The Blog section of a website is one of the most effective marketing tools that could help a website look better for search engine bots, ensure organic traffic growth, and, respectively, draw the attention of potential customers. However, if one neglects simple optimization rules, this could lead to bad site attendance. In this article, we’re going to focus on 13 most critical mistakes that could harm an online shop’s blog.
Mistake №1: Absence Of A Content Strategy
There are plenty of examples of Blog sections created without a clear purpose and destination, just because ‘the other online shops have it so we should have it too’, or because ‘we’ll create it first and think of what to do with it later’, or because ‘we’ll create a blog to publish news about opening new offline shops there’. As a rule, when Blog sections are created just for the sake of it, they fail to capture the audience’s interest and drive more traffic to a website.
The creation of a well-thought content strategy is a solution in this case. First thing you need to do in order to create such strategy is to describe a goal. To do that, you have to answer two questions:
- Why do you need to create a blog in the first place?
- How could it benefit you?
It’s okay to have two goals: to raise the audience’s interest and trust in your brand and to become a niche expert. Such goals don’t contradict each other.
When marketing professionals develop content strategies, they often make the following mistakes that could significantly lower the effectiveness of the further work:
- They don’t research the informational needs of all segments of their target audience deep enough.
- They don’t conduct a deep analysis of competitors’ content, user intent, seasonality, and main market trends.
Due to that, their content strategy might be focused on producing the content that might turn out to be boring, not useful and not interested to their audience.
Let’s take a look at the blogs of websites from a travel niche.
As you can see from this chart, the project highlighted in green is the leader on the market. In their blog they mix different content types:
- lists (Top N…);
- how-to articles (‘How to Pick’, ‘How to Make’, etc.), ‘Why…?’ articles, and so on.
The project we’re analyzing is highlighted in blue. Its blog is filled with lists (Top N…) only. Unfortunately, the owners of this project cannot offer any other types of content to their audience. It’s no surprise that it negatively affects their blog attendance.
Mistake №2: Irregular Publications
Stability is one of the secrets of blog’s effectiveness. If you create and publish your content regularly, the users get used to that schedule and keep returning to your website again and again. However, when your blog is updated from time to time, the audience doesn’t know what to expect from you and your Blog section. This could lead to you losing even the loyal readers.
Lack of content could be another problem besides irregular publications. For instance, a blog might publish one or two articles a month according to the schedule; however, this still won’t be enough to attract the audience and to promote a blog.
Lack of regular content updates could result in traffic decrease. Furthermore, the lack of regular updates lowers the search engine’s interest in your website: Google scans such websites less often.
Mistake №3: Low Website Load Speed
Website load speed is one of the key factors that affect a website’s ranking in search results. According to Google’s recommendations, website’s page should load in no more than 2 seconds. Slow load speed makes it impossible for search engine bots to index a website quickly. It also makes it impossible for users to find the answers to their questions as quickly as they want, which eventually poorly affects this website’s behavior factors.
Mistake №4: Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly
More than 50% of users in Ukraine view websites from their mobile devices. At the same time, most of the websites still aren’t optimized for mobile. Therefore, no matter how great your website looks in the desktop version and no matter how good your content is, mobile users will still leave you for those of your competitors who took care of their mobile optimization long time ago.
Mistake №5: Content Section Doesn’t Have A Logical Structure
Logical and clear website structure quickens the indexation of pages by search engine bots and eases the navigation for users. In the end, this affects search traffic in a positive way.
At the same time, many online shops create Blog sections that lack a clear structure and often look like ordinary web pages with lists of articles on them. This option is okay for news websites and content projects; however, it doesn’t suit an eCommerce business.
Mistake №6: Inconvenient Blog Navigation
When different types of articles on different topics are mixed together, users find it hard to find what they’re looking for.
Take care of your clients and create a menu with lists of articles structured by topics and sections.
Mistake №7: Blog Doesn’t Interact With The Commercial Part Of A Website
We’re talking about the situation when the product or service categories seem to exist separately from the Blog section, and vice versa. As a result, such blog doesn’t fill its main purpose and doesn’t provide any value to its audience.
On the contrary, when blog articles contain information on products or services, your online shop sells more and your audience doesn’t have to spend a lot of time looking for products it needs.
Mistake №8: Blog Isn’t Interactive
This means that users cannot:
- share articles on social media;
- subscribe to a newsletter to get informed about new articles;
- leave comments to articles or ask the authors questions;
- rate an article.
All these features help users engage and interact with your website and brand more. Implementing these features on your website improves behavior metrics and website rankings, and positively affects sales, traffic growth, and website’s position in search results.
Mistake №9: Poor Text Content Structure
It’s hard to read an article that consists of unformatted text. Furthermore, a blog filled with such articles cannot hold the attention of the audience.
Proper formatting makes any article easier to read. The readers like it when a text is divided into paragraphs, has subheadings, lists, and charts. Such texts affect users’ behavior in a positive way and make it easier for search engine bots to scan a website.
Keep in mind that when the order or headings and subheadings on a page is incorrect and there aren’t any proper HTML tags in a text, Google bot won’t be able to understand what an author of this article wanted to say.
Mistake №10: Content Isn’t Unique
We’re not talking about percents that plagiarism checkers like Advego Plagiatus or text.ru show to users — it’s the content itself that matters. If the articles in a blog remind the other articles in search results or duplicate them completely, search engine bots won’t consider such blog valuable.
It’s important for an article to have an additional value as well: like charts, some media (video, audio), or infographics.
Try to make your blog more interesting and informative, offer useful recommendations, various problem-solving options, and expert tips. Such content will be appreciated by both Google and your audience.
Mistake №11: Low Quality Of The Content
Lots of grammar mistakes, unclear phrases, digressions, and incorrect data make an article look bad. Articles that either lack clarity or are too long look bad as well.
Everything’s simple when it comes to the content: it has to be interesting and useful to users, not to search engine bots.
Mistake №12: Metadata Is Absent Or Duplicates Itself
Just like the rest of a website, each content page should contain a unique metadata. Otherwise, there might be problems with the pages’ relevance and rankings.
Mistake №13: Old Articles Are Ignored
Every blog has articles that generate traffic badly. The reasons for that could be different, but the main ones are listed above. You need to understand why this happens and improve the content on such pages. If you decide to not only work with semantics, but to also update the content itself, make sure to include information that mentions that: for instance, ‘This post was updated on July 20, 2019).
It’s important to treat a website’s Blog section just as responsibly as the rest of the website. Any Blog section could become an effective channel for driving sales and traffic if you work on it and do your best to make it good. Keep in mind: what’s good for users, is good for search engines as well, which means it’s good for your business too.