One common complaint we get from our readers is they own a blog that they contribute to regularly but still haven’t seen the promised returns. If this sounds like you, read on.
An internet survey of just over 1,000 businesses with blogs found that the majority of them are committing the same blog marketing mistakes. The 5 most-common mistakes amongst those companies are easily fixable by making minor alterations in your content and marketing strategy.
Here are the 5 common mistakes that your company might be making with its blog content, along with 5 quick fixes:
1. Failing to Integrate your Blog with your Website
The reason why most companies create blogs is to attract potential customers to their website. But if you haven’t fulled integrated your blog with your company website then you are missing valuable conversion opportunities. The disconnect here is that most company websites are created and hosted on small-business platforms, while most blogs are primarily hosted on WordPress, Blogger and to a lesser extent, TypePad. Since the website and blogs are hosted on two separate networks they are not naturally connected to each other in any meaningful way.
Quick Fix: Host both your website and blog in the same place. The most recommended way to do this is to host your blog within your website by using a sub-domain like www.blog.yourwebsitename.com or by hosting it within a folder/page of your site like www.yourwebsitename.com/blog. Doing this will create more indexable content for your website, which will draw significantly more traffic.
2. Too Much Product-Oriented Content
While the point of your blog is to promote your business, your customers and potential customers want relevant information that is important from your vertical—they don’t want to only hear about your products/services/accolades/etc. Too much product-centered content will dissuade your users from reading your new blog posts and it will also fail to trigger new keywords and trending topics in your SEO efforts, since you are only writing about the same thing(s) all the time.
Quick Fix: Before creating a new post, put yourself in your readers’ shoes: would they be interested in this content? Discuss new events, news and products that have value for your readers/customers. Focus on creating fresh, informative and educational content that is related to your products but not directly focused on them.
3. Failing to Publish Consistently
The most successful blogs on the internet post content on a regular basis over an extended period of time. The more posts, and the more consistent those posts are, the better you will be indexed by Google. It takes a greater commitment to publish frequently and consistently, but without this there isn’t much point of keeping your blog alive. Also, the longer your blog has been regularly creating new content the higher your value becomes—so don’t start, stop, start, stop.
Quick Fix: Create a blogging schedule and strictly adhere to it. The more-often and more-consistently you post the better the results will be. Creating 4 to 5 posts a month should be the bare minimum—but keep an eye on your competitors because if they are posting 10 blogs a month, you should be posting 15. If the commitment to content is too much for you then consider hiring a freelance blogger to keep the blog up to date for you.
4. Forgetting to SEO your Content
Did you know that the difference between a 15-page website and a 300-page website is only one blog? Blogging gives your website a huge boost in both the number of pages and the indexable content from Google. Google likes complex sites. So, failure to Search Engine Optimize blog content is a sure-fire way to fail with your blog, and your website. Just as your website content is optimized for search, your blog content should be too. So when optimizing your content don’t just optimize new posts moving forward, go back and retroactively optimize older content, a strategy that will also refresh your old content and give you a big boost.
Quick Fix: Install an SEO plugin for your blog. This will give you a reminder to add SEO triggers to all new content. It will also allow you to go back and SEO older content. The tools will vary depending on the blogging platform you are using, so just do a quick Google search on the top SEO plugins for your (WordPress/Blogger/TypePad/etc.) blogging platform.
5. Forgetting CTAs for Lead Generation
You could have the best content in the history of blogging, but without Call-to-Actions, that content will do nothing for you. By using CTAs you can very easily optimize your content for lead generation.
Quick Fix: Use multiple bright-colored CTAs within each blog post (both in new posts and retroactively). One near the top, another near the bottom or as a side bar, and a final one embedded within the content. This three-pronged approach will ensure that you cast a wide net, to capture all your readers.
For examples on stellar CTAs, click here.
The great news about these common blogging problems, and solutions, is that they are easily fixable. Don’t stress if you made these common mistakes in the past because you have already built a solid foundation of blog content, that when optimized moving forward and retroactively, as per the above, will skyrocket your leads and conversions.