We’re allowed to make them every now and then. We’re even expected to make occasional mistakes as part of the learning process.
On the other hand, there are mistakes that are well-worth avoiding. For example, the consequences of not following SEO tactics can have reverberating effects that could harm your blog or website in a huge way.
The road to determining how to write a great blog post is not always a smooth one. It pays to have a guide that you can use to know what to follow and what to avoid.
In this article, we have collected 6 things to avoid and 4 things to absolutely make sure you do to keep and maintain a successful blog SEO-wise.
These were based on some of the most common SEO blunders bloggers make.
1. Don’t optimize your content around just one keyword
SEO never stops changing to keep up with the trends. Unfortunately, that does mean that some of the old rules do not apply anymore.
In the past, to rank a site, it was pretty common practice to take one keyword and optimize a webpage around it.
But now, search engines do not rely on mere algorithms anymore and have become a lot more accurate in determining search intent.
What to do:
Examine your content. Browse around for top or trending keywords. Check which of the latter are relevant to your content and then use them as additional keywords.
2. Don’t neglect outdated content
The longer you maintain your blog, the higher the chances that you’d have some old articles and posts here and there.
The trouble with that is that old content could easily be irrelevant, or inaccurate, or both!
Another trouble is when users come upon those content, the might associate the inaccurate information with the rest of your blog. That might push them to leave and not come back.
What to do:
Go through your older posts and check if their content still applies to current trends. You can also use your analytics to determine which posts are popular and which are not.
Then, find a way to vamp up these old posts. You can do that by updating outdated information. You could also optimize it with images, shareable videos etc.
3. Don’t forget mobile users
Majority of your readers as well as your target audience are most likely using their mobile devices to read your blog.
Thus, the number of readers and users of your blog are largely affected by whether your page is optimized for mobile or not.
What to do:
Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly. Research on new ways to make your pages more mobile-responsive.
Strive to make content geared towards mobile users.
4. Don’t make reading your content a tough job
Is my content interesting and easy enough to read? Will my audience want to read long enough to understand what I’m trying to say?
These are just some things you should ask yourself before starting your own blog.
People in general have very short attention spans. More so for those who use the internet.
Studies show that readers tend to skip paragraphs loaded with too many words. You don’t want your audience to miss important points in your content just because of that.
What to do:
Learn to use headline tags effectively. This makes it easier for your readers to zone into topics that resonate with them. It’s also a good way to highlight the vital points you want to relay.
Aside from that, headline tags also act as a neon sign for search engines. Big plus.
5. Don’t overload your blog with PDFs
PDFs are a good way to share information with your users in a snap. It’s downloadable, making it easy for even your readers who use mobile devices to carry the info with them.
On the other hand, PDFs are not that productive for SEO.
They don’t easily get tracked by websites into Google Analytics. That makes it hard to determine the impact your content is making towards your audience.
What to do:
SearchEngineJournal.com‘s Clark Boyd suggests these 10 tips to make PDFs more SEO-friendly:
- Choose the File Name Carefully
- Link to the Document Internally
- Link Out to Relevant Content
- Add a Unique, Optimized Title
- Tailor Content for the Mobile PDF Experience
- Compress Images, Where Possible
- Break Content Up With Subheadings
- Use Plain Text
- Take Advantage of Alternative Text
- Track Performance
Also, to get the most benefit from search, you can limit your use of PDFs entirely and change them into HTML format instead.
6. Don’t drown your blog in categories and tags
It’s quite easy to get a little bit trigger-happy when it comes to creating your blog categories. That’s especially true if you’re into a lot of topics and have a lot to say about each of the.
Nonetheless, having too many categories and tags on your page exposes you to the risk of not having enough content for all of them.
Look at it this way.
Each category will basically have to have a new webpage created for it that search engine crawl bots can index.
Having too many categories with less than the optimum amount of content could pose a negative impact on your crawl budget.
What to do:
Limit your categories and tags to subjects that really encapsulate your blog’s theme.
