Driving more traffic to your website in an increasingly competitive digital space is a challenge that nearly all businesses and marketers face on a regular basis. While there are no shortcuts to getting to the front of the line, there are plenty of ways to make your site more visible online.
Blogging is, without question, the best way to organically increase your standing on various search engines. With that being said, not all blogs are created equal when it comes to how they’ll be viewed by SEO algorithms that determine which pages users see upon their search inputs.
In this article, I’ll outline some of the most common blogging mistakes that are hurting SEO, and outline what you can do to fix them.
1. Ignoring Readability
It’s true that search engines have a preference towards blogs that make the cut in terms of length (roughly 1,000 words or more) and quality of content. However, there’s another word that could you can’t forget about during the blogging process: readability.
If the word “readability” sounds subjective, open to interpretation, and a bit abstract, welcome to the world of SEO. With that being said, there are a few guidelines to adhere to that can help you improve in this area.
Remember that although blogging might sometimes feel like writing for a machine-learning algorithm rather than an audience, those algorithms are adept at determining which pieces of content will be most valuable to readers.
2. Keyword Stuffing
When I say that blogging can feel like writing for an algorithm rather than an audience, this is the all-too-common result of that mindset.
Simply put, a keyword stuffing violation happens when you include the search terms you want to rank for into your content – again and again – regardless of their relevance to the post or page where you are putting them. There may have been a time when this practice went unnoticed by search engines, but that day has long since passed.
The bottom line is, don’t force keywords into your content inorganically or risk being overlooked by the search engines that are responsible for the traffic to your site.
3. Forgetting Internal Links
Most online content creators know that linking externally has a major impact on SEO. What often gets overlooked, however, is the importance of linking to other pages hosted on your own website.
Not only does linking internally help increase your site’s reliability and reputation with search engines, but it also gives your audience the opportunity to explore other content on your site.
As your blog continues to add more and more content, you should be focused on getting the most out of it now and in the future. Internal linking means that even years-old content can continue working for you via the SEO boost they provide.
4. Not Promoting On Social
When you finish writing a blog post, the moment you press “publish” is only the beginning. Getting more eyes on your content requires additional work via promotion on social media channels, email campaigns, etc.
Whether you decide to go with the organic or paid route, the key is that you aren’t just posting to your site and sitting back hoping users will stumble upon your site. Now, you don’t need to be putting together a full-on ad campaign for each blog post you write, but it’s important to recognize that if you aren’t promoting your content yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?
The most popular blogs aren’t necessarily always putting out the best content, but rather they’ve figured out how to use social media sharing to get the word out to new audiences. At a minimum, you should be posting to your own social media channels to let your followers know that you have fresh content ready to go.
5. Not Optimizing Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions might seem insignificant, but they’re critical to both the SEO algorithms and actual users who come across your blog in the search results.
If you’re unfamiliar with meta descriptions, they’re the little snippet of text that appears in a search engine under the more prominent headline text. Most blogging platforms provide you the opportunity to customize this text in order to catch the eye of potential readers. If you ignore this step, the search engine will randomly select text from your blog post. In all likelihood, what the machine picks and what you would pick are going to be vastly different.
Since you don’t have a ton of space to elaborate in the meta description – about 160 characters or less – it’s important you choose your words carefully. When writing it, ask yourself, “What sentence(s) would get me to click on this article?”
6. Overlooking the Importance of Loading Page Speeds
Search engines have one main priority: to give their users the best experience possible as it relates to the content they’re searching for online. Part of this experience, a big part, in fact, is the time it takes for a page to load. Data has shown that a page that adding just one second to a page’s loading time can result in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% loss in conversions.
This information isn’t new, as Google has made it clear to content creators that loading times can positively or negatively impact search ranking. The question then is, “How do I improve my page’s loading time?”
Unfortunately, the answer to this question can be long and complex based on your situation, but there are some best practices that everyone can do within a matter of minutes to speed up site loading speed. Properly sizing and compressing the images and videos on your site, as well as making sure they’re in a web-friendly format, should be the first step in your effort to bring your page’s loading time up to speed.
If you’re looking to get deeper in the weeds, this site is a great resource for all things loading speed.
Content creation is a time-consuming process, and it’s crucial that you aren’t letting your work go to waste. If you’re guilty of committing any of these 6 mistakes described here, the good news is that they can all be fixed quickly and easily.
If your business needs help with developing an SEO-friendly content plan that drives traffic to your site, get in touch today to find solutions made for you.