Why do so many blogs fail at SEO? There are many reasons, but many of the more common mistakes can be avoided if you know what to look for.
Let’s look at 8 common reasons blogs fail at SEO:
1. Not Defining Success
What do you mean by a “successful SEO campaign”? Do you want to appear at the top of the search results? Are you trying to build raw traffic to your blog? In order to know whether your blog is succeeding or failing at SEO, you need to know where you are going and how to know when you get there. Otherwise, how do you know if your SEO campaign was a success or failure?
2. Not Setting SMART Goals
One way to define success and evaluate your progress is to use SMART goals.
Here’s an example: I will include 3 long tail key phrases to each blog post for the next 2 weeks. Then I will measure the results by comparing each blog’s traffic numbers to another post without long tail key phrases. It will be a success if there is a 20 percent or more increase.
A SMART goal doesn’t have to read like poetry. It just has to spell out a brief plan, a way to measure it, and how you are defining success.
3. Choosing Target Keywords with Limited Search Volume
Sometimes there is a mismatch between the keywords your blogging team uses and the terms used by regular customers. You pick the keywords you would use, but there isn’t much volume on the popular search engines. If you are in a highly technical field like Tech or Engineering, you need to be particularly watchful to avoid this. The professional jargon that is natural to you is a foreign language to many of your customers.
One way around this is to arrange a day of customer focus groups and find out what terms they use. Another less expensive way is to use the tools provided by the major search engines like Google Adwords. However you go about it, consistently use keywords that match those your customers will use.
4. Not Doing Frequent Sniff Tests
A sniff test is a quick look at your blog’s bounce rate for organic search traffic. The bounce rate tracks visitors who arrived at your blog by accident. Whatever keywords they entered in the search box brought them to your blog – but your website wasn’t what the visitor was looking for. If a large percentage of your visitors are bouncing off without reading your content, then there may be a problem. A sniff test won’t tell you what is wrong, but like a sniff of smoke, unexpectedly high bounce rates warn you of a more significant problem. Like anything that only takes a few seconds, it’s very tempting to keep putting off a sniff test. Put sniff testing on your calendar and get in the habit of doing it at least once a month.
5. No Rep on Social Media
Link building has fallen far from its role as the crown jewel of SEO, but it still matters. High-value links from other blogs and social media boost your Google page rank. Today the most effective way to build your link base is to be active on several social media accounts with lots of followers. Talk about new posts on your blog and include the link. The more your follower’s retweet and share, the more links will lead back to your blog.
6. Not Using a Variety of Analytic Tools
Almost everyone has heard of Google Analytics, but other analytic helpers like Bing Webmaster Tools exist somewhere in the “I didn’t know that even existed” continuum of awareness. There are hundreds of free SEO tools at your disposal. Look for Tech Pro’s yearly list of the best free SEO tools: The best free SEO tools for 2018. You’ll be amazed by what is available. Google Analytics is awesome, but it is geared toward Google Search. Amazon is the largest retail search engine. Bing is still out there, and some customers use it faithfully.
7. Using Too Many SEO Analytic Tools
There can be too much of a good thing. Download SEO tools and give them a test run, but keep your arsenal of analytic tools within a reasonable limit. Unless you have a colossal blogging team, monitoring the results of 60-plus tools is a waste of time. There is power in simplicity. Focus on the tools that match your SEO strategy. Many of the analytic platforms have overlapping features, so find the ones that work for you. Check periodically to see if a better platform comes along. If it does, then replace one of the tools you are currently using.
8. Not Keeping Up with the Latest in SEO
SEO methodology changes frequently. Changes to the Google algorithm are hard to miss. Subscribe to the Official Google Webmaster Blog for announcements about algorithm changes and other useful tips. Non-Google blogs post less official news like gossip overheard at coffee shops near Google Headquarters.
Just like with the analytic tools, don’t forget the world outside of Google. SEO blogs have a section devoted to changes at Bing too. There are thousands of them and gurus sharing advice daily. Find a few that fit your needs and follow them. Build on the discoveries and problem-solving of others and your SEO campaign will flourish.
9. Giving Up Too Soon
SEO takes time. Often, a lot of time. Most of the time, you won’t see an improvement within a few days. SEO increases bit by bit at an uneven pace. You may see a jump in your blogs page rank, then a dramatic drop. Don’t give up too soon. Occasional discouragement is part of any project, but keep plugging away and improving your SEO every week.
But if you are thinking of giving up, and still want SEO to work, well the folks from Webs Union can do it for you; they are one of the best when it comes to SEO and they really know how to rank websites in search engines.
SEO is challenging. Once you think you have it figured out, one of the search engines announces an algorithm change, and you’re back to the starting line. Learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the common reasons bloggers fail at SEO. Apply lessons you learn and refine your SEO campaign as you learn what your readers are looking for. Soon your blog will be an SEO success.