For SEO, remove those categories or tags linked to orphaned content. Then, recategorize the content into a more relevant and effective category.
Now that we have the don’t’s out of the way, let’s go to positive ways to improve your blog’s SEO.
The Must Do’s:
1. Speed up your site
Research shows that users are more likely to leave a website that loads up slower than 3 seconds. Even a one-second delay could cause a decrease of 16% in user satisfaction.
To profit from your website, speed is one of the top things you need to know in making money online. Basically, if your site is not fast enough, people will go somewhere else.
As a blogger, your goal is to have as many readers as possible. You don’t want those readers to leave just because your webpage is sluggish.
SEO-wise, having a fast website not only assures your audience of a good user experience but, in particular, gains a better crawl rate.
What to do:
First of all, analyze how your website scores on site speed tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights, WebPageTest or Pingdom.
Next, research popular and helpful ways up your site’s loading speed.
Dustin Cartwright from WebDesignerDepot offers these no-nonsense tips to help you optimize for speed. In it, he zeroes in on writing smarter and more readable codes for your site.
He also recommends keeping HTML very simple as well as writing cleaner codes.
2. Incorporate useful and relevant internal and external links into your content
If your analytics show a good number of return readers, chances are you’ve attracted readers who feel enriched by your content.
By all means, do your best to keep them!
Internal links, for example, are a good way to show your readers that you have more useful information to offer. Your links could lead them to other posts that might be of interest or help to them. This in turn will encourage them to keep coming back.
External links are also essential in improving your blog’s authority by linking your content to credible and trustworthy sources.
What to do:
Take note of your best-selling contents and look for opportunities to link them to new ones.
For external links, it is of extreme importance that you choose links that are not only informative but also come from credible sources, especially those considered to be an authority on specific subjects related to your content.
Your choice in external links could either help you make a killing or just kill your popularity.
3. Optimize your images
Visual elements have the higher possibilities of grabbing the attention of your audience. Good and bad image optimization has been proven to have a monumental impact on the popularity of a webpage.
Even digital product reviews rely on the power of well-optimized images as well as videos to express their points in the best way possible.
It’s a no-brainer. Optimized web images that are eye-catching, attention-grabbing and share-worthy are sure winners. Optimized images also have a huge impact on SEO.
Optimize web images to be eye-catching, attention-grabbing and share-worthy. Optimized images also have a huge impact on SEO.
What to do:
Poorly-optimized images can slow down your page’s loading speed.
To solve this, either lazy-load your images or optimize them for multiple screen sizes.
4. Always aim for unique content
This needs to be said: Everything that you want to say has probably already been said in other places and other times in other ways.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to come up with unique content anymore.
Sure, there’s always the temptation to use material you’ve used before. Or worse. The temptation to just copy from somewhere else.
First, because plagiarism is a big crime.
Second because disappointing your audience with mediocre copies is an even bigger one.
What to do:
Duplicating similar content (and tags, metadata etc.) on your website can get you penalized. Not worth it.
Research. Research. Research. Never stop learning. There’s always something new. Rest assured that just as long as you continue to educate yourself, you’ll always be able to bring something useful to the table for your readers.
Focus on quality. Check other blogs on the same niche as yours and look for information gaps. Fill those gaps by writing better content aimed at providing satisfying answers to previously unanswered questions.
As much as possible, make writing on relevant but less-discussed blog topics one of your main goals. For example, since there are already a barrage of articles online pertaining to how to write a better blog post, how about making your next blog topic about tips to writing blog comments instead?
That blogging improves your SEO for your website is a universally accepted rule.
Maintaining an informative and captivating blog ensures a connection with your customers that you might otherwise find difficult to achieve.
While everyone makes mistakes, it pays to know which ones you could avoid.
At the same time, having a few good tips up your sleeve that you could turn into better practice is also a good thing.
Nevertheless, SEO can still both be fun and productive. Find the middle ground. Take risks, but be careful. And again, never stop learning.