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Four Reasons Your Blogging SEO Fails (and What to Do About It)

blogging SEO

You’ve been running your blog for over a year now. You’ve got a snazzy logo and a catchy tagline, plus you’ve been drafting up content and publishing regularly. 

Rock on, right? 

But wait. Crickets. 

Where is all the traffic? Where are all the comments? Why don’t you have any readers? 

You’ve got to be doing something wrong, but you can’t place your finger on what it is. 

There are tons of reasons your blog isn’t skyrocketing to the top, but one of the biggest issues we see again and again is bloggers making SEO mistakes. 

My blogs weren’t always successful. In fact, took years to get off the ground. Now it’s a critically important part of my personal brand. 

Fortunately, we took some of the lessons learned about the mistakes made with that site, and we addressed them proactively with, and we’ve seen the stats rise much more quickly.

I made a number of mistakes in the early years, but thankfully, I was determined to see it through to success, so I stayed focused, adjusted my approach, and Iearned a ton about blogging SEO along the way. 

Let’s take a look at four of the top reasons your blogging SEO fails. 

Not building your backlink profile

Backlinks are still (and likely will be for a long while to come) one of the top ranking factors Google looks at to determine where to place your site in SERPS. Despite this, it’s amazing to see how many bloggers focus too little (or not at all) on acquiring backlinks.

We always tell our clients to focus on creating amazing content that adds tons of value, answers questions, and solves problems. Content like that tends to naturally earn backlinks. 

But with a newer blog, those naturally earned backlinks are much harder to come by. 

So, you’ll need to do some work here. Try these tips to build a diverse, powerful backlink profile that boosts your domain authority and puts the search engines on notice. 

  • Build relationships with other bloggers and help each other earn links
  • Fill out directories and be active on channels like Quora and Reddit
  • Uncover broken links on target websites and suggest your articles as a replacement resource in exchange for a backlink
  • Conduct outreach email campaigns expressing why you feel your article adds value to the recipient’s site and how they benefit by adding your link
  • Pay for links, but be sure you avoid sponsored links and you work with a reputable link builder to avoid spamming it up
  • Be active on social media to send some social signals 

The list above may seem a bit overwhelming, so if you don’t have the resources in house, try outsourcing the work to an SEO agency. The experience they bring to the table will help you boost your backlink profile much more quickly than trying to go it alone. 

Never Digging Under the Surface of Your Blog

You don’t know what you can’t see, right? Sadly, there could be a ton of issues going on behind the scenes, of which you are unaware, causing your site to slack in search results. 

Fortunately, using an SEO tool like Semrush can help you uncover issues with your site as well as opportunities to improve your content and get your site noticed. 

Image: Semrush SEO Dashboard – Source

With the right technology in place, you can take a look under the hood of your blog. With the insights you uncover, you can make major changes that improve your luck. Here are a few things you may find when using a tool like Semrush, Ahrefs, Moz, or whatever your favorite SEO tool may be. 

  • 404 and other errors occurring on your website
  • Ideas for improvements to your content
  • Keywords gaps where the competition is crushing you (and where you might take advantage)
  • Where you’re ranking and which pages and posts are performing best
  • Backlinks to assess linking domains and backlinks, as well as where your domain authority stands 
  • How your competition is performing and what you can do to leapfrog them
  • CPC (in case you decide to run some ad campaigns based on keywords)

If your approach to assessing the SEO health of your blog is to look at it with your naked eye, you’re only scratching the surface. 

Using the right SEO tool can help you dig deep into your site and inform your SEO and content strategies to help you grab those coveted first page search results.

Little to No Promotional Activities 

You draft a ton of great content, but that’s not all you need to do to achieve blogging SEO success

To get the word out about the great advice and insights you offer on your blog, you need to have a promotional strategy in place. 

The first thing you’ll need to do is develop a deep understanding of your target audience. Who are they? What drives them? What problems and challenges do they face? Where do they hang out online?

Use that info to inform your promotional strategy. Each blog’s promotional strategy will be unique, so while you’ll want to focus on the right channels and tactics for your blog, here’s a list to consider to help you get started.

  • Post consistently on social media to boost brand recognition and drive traffic to your site
  • Run ad campaigns on various digital channels
  • Partner with other bloggers in your niche to help one another grow
  • Work on your personal brand to boost thought leadership
  • Publish guest posts on high-profile, related blogs
  • Collect emails and send out email campaigns and newsletters 

It goes back to the old saying “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?”

If you build your blog but you don’t do any promotion to bring people onto the site to see it and consume your content, does your blog really exist?

Ignoring the Little Things

There are a lot of little elements that go into a successful blog that many bloggers tend to overlook. For example, many beginning bloggers opt for cheap, slow hosting 

Cheap, slow hosting, however, slows down your site’s growth. You end up sending visitors away due to slow page load times, and you risk downtime due to poor support from your hosting provider, among other things. 

Another thing many bloggers neglect is having a strategy for internal linking. Your internal links send a signal to the bots crawling your site telling them which pages are connected and which are the most important, as well as help them determine what your site is about. 

Selecting a solid domain name is another one. It’s no longer necessary to have an exact match domain, but it’s important for your domain name to be relevant, whether that means it’s branded or it contains targeted keywords. 

