Blogs are built in a way that makes it easier to rank higher in search engines. However, most blogs make huge SEO mistakes that hurt their SERP rankings. Usually, most of the focus is put on creating great content. This is not a bad idea since content is vital for SEO success but neglecting important SEO factors leads to sub-par results.
In order to get the best possible results with a blog, the following really common SEO mistakes need to be avoided.
Lack of keyword research
There are many reasons why bloggers end up creating a lot of content that never ranks but a very common problem is that keyword research is not done. Articles need to be optimized for the highly-relevant keywords or it is practically impossible to get high SERP rankings. Unfortunately, most blogs just cover very broad topics. This means the competition is made out of the strongest blogs in the industry. You cannot compete with them in the beginning.
Effective content writing starts with a list of keywords that can be covered. Preferably, you start with some that you already rank for, based on information offered by Google Search Console. Then, as time passes, you expand the keywords and eventually, you can cover the broader topics.
As an extra tip, you can analyze the keyword profile of your competition. This can offer new keywords that you can use to create blog content.
No content optimization
Blogs are popular because the content they offer is tailored for people. Most blogging tips out there revolve around learning how to create the type of content that people want to see. The problem is that it is very easy to remain focused solely on that.
Articles need to be optimized so that search engines can properly understand the most important parts. When this does not happen, even if the information offered is very good, rankings fail to appear.
In order to solve this problem, you need to perform simple article modifications. Although this topic is very broad, 2 examples of what you should always do are:
- Add keywords in the right places – H1 tags, alt texts, descriptions and titles.
- Use semantic SEO – find synonymous keyword phrases and keywords related to the main keywords so the content can be enriched in the eyes of the search engines without negative effects on user experience.
Lack of link building
Most blogs with really good content fail because there is no work done to promote them. While content is king, link building and other promoting methods are mandatory for the success of any website. The strongest ranking signals are still the links that exist.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways in which you can build links to a blog. Some very effective examples include:
- Link baiting – Perfect for high-quality content.
- Guest blogging – Perfect for establishing authority.
- Blog commenting – Perfect for creating interactions.
A blind focus on SERP
People that do not have advanced SEO knowledge judge the success of a page based on SERP position. It is true that having really high-ranking pages is great but snippets should never be ignored. If your pages often appear in search results but few people click on them, traffic is lost.
For blogs, it is important to have descriptions and titles that are both keyword-optimized and that entice viewers to click. They have to be appealing, usually thanks to the addition of a good call to action.
Always take a look at the competition to see what descriptions and titles they use. These can be a good inspiration. Just make sure that you only use a maximum of 155 characters for descriptions and 55 characters for titles so Google does not cut them when displaying. Also, never have pages with the same descriptions and titles.
Just because a theme looks great does not mean it is good for SEO. Search engines have to be able to crawl the content. The problem is that many themes include broken links, inappropriate formatting and other problems that lead to improper website structures and inaccessible content.
Always check the technical side of things and make sure the website’s back end does not hinder SEO results.