Blogging is an important aspect of your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Not only does it give your audience interesting, relevant content, but it can also improve your website’s search ranking. After all, content is king, right?
Google’s algorithm is constantly updated, with the goal of presenting searchers with only high-quality results. Increasingly, the quality of your website is becoming reliant on the quality of your content. If your website contains what Google determines to be low-quality or spammy content, your search ranking will suffer.
Like all aspects of your content strategy, blogging can have a very positive impact on your search ranking, however, if you make any of the simple and easy-to-make mistakes listed below, you might actually hurt your search ranking.
Low-Quality Guest Blogging
In January 2014, Google’s Matt Cutts published a post on the fall of guest blogging for SEO. Guest blogging used to be a great way to build links to your website, but like many other aspects of online marketing and SEO, it had its vogue, and now it’s overdone (kind of like that Nickelback song you hear every time you turn on the radio).
Guest blogging is still a great way to improve your search rankings, but only if the content is high-quality and actually relevant to the website hosting the guest blog. Don’t approach websites to publish your guest post unless they actually cater to your target audience; for example, if you write a post on how to clean your barbecue, don’t ask a wedding fashion blog to host it. Google doesn’t like this, and you’re search ranking will suffer as a result.
No Keyword Optimization
Common blogging websites like WordPress have plugins you can install to help you manage your SEO. Keyword optimization is as simple as including your target keyword in your title, headings, and content. However, make sure you don’t stuff your content with your target keyword. If your keyword doesn’t logically flow with the rest of your content, don’t just shove it in to please a search engine.
Keyword stuffing is a common problem. It can be tempting to repeat your keywords a much as you can, but don’t fall into that trap. Save the stuffing for your Thanksgiving turkey!
Overloading Anchor Texts
Internal links are an important way of signaling your website’s hierarchy to search engines. Search engines read your inbound links to learn which pages are most important; for example, if you have 10 pages linking to one piece of content, and only 1 page linking to a product category, search engines will understand that the piece of content (and not the product category) is important, and should be returned as a result on the search results page.
Like guest blogging and keyword stuffing, overloading on internal links used to be a common (though sketchy) optimization tactic. Search engines know this, and you might see a dip if your search results if you overload your content with anchor text.
Not Promoting Your Blog on Social Media
We’ve talked a lot about why social media is an essential aspect of your inbound strategy (Next week’s post will address this topic in greater detail!). Social media is a great channel for promoting your blog content, and it’s also a fantastic way to engage your audience in a conversation about your content.
Depending on your business, you may choose to turn off comments on your blog, but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to your audience about your post. You can’t turn off comments on social media, so try to encourage them as a way of interacting and connecting with your audience in a meaningful way. Besides, if your audience doesn’t like your content or finds that it’s irrelevant, these comments (or lack thereof) will indicate how you can improve in the future.
It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that SEO is a one-time thing. All of your posts and all of your other website or blog content needs to be optimized, and regularly updated to coincide with any changes made to search algorithms. What worked yesterday (read: low-quality guest blogging, keyword stuffing, and overloading in anchor links) doesn’t work today, and engaging in these activities will actually hurt your blog’s ranking.
SEO experts like Nolan Wilson Freelance stay up to date on updates to the algorithm to ensure that you’re website or blog isn’t punished by an unexpected algorithm change. Contact us today to find out how.
Connect with Nolan Wilson Freelance!
Nolan Wilson is a Freelance SEO writer in Toronto that specializes in SEO writing and blogging. He has a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science and is a professional member of the PWAC. Connect with him on Google + and Twitter.