Achieving a good blog ranking takes time. Whenever you post something online, whatever you’ve posted is going to cause a ripple somewhere, but are those ripples leading to the waves you really want from the online world? And if not, how are you supposed to do something to change this?
It’s an age old question in the blogging community, and it’s one we all want to answer, of course. However, the answer can be complicated, and take a lot of time to work through, but even with these factors in mind, there are a lot of common mistakes you’re probably making. Even with the success you’ve found while blogging, could there be some things you can do better? Let’s go through them below.
You’re Not Sure How to Work with SEO
This is the main thing to be aware of right now. SEO can be a hard thing to work with when you’re just not sure how it works or you don’t even begin to understand what makes it tick. You’re a complete beginner, or you’ve been running a website for a while and you just don’t get why people aren’t clicking, and you want more from your efforts. It only makes sense, and you’re certainly not the only blog owner in this position!
However, you need to understand the basics of SEO to make the online world really work for you. Once you’ve got all that down, you can take it and use it however you want, but you’re definitely going to need to do a bit of research first! But where to start?
Well, it’s best to get a grip on your keywords, above all else. The search engines you’re looking to rank on need to know what your blog is about, and who to show it too when someone taps in a search term. You need your keywords to be both clear and niche – for example, if you’re a knitting or craft working based blog, trying to rank highly for ‘cross stitching’ isn’t going to get you far!
You need to think a little more out of the box here. What is it about cross stitching that you want people to come to your blog for? Cross stitching patterns? Cross stitching inspiration? Cross stitching tips? These are all great examples of defining your niche a little more clearly, and much better for the search engine to rank you highly with.
All in all, SEO is all about getting the search engine to notice you, but don’t worry if your efforts to better your keywords and use them more efficiently in your work doesn’t seem to be doing anything. It takes at least 6 months to build up a backlog of SEO content, and once you’re past this time stamp, you’ll definitely see the difference.
You Don’t Have Anything Enticing
If you don’t have anything to pull people in, you’re not going to rank well at all – and that’s the first thing to keep in mind! Without any good content, and a completely empty or irrelevant blog section, no one is going to click on your content. And if they do, they’re going to leave your website in a matter of seconds as well. That’s not good for you.
In the past, it was a big worry that users clicking on and off your site in rapid succession would tell Google that your content is worthless, and isn’t worth ranking highly. However, it’s been proven that this idea is false.
But the point about getting someone to stay on your site for as long as possible still stands. And with something enticing for people to look at and read through, you can ensure there’s an audience there for your content, which helps to create a positive feedback loop. You know you’ve got readers, and you know they like your stuff, which means you create more, which is what search engines are looking for most of all.
Your Blog and Your Homepage Should Be Separate
Are you someone who posts an article to your blog (either as a stand alone website or as part of an official website) and then that article ends up in full on your homepage as well? No user, and no algorithm, is going to like that very much!
You need just a snapshot of any posts you create for your blog, and you need your homepage to sequence them in either chronological order or category order. This makes your homepage a lot more aesthetically pleasing, yes, but it also makes it a lot easier to read, and it ensures you’re not accidentally duplicating your content! Google, especially, hates that.
When you have duplicate content, such as a page that’s linked to in multiple different ways, it’s going to harm your chances of ranking highly, simply because there’s more than one page to rank. Plus, it really stems the flow of your website’s traffic overall – search engines don’t know where to direct users when they tap in a relevant search term, and users themselves can become confused about which link to use or click through.
Your Headings are Wrong
The headings on your website, or indeed, your blog, need to be arranged in a very specific manner. Think of them as an order: H1, H2, and H3 – you’ve probably seen these terms thrown about all over the place on SEO tip articles all over the place, but why are they so important to getting your blog to rank highly? Well, they help a search engine to sort through your blog, and they work very well in tandem with the other tips on this list.
The H1 tag is the most crucial of all the headings here. It’s usually part of your HTML link, and it’s going to be the very first heading that pops up on a webpage. As a result, it’s what both the algorithm and all users are going to see first. Think of it as a title, with the other H tags being subheadings and main bodies of content.
Your H1 tag needs to feature your blog’s main keyword, to make it easy and simple for an algorithm to get to grips with. Once you’ve got a good H1 tag, the actual title of your blog pages should be either the same as it, or similar with some separate words or phrases in them – both work well! The latter can even help you rank highly for related keywords too.
You’re Not Linking Enough
Linking is an incredibly important part of SEO (more on this below), and as a result, you’re definitely going to need to employ the good use of backlinks in any and all blogs you post. After all, Google sees linking as an authority point, and when you’re mentioned on another person’s (or company’s) blog, you rank a little higher each and every time.
Simply put, it’s like you’re being referenced as a figure of knowledge, which we see as a good thing in places like books and academic lectures in the real world. All in all, the same goes for the online world as well.
But how do you earn backlinks? And how do you earn ‘good’ backlinks? Well first of all, you should see any and all backlinks as a good thing for your website, because someone out there is mentioning you! But let’s say you’re not being mentioned by the websites you want to mention you; what do you need to do then? You need to create more, and more quality, content. After all, you need already high authority websites to be mentioning you, and linking to you.
However, all is not lost if this is taking you a long time, or you’re finding difficulty in link building. Because even just linking to your own content, known as ‘internal links’, are a good way to help a search engine recognise and rank your content. You’re putting all your content together, in an easy to follow and non spammy manner, allowing an algorithm to see both a structure and a veritable gold mine of related content.
What to Keep in Mind
Your blog is ranking low for a variety of reasons, and you need to work out what’s making it such a struggle for you. After all, running a blog can be a very lucrative measure, and it can even generate a good amount of passive income, but only when you’re sure you’re ranking well and are seen as an authority subject.
You don’t have a product to shift, after all, and there’s a good chance any course or ebooks you release don’t speak for themselves just yet. And that means your blog needs to do the talking for you, which it can’t when you’re not sure what’s going wrong with it. So, keep the above ideas in mind, and never be afraid to rearrange a few things when you’re having a poor performing month or you just feel like things could be better.