10 Common SEO Mistakes Bloggers Make On Their Blog
One of the best reasons for having a blog (and sometimes the only reason) is for SEO traffic. I always say that organic SEO is the gift that keeps on giving. Some websites receive tens of thousands to even millions of visits per month based on optimized content.
The best part about organic SEO is that it’s free (for the most part) compared to social media where you might get a small boost when the article comes out or paid SEM. Organic traffic can last several years.
Blogging, writing content takes a lot of time and effort. The biggest mistake that is far too common for bloggers to make, is spending little to no time on SEO. I have a saying that I say to all of my clients, it doesn’t matter how good your content is, if nobody reads it.
Here are the top 10 mistakes I see bloggers make with SEO.
Searching keywords and phrases after the fact (if at all).
Before you begin writing your blog post you should know what keywords, phrases you are trying to target. To achieve the best results, the post should be about what you are targeting. Can you go back and add keywords? Technically yes, but the content will often suffer as a result. The quality of your content is incredibly important. It’s also more time consuming having to backtrack and fix content already written.
There are so many bloggers out there who would significantly improve their organic search traffic by simply targeting what people are actually searching for.
To save time, I will often do keyword research for five articles in advance. It’s a great way to discover other article topics as well. Not only is it quicker, but when I am ready to sit down and write the article, I am ready to go.
Not optimizing images
- Make sure that you are using images that are relevant to your blog post.
- Change the file names to include relevant keywords you are targeting.
- Alt text is also important. You should describe what the image is to the user.
- Be mindful of the image file size. There are plenty of image plugins like Smushit and TinyPNG that will help condense the file size.
Readability is important for both the user and for the search engines
Besides writing good quality content, how it is organized and how people view it are also important. Make sure your blog post is properly formatted. Things like h1, h2, h3, h4 headers help a search engine algorithm know what a blog post is about and how it’s structured. I wrote a long article all about readability that you should read.
Linking your other blog posts with your post is a great way for search engines to understand the relationship between your content. I try to add at least two or three Internal links to a blog post. Try to use links that are relevant to the subject matter. Also, make sure that you use unique and relevant anchor text. An example of this is my link above for “readability.” Don’t use “click here” or “here” anchors. You are missing out on possible SEO.
There is no reason to shove a million keywords and phrases into your content. This is a mistake that many bloggers make. Write good content about the keywords you are targeting. Search engines can tell when you are over-stuffing your content and can penalize you for it.
Targeting the same keyword in multiple posts
This is a huge no-no that I often see from bloggers. Let’s say that you are targeting “personal branding” in an article. Okay. There is no reason to target it again in another article. When you do this, you now have articles competing with each other and that can kill your results. You can write other articles that have something to do with “personal branding” but that phrase shouldn’t be in your primary keywords (i.e META, URL etc).
Not optimizing META tags
The title and description meta tags are incredibly important for SEO. Not only do they help search engines know what the article is about, they help the user click on the article. If someone is searching for “SEO mistakes bloggers make” they are likely more willing to click on the search result if the title and description on the listing has those keywords because it’s what they searched for.
Also, the description is a one or two line sales pitch for the purpose of getting someone to click on the link. You spend hours writing the post, it takes a minute to write a short description. Remember that search engines highlight words that people searched for, so make sure they’re included.
It’s imperative that both your title and description have your primary keywords.
URLs: While not a meta tag, the URL also shows up in the search listing and should also include your primary keywords.
Only 60 to 70 characters show up in the title of a search listing. That can be restraining at times. Your h1 header tag doesn’t have to be the exact same. This is a great opportunity that is under-utilized by most, to add more keywords. Not to say you need to do this all the time, but when opportunities that make sense present themselves.
Not enough or too much content
Gone are the days in SEOland where short 200 word posts made it to the top of the SERPs (search engine results page). It happens on occasion, but it is few and far between. Instead of worrying too much about how many words are in your blog post, just try to write content that will add value and help the user. I see a lot of SEO experts tell bloggers to write 2000 to 2500 page articles and often times when that happens, the content quality is diminished because the blogger is trying to fill open space that normally wouldn’t be there. Most of my blog posts run between 800 to 2000 words.
It’s all about quality
Times have changed. Search engine algorithms have become wicked smart. When the Internet was much smaller and algorithms were less intelligent, getting search traffic was more about writing several articles and having large quantities versus quality.
You should always focus on your quality, even if that means writing 1 blog post a week or a month. You don’t need thousands of articles to get a large amount of organic search traffic.
Today’s algorithms score the quality of your content. That is why plugins like Yoast grade it.
Remember, do your keyword research before you write, make sure the images and tags highlight what you are targeting and above all else, write good quality content that will benefit the user and add value. Your website traffic can greatly improve by not making these common SEO mistakes.