I’m not always popular when I tell people that blogs are part of a larger marketing strategy. You can’t just blog and expect results, whether that be SEO results or lead generation results, you’ll struggle to meet your goals if you aren’t strategic about everything you do.
There are 10 reasons why your small business blogging didn’t rank for SEO and a summary at the end about what you can do about them.
1. You Hired a Non-native Speaker
Search engines are smart, and they can tell when content isn’t from a native speaker for the language it’s written in. While hiring someone in another country can offer cost-savings, it can also have negative repercussions on your SEO.
Vet your content writers carefully. Ask for samples of work and read the samples carefully. As you read, think about flow and how natural the language is. There are certainly some very skilled and knowledgeable copywriters in other areas of the world. Just be sure you’re hiring the right ones before moving forward.
Or, if you need the cost-savings on the front-end with the writing, be sure you’re investing the time to edit the work and make it sound natural. While it’s ideal that your content writer is a native English speaker, you could potentially work with a writer who is not if you have a really good editor.
2. You Failed to Target Keywords
I get requests for SEO blogs pretty often that have no target keywords and no SEO research to back them up. It’s best to start with an optimized website with a list of keywords you’re targeting before launching blogging efforts.
Using those targeted keywords, you can then build upon your strategy with blogging. Blogs can reinforce your keywords throughout your site and enable you to target longtail keywords to get even more specific about the topics and areas of interest your readers have.
I love services like SEMRush and LowFruits because they can guide you to finding long-tail keywords or common questions people ask on Google related to an overarching keyword. For example, when I put in SEO blogging, I get results like:
- What is SEO for blogging?
- Free blogger SEO tips
- How often should you blog for SEO?
- How to make WordPress blog SEO friendly
These are all topics related to SEO blogging but far more specific than the master, overarching keyword. And that’s what makes them work so well.
3. You Targeted Keywords with Fierce Competition
Various keywords have differing levels of competition related to them. Those with fierce competition have many companies targeting those keywords and you’ll struggle to overthrow them if they’re more established than you are.
If you’re a business entering an already crowded marketplace, the better strategy is to go for low-competition keywords. That way, you can carve out a niche for yourself and get better outcomes for your efforts than you would with high-competition keywords.
As I described above with long-tail keywords, you can target those that your competitors haven’t already scooped up. Many keywords have lower search volume, meaning your competitors likely didn’t target those as much as they did the higher volume keywords.
Using LowFruits, you can find keywords where the website that ranks on the first page has a low domain authority. And then from there, you can target that long-tail keyword to dethrone that website for the ranking to get more keywords on the first page. The more page-one keywords you rank for, the more likely you’ll be to rank for more.
4. You Did a One-off Blog Without a Content Marketing Plan
Too often, blogging is here one day and gone the next for small businesses. As priorities shift or budgets change, blogging falls off the radar. But then a few months later, they suddenly remember the importance of blogging and try again, but it doesn’t deliver results, so it goes away for a few months once again.
Blogging has to be part of a larger content marketing strategy. You can’t blog once and expect it to have enormous results for your SEO. You have to play the long game and stay focused on your efforts.
When you blog, it should be intentional and a part of both your social media and email marketing strategies. When blogs standalone, they are less likely to impact a business’s bottom line and generate leads the way they have the potential to.
5. You Basically Copied Someone Else’s Blog Post
For blogging to be successful, you need to be adding something new to the search results. People are searching for new things every day. In fact, Google says that 15 percent of its total search volume each year is for searches it has never seen before.
Instead of just writing what your competition is writing, ask yourself how you can solve a challenge for your customers or answer their questions. Listen on social media platforms and during customer service calls to learn more about what they’re facing and how you can help.
Not sure how to find good blog topics. You’ll want to read our post on how to find good blog topics.
6. You Copied and Pasted Content From Your Own Website
Search engines will flag your blogs as duplicate content even if you copied text from another page on your website. You need to make sure that everything you produce is unique or Google will rank your content lower.
Instead of copying and pasting from your service pages, reword the content. Write it without even looking at your services page so that you aren’t even tempted to copy it word-for-word.
Or better yet, don’t even reference that content when drafting new content. That way you won’t be at risk for duplicate content.
7. Your Website has Severe Structural Problems Google Can’t Overlook
A blog strategy should support your overall website strategy. If it doesn’t, your efforts will not be as fruitful. You need to get your digital house in order before you can expect to see SEO results.
Slow load times, excess CSS or code in your website template, poor use of meta descriptions, pages with 404 errors, and so much more can affect the overall health of your website. If your website health is poor, your SEO blogging value will also be poor. So pause your blogging efforts and take a hard look at how to improve your website design and development before moving forward.
8. Your Blog is Separate from Your Main Website
I die a little when I go out to a business website, click on the blog and it takes me to a new URL.
You want your blog integrated with your website so that it shares the same domain name. This will give you the most value for your website because now your blog posts share in the domain authority from your entire site.
9. You didn’t write with your audience in mind
As both a copywriter and a consumer of online search, I often think about the value of various blogs. If I go out to a blog to learn something new and it’s full of jargon or doesn’t actually answer my question as the headline promised, I’m out of there so fast.
You have to write your blog articles designed specifically for your target audience. Keep it simple, clear and concise. Don’t put extra content in your blog just because you’ve read Google favors long-form content or because some online algorithm told you that you should include all that extra content.
Ultimately, we blog for SEO because we want to reach our audience. So even if your SEO is on point but your content isn’t, it won’t deliver results, which defies the whole point anyway.
10. Blogs Aren’t a Magic Bullet
This is a dangerous thing for me to say given that I write lots of blogs for a living. But it’s completely true. Blogging needs to be a part of your greater marketing strategy. If you build it, they won’t necessarily come.
Someone approached me to handle their blogging for a new website and asked how many blog posts they needed for a new website launch to rank in the top 10 on Google in the first month.
I have news for you. It doesn’t work like that. I told that inquirer the same thing and they never emailed me back.
SEO is a long game. Blogging is part of that long game but it’s not a magic bullet. As stated above, if your website has structural problems, Google will struggle to give your blog articles great favor.
A strong blogging strategy starts with an effective website and effective website copy. Only then can you build upon that content with blogging.
If you’re seeking a content marketing strategy that helps you rank for SEO and build goodwill with website visitors, contact me.
I won’t make any sweeping promises of immediate results, but I will build a long-term strategy for how you can build awareness for your company, delight website visitors and convert them to prospects via lead generation. Already have a strategy? I can work with that too and write your blog posts that activate that strategy.
SEO Blogging FAQs
Want to learn more solutions to why your blogging isn’t improving your SEO. Here are some commonly asked questions and answers.
Why Is My SEO Not Improving?
Your website could be held back by a variety of ailments, including a lack of quality backlinks, slow load speeds, bad underlying structure and much more. You should discuss the issue with a qualified expert.
Do Blog Posts Boost SEO
Blog posts can boost SEO with the right content marketing strategy and keyword research. Ultimately, blogs should be about more than just SEO. You should write them to answer your customers’ questions primarily.
Why Are My Articles Not Ranking
Your blog articles might not be ranking due to poor writing, lack of optimization or inadequate website structure to support your blog. Inconsistency in how often you post could also hold back your articles.