You’ll also want to be sure to make it easy for your visitors to navigate through the site. Make sure visitors can access every page within three clicks or fewer. Create a clear and concise menu without too much drop-down clutter. And add clear CTAs to drive people through the site smoothly. 

These are just a few of the little things you need to take care of on your blog. Tending to the little things will make it easy to improve upon the big things. 

Final Thoughts on Blogging SEO Fails

If you are truly dedicated to the success of your blog, you need to take steps to avoid the things laid out in this article. 

Backlinks, user experience, conducting an SEO audit, and taking care of the little things are absolutely essential elements of running a successful blog. 

Work all of the above and more into your overall blog strategy. Then follow your strategy, track against important KPIs, and make adjustments as needed. Then watch your blogging SEO efforts deliver ROI like you never thought possible.

12 Responses

  1. Build those backlinks, guys! Listen to Anthony. He knows.

    I spend many hours reading and commenting genuinely on blogs. But the reason surprises most bloggers. I comment primarily to build backlinks indirectly by establishing friendships. Of course I generate No Follow links from the comments themselves. But the friendships I build through genuine comments lead to indirect backlinks. Blogging friends drop Do Follow links to Blogging From Paradise organically, seamlessly and generously.

    Excellent post.

    1. Thanks so much, Ryan! Backlinks are hugely important, but they are often overlooked. Building them can be very time-consuming, and I think that’s why many marketers ignore them or don’t place enough effort on building them.

  2. Hi Anthony, Great tips here! I do have a question: What do you mean by “avoid sponsored links, and you work with a reputable link builder to avoid spamming it up? ” Some are easy to spot but others are not so easy to see.
    I love Ryan’s comment about leaving comments on other blogs. I don’t do it as often as I used to but I should. After reading something he wrote yesterday I need to get more organized about it with a spreadsheet.
    Not just that but like you mentioned about where to post your content on social, quora, Reddit, etc. I need to update an old list of forums and sites to stay active on. It can be hard with client work and blogging to be active elsewhere these days! Thanks for the tips here Anthony as SEO is huge for the success of a blog today!

    1. So, with regard to sponsored links, when someone places a link for you, it’s best to look for dofollow links. While the sponsored tag isn’t the end of the world, if all your links are sponsored, that sends some bad signals. Also, if you work with a disreputable SEO agency, they can place your links on all kinds of spammy, non-relevant websites, leading to a disaster you need to clean up. I agree with you on Ryan’s comment. Commenting on other blogs is so effective. I admittedly don’t do it enough myself.

  3. Hi Anthony,

    Great read! Link building is where I lack behind. I get so stressed out doing it. I’m trying to improve my outreach efforts but it’s not as fast as I would want.

    I’m considering other options – outsourcing, for one – that will be good for me and produce better results.

    I will be able to focus on what I’m better at – writing.

    Thanks, Anthony, nice read.

    1. If you decided to outsource, let me know. We have some options that can help. Link building isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time. By producing amazing content and building relationships, the links naturally roll in, but the problem is, people only want to link to quality sites, so you have to figure out a way to build up your DA, traffic, etc. before you really stand a chance of building links without paying for them.

  4. Hello Anthony,

    You have shared some great tips here. Backlinks play an important role in growing a blog and driving targeted traffic. Many bloggers didn’t focus on creating backlinks and promotion activities. You have elaborated everything in detail. Thanks for sharing

    Vishwajeet Kumar

    1. There are a lot of bloggers who, unfortunately, focus only on creating content. While that’s obviously a super important thing to do (after all, what is a blog without content?), it’s important to understand your audience and find ways to get that content in front of them.

  5. This is by far one of the best blog posts I have ever read. Your writing is impeccable, and your insights on the topic are truly remarkable. I was completely captivated from start to finish and found myself really thinking about the ideas you presented long after I finished reading.

    Your research and attention to detail are evident in every word, and I appreciate the way you used sources to support your arguments. Your passion for the subject shines through in your writing, and it makes for a truly enjoyable and educational read.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Your work is truly inspiring, and I can’t wait to read more of your writing in the future. Keep up the incredible work!

  6. Hey Anthony!

    Link building seems to be the most dreadful task about blogging. Whenever I hear about link building, I just can’t find a single effective way to do it without giving up too early.

    I know nothing happens overnight. Link building will take a lot of time and efforts. So for now, I am trying to focus on creating a nice number of content pieces before I move on to the task of link building.

    Not to mention, I have earned a few backlinks through building relationships with fellow bloggers, as Ryan Biddulph suggests.

    Thanks for the post! Quite a read!

    Ali from Infoverses.

  7. Anthony, its a great share.

    I found this article on Twitter with ref Ryan and I landed here. You covered interesting points.

    Yes, Blogging is a evergreen online business model but we have to play it very carefully.

    We have to network with other bloggers a lot it will help us a lot in the long run.

    We have to consider premium tools for blogging.

    I don’t know why people are still searching for free tools for blogging growth.

    Keep post such awesome content here.

    1. Thanks for dropping by! Very much appreciate you reading. Networking is on of the top elements in blogging success. I’ve connected with so many amazing, talented folks, and it’s so great to be able to collaborate with each one. And yes, paying for the tools is going to be key as well. You can benefits from free tools, but you’ll need to mix in paid ones as well, Venkat.

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