflects on the low level of promotion. And this is how you fail at achieving your goals, even if you do have the best content out there.
Inability to position such content in the search engines will cost you a lot more than you can imagine. And sooner or later, you’ll lose motivation and start questioning your entire blogging effort.
How to avoid this issue:
Being an excellent writer is a start. This means you’ll be able to create words that hit the target (i.e., address the readers, enable them to relate, entertain them, inform and ultimately engage). Your language is spot on, and now you need to adapt it to the search engines.
You see, search engines speak an entirely different kind of language. They use keywords, tags, and metadata to understand and evaluate your content. Aslo, they use signals such as average time on page, bounce rate, and engagement, to determine how good your content is. They don’t see visual content, but they scan the meta tags to deduct the message conveyed through visual content.
What this means is that your content needs to be adapted to this machine-like interpreting as a lot of article’s potential success relies on this.
Check out this helpful course on blogging and how to succeed as a blogger: Blogging Course, and explore the topic of SEO more closely to discover practices that will transform your writing into search-friendly content.
3. Disregarding internal linking
To understand why this is a mistake bloggers commonly make, you’ll have to get back to the search engines and their processes once again. Search engines discover new content through links. People also find new content through links. For example, if you have a blog post, with no link featured, both search engines and people will probably leave having read the content.
On the other hand, if you have internal links, you’re more likely to engage the visitors. Having internal links on the page will enable the visitors to click through them and find more of your content. Search engines will do the same. They will discover more content to index and show in the search engine result pages. In terms of SEO, so-called “link juice” is transferred from popular pages with high page authority to less popular pages using the process of internal linking.
Internal linking also helps to associate certain pages with specific keywords. These keywords are used in the hyperlink anchor text. Make sure you use varying anchor text. For example, when you link to one particular page from multiple pages, it’s recommended to diversify the anchor text. Not only will this reduce the chance of coming onto the radar for overoptimizing your content, but various anchor texts will give more context to the page you’re linking to. As a result, search engines will understand your pages better.
How to avoid this issue:
Try to imagine that your blog is a giant spider web. As you add new content, you need to create new bonds (i.e., links) that will keep this web strong. This way, all of your blog pages are connected, allowing both visitors and search engines to explore your content extensively.
Another aspect that is closely related to internal linking is a sitemap. It represents pathways for search engines to follow. This ensures your blog pages are crawled and indexed correctly.
4. Failing at keyword research
Although search engines are getting more advanced with interpreting content and the whole machine-learning process has evolved so much lately, keywords are still considered to be a powerful way to shape and optimize your blog content. And the entire process starts with keyword research.
A lot of bloggers fail at this task. They think they know what they want to write about. They think they know what is missing regarding content. Even though a blogger needs to have this vision of what the material is going to look like, and what the general topic will be, keyword research enables determining what indeed is in demand and what in fact is missing currently. It also helps you define your audience and thus shape your voice accordingly. Additionally, keyword research enables you to explore semantic SEO and how similar keyword phrases, the ones you might have not even considered, can help you boost your blogging efforts and bring this optimization process to a new level.
The bottom line is that this is another aspect of SEO that has such a massive impact on the blog performance. If your content strategy is based on facts, it’s more likely to achieve better results. Keyword research enables creating optimized content that has better chances of ranking higher for organic searches. This kind of content is understood better by the search engines. It’s more powerful when it comes to converting visitors because it responds to a query that is specific, targeted and usually action-oriented.
How to avoid this mistake:
Before you start creating a plan for your blog regarding content creation, focus on the keyword research for a while. It’s good that you start with some ideas concerning what you want to write about. But before you jump to any conclusions, take a look at the research data. Explore the opportunities which you can achieve by using the results of the keyword research. Shape your content with all of this in mind.
This guide helps you with understanding and conducting keyword research properly: How To Do Keyword Research for SEO — Ahrefs’ Guide. And here is a great Free Keyword Tool, that you can use for both PPC and SEO.
5. Fresh vs. outdated content
If you’ve been blogging for quite a while now, you probably have blog posts that are pretty old. However, are they outdated? Or were you quite successful at creating evergreen content that is still applicable and useful just as it was four or five years ago?
For starters, search engines prefer fresh content. Online users are also more likely to click on an article that is recently published. It doesn’t matter that the search query is related to something evergreen and the topic isn’t time sensitive.
As opposed to evergreen content, which might be old, but still is relevant, there’s outdated content. If your blog is technology-related or about a specific event, it’s likely you’ll have outdated content on your blog. This kind of content is usually useless. As a result, it will affect your overall ranking negatively, and it will probably cause high bounce rate.
How to avoid these issues:
Start with a major blog overhaul. Detect the posts that fall into one of these two categories: old, but still relevant, and old and outdated content. You’ll then start revamping those posts.
If an old post is still very relevant, take a look if you can add even more value to such content. Maybe add a few internal links to useful articles that have been published in the meantime. Check if all the existing links work. Finally, change the publishing date of that blog post.
When it comes to outdated content, you can go two ways. Check if the post can be adapted to become evergreen or current. If there’s no way to make this post fresh, then you might want to consider deleting it. However, pay attention to use 301 redirect tag in case that post had some inbound links. Redirect to a page that is more relevant, but not outdated.
6. Poor blog article promotion
This is also a common mistake bloggers make. Creating fantastic content and hitting that publish button won’t cut it. It doesn’t matter how extraordinary your content is. If no one knows about it, it’ll show poor results – simple as that.
Although the most important goal for bloggers is to create outstanding content which “naturally” deserves link and online promotion, things don’t always work like that. You need to share your content with the world and try to reach as many online users as possible to really see the true potential of such content.
How to avoid this issue:
Start promoting your content. Start thinking like a marketer and spread the word about your blog posts. Here are a couple of strategies to do so:
- Use your influence – Share on your social media channels and with your subscribers. This kind of a promotion is the easiest because you’re targeting people who already follow you.
- Use someone else’s influence – Contact influencers and ask them to share your content.
- Adapt your content – If you want to promote on social networks, you could adapt this content of yours (or at least a snippet of it) to a visual presentation (image or video) and share it on social networks.
- Explore paid ads – Depending on the budget and your goals, paid ads could be a pretty useful strategy to promote blog content. If you want to learn more about paid ads, start with this Free Search Engine Marketing Course.
The topic of blog promotion is very extensive, so you should read this helpful guide with over a hundred content promotion tactics. It will surely give you great ideas and practical ways to promote your blog posts: How To Promote Your Blog With 107 Content Promotion Tactics.
The final recommendation is to always have in mind that blogging is much more than writing. It requires knowing a little bit about SEO, email marketing, SEM, social media marketing, etc. All of the mistakes above are actually founded on this ultimate mistake of not being able to grasp the extensiveness and comprehensiveness of blogging. Without implementing SEO strategies, you’ll significantly harm your blogging efforts.
If you want to learn more about blogging, start with this Free Blogging Course.