On the 4Ps content team, we’ve noticed several SEO mistakes bloggers often make, many of which are simple to fix once you know what to look for. To help you out, we’ve rounded up the most common SEO mistakes on blogs with explanations on how to improve them. We hope they’re helpful!
1. Not blogging regularly
As we wrote in this series’ first post, blogging daily isn’t necessary. However, it is important that you post regularly. The benefits are two-fold: Google rewards content that is regularly updated, and your existing readers know when to expect new content from you. Regularly refreshed content is a blogger’s bread and butter, as it keeps your relevant and establishes you as an up-to-date source for your readers.
2. Not promoting blog content via social channels
Google no longer counts links from social channels as ranking factors, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to promote your content on social. Google’s algorithm takes into account how engaged users are with your website – how much time they spend, how many pages they look at, and how many times they visit. If someone stumbles upon your website on social, then searches for your blog’s name and spends a good amount of time browsing it, this will benefit your search visibility in the future. Getting your name out there via social can be an invaluable tool when it comes to search and organic visibility further down the line.
3. Keyword stuffing
This means what it says on the tin: stuffing your content full of your target keyword or close variations in a way that doesn’t read naturally. This used to be a common SEO tactic, but Google no longer allows keyword stuffing and even penalises websites it thinks are overusing target phrases. Most bloggers don’t stuff keywords in their content as their readers would quickly tune out, so as long as you write in a natural way that’s beneficial to your readers, Google will be totally okay with you. We do sometimes see bloggers keyword stuffing meta data or image alt files. Just like the body of your post, these should also use keywords in a natural way.
4. Relying too heavily on Yoast
Yoast is a WordPress plug-in that ranks highly on our list of great free tools for bloggers (blog post coming soon!) In fact, we use it ourselves on this very blog. However, it’s important to note that having a full set of green lights on Yoast does not necessarily mean that your post will shoot to the top of Google’s rankings. On the flip side, it’s also perfectly possible to have a post or page on your website which is perfectly optimised for search, even though Yoast isn’t showing all green lights. Use Yoast as a guide, but follow your SEO instincts (and our helpful blog postsJ).
5. Not clearly signalling sponsored content
This is super important, both to us as content marketers and to Google. You might have caught a whisper in the blogging community about the new rules Google introduced in regards to sponsored content. In actual fact, the rules stand as they always have – content that has been paid for in any way must be clearly marked as such. However, this has become an important SEO issue because Google has now started penalising bloggers who it feels do not follow the guidelines. If you have been paid for a blog post or gifted a product, make sure you use no-follow links in the post to protect your blog.
6. Not knowing the difference between no-follow and do-follow links
This is a big topic, which is why we’re going to write a whole blog post on it, but for now it’s just important to know the difference between the two. At a simplistic level, a do-follow link confers SEO juice from your website to the one you are linking to and should only be used when you’re genuinely recommending that website. No-follow links should always be used when doing sponsored work, or if you are otherwise linked to the brand. This is important for you and your partner brand because mistakes could result in penalties for both websites.
More of “A Content Marketer’s Guide For Bloggers”
Part 1 – How Content Marketers Choose Blogs
Part 2 – SEO Basics For Bloggers
Part 3 – Common SEO Mistakes That Bloggers Make
Part 4 – To Follow or Not to Follow: A Guide to Links for Bloggers
Part 5 – coming soon