With over a million blog posts written every day, it’s crucial your blogging strategy does nothing but propel you to the front of the crowd.
Silly mistakes can have a pernicious impact on your online visibility.
If you’re frustrated that your blogging efforts are having little discernible effect on conversion rates, it’s worth checking you haven’t fallen into the trap of committing some of the biggest blogging mistakes.
1) Keyword stuffing
Google knows you’re doing it, they will find you, and they will penalise you!
By penalise, I mean blacklist your name, disregard your content, and in some cases, delist you completely. Not what you want after months of pouring your heart into a remarkable content strategy.
So make your content is just that; remarkable. Don’t misapply your SEO efforts by unnaturally squeezing in keywords in a bid to trick Google.
Not only that, unnecessarily cramming keywords into your text makes your writing appear cluttered and lacking in conciseness. A good blog should be well-written, structured and relevant, before Google repudiates it entirely.
Aim for a density of around 3-5%, and ensure the words flow naturally into your content. Repetition is just a sign of poor writing, and a good blog should be well written, structured and relevant.
Focus more on creating valuable, authoritative content that encourages shares by writing for people rather than bots.
2) Posting for the sake of it
It’s a common misconception that the more you post, the better your SEO.
Of course, regularly updating your website and adding new pages is great for SEO, which is another reason online marketers are such exponents of blogging. But only when the focus is on quality rather than quantity.
You need to spend time getting your content right. Research, write, edit, and personalise your blogs so they are educative, valuable and shareable.
Even if it takes time, the best content is often evergreen and can be repurposed, so the effort will be worth it in the long run.
Simply throwing something together for the sake of publishing is futile, and in the midst of rushing to get something posted you might inadvertently commit even more of the mistakes on this list.
3) Fretting over word count
Remember, online readers are very different to print readers. And online publications are now the top platforms for consuming written content. It's even been said that the paragraph is changing.
So cut superfluous words and paragraphs, and only say what you need to say to support your point.
Online content should be scannable, so if you’ve been writing to try bulk up your word count, forget it. Again, the concept of quality over quantity re-emerges.
If you have something to say of value and it can be done in 100 words, there are no rules to say you can't.
4) Neglecting visuals
Never underestimate the power of visual content.
Did you know the brain processes visual content 60,000 times faster than written?
That’s exactly why you should support your posts with images that enhance your messaging.
Guide the reader through blocks of texts using infographics, charts and graphs, because on average, readers will only read 20% of the content on your page.
Use a feature image that boosts the attractiveness of your link when readers share across their online platforms. Make your post as inviting as you can by employing visual tactics, or even, consider repurposing the entire blog into a visual format too.
5) Broken or unauthoritative links
This one may seem obvious, but when so much time is spent proofing, cutting, pasting and re-organising your copy, links can sometimes become broken. Always do a quick check before you go live before this has a harmful effect on not only your SEO, but your reputation.
Simlarly, linking to poor quality sites to backup your content won't do you much good either.
Resolve to only use reputable, high-quality sites within your text.
When researching your blog topics, do you ever come back to the same thought leaders? There’s a reason for this. Their content is valuable, their link-building strategy is effective and their blogs are highly regarded by Google. These will serve as great content enhancers, so link wisely.
Another great link tip is to always tick the box that says (something similar to) ‘open in a new window’ when including a link. This reduces the chances of readers getting distracted and trailing off to view your external sources.
6) Forgetting to link internally
In addition to pertinent external sources, don’t forget to link to relevant, supportive pages within your own site. Use this opportunity to guide your reader further into your site, and keep them engaged longer with your own resources. A great nurturing opportunity if you are employing an inbound strategy.
7) Self indulgence
Your business is amazing, of course it is. But to get people on board you don’t need to tell them all the time.
As the old saying goes ‘show, don’t tell’.
Only present readers with content that will be of some value to them.
Show your visitors you are a well-informed expert in your field; an industry leader if you like. By empowering your readers with information they can’t get elsewhere, they'll begin to form the opinion of you as someone they can trust their business with. Someone that can guide, advise and educate them in the process of converting them from visitors to leads. And this is ultimately the nurturing process as part of an inbound strategy.
Whether you're an amateur blogger or an experienced writer, it's easy for anyone to fall into bad habits. Keep an eye on your blog's ROI for insight into its effectiveness, and if things start to take a dip, think about reviewing your strategy and cleaning up your approach by eliminating any of the common mistakes as listed above.