You may be thinking about creating your own blog. And that’s a beautiful thing. However, you should be wary about falling into some of the same traps that many bloggers do when starting out. Blogging takes dedication, but it also requires a little technical knowledge. Here’s how you can avoid some of the most common mistakes that new bloggers make.
Focusing on Quantity Rather than Quality
There are currently over 600 million active blogs on the web today. There are many reasons for blogs such as business and eCommerce, help and assistance, advice and counselling and just plain fun. Whatever the reasons, most blogs are insightful and valuable. When starting out, it isn’t uncommon for bloggers to believe that the more content they create, the better their chances of ranking becomes. Like keyword stuffing, more content would help to rank back in the day.
However, search engine algorithms are much more advanced these days. They will detect keyword stuffing and other attempts at non-meaningful ranking immediately. So instead, you should focus on creating quality content rather than fluffy and irrelevant articles, write only to pad out a blog roll or place ads. While there’s nothing wrong with placing ads or paid links in a blog post, they should be used sparingly and only when relevant.
For example, suppose you write an article about The Sims 4 and how its house-building tools have advanced since the first game. In that case, an affiliate link to a commercial architect service is entirely relevant. However, it isn’t relevant to an article on tuning the engine of a BMW. Yet search engines also take into account other elements of a post and the surrounding text. So it’s entirely relevant if part of the text relates to your keywords and links or is used for other appropriate purposes as you will rank for many keywords based on the post’s content.
Ignoring SEO Completely
As you progress through developing your blog, you will undoubtedly hear the terms “search engine optimization” or “SEO”. It is whispered in hushed tones in some parts of the web as beginners dare not say its name. While SEO is a complex subject, it is straightforward to implement on your blog.
In fact, if you use a site builder like WordPress, All-in-One SEO is built-in. The blog post development interface will guide you into inserting on-page SEO. SEO is a powerful tool for boosting page rankings.
Yet, it is estimated that 70% of small businesses don’t have a solid SEO strategy. SEO is helpful for the following:
- Domain authority
- Driving traffic
- Increasing page ranks
- Providing people with relevant information
All-in-One SEO will insist on on-page SEO such as a post title and a meta description. Yet, on-page SEO is broader. You also need to include necessary headings and advanced features such as relevant keywords, internal and external links, and image Alt tags.
Fortunately, the latest version of All-in-One SEO is excellent at guiding you in placing relevant SEO. However, it cannot help you with keywords.
Insufficient Keyword Research
As part of an overall SEO strategy, you need to implement keywords or keyphrases in your content. In addition to your title and content, this is how search engines are most likely to rank your posts. A popular keyword research strategy is to find a focus keyphrase to use once in your post content and several supporting keywords for multiple uses throughout.
Keyword research is vital to generating quality content. Unfortunately, free keyword tools are minimal, but some of the best include Jaaxy, SemRush and UberSuggest for accurate information. Taking the example of “things to do in Denver”, your focus keyphrase should be used this way:
- In your page title: Top 10 Things to Do in Denver at Night
- In the first paragraph of your post: self-explanatory.
- In the post’s meta description: self-explanatory.
In the page/post URL: mysite.com/things-denver-night (be wary of stop words and use hyphens)
You should strategically place supporting keywords throughout your content. For example, some supporting keywords could be:
- Denver activities.
- Nightlife in Denver.
- Having fun in Denver.
You should place these no more than three times throughout your article. This could be considered keyword stuffing by a search engine crawler and will likely harm your ranking rather than help it.