A corporate or business blog is a platform that businesses use to boost their organization’s goals. A blog is a way to increase the page content of a website, and gives plenty of opportunities for search engines to crawl the site more without spamming the algorithm and losing integrity.
It seems easy — just write content, publish it, then you have a blog. It would probably work if only you were blogging in 2005. We’re in 2019 and here are 10 common mistakes businesses make when blogging.
1. Lack of Content Planning
A rookie mistake many people do is to write about every idea. It’s probably the thinking that it’s better to put something out than none. I guess this is common if you still don’t know what to write about in your blog. But in the long run, it hurts your site’s content map.
You can come up with new ideas all the time, but not all of them should end up in your site. Neither should the final posts be the initial idea. A little research can open different angles to the topic, so ideas should always evolve along the editorial process.
Solution: Have a coherent content plan
Making a coherent content plan starts with determining what kind of content and topics should appear on your website. It doesn’t always have to be related to your business or products. Posts could touch on industry-wide topics.
If you have a coherent content plan, it will be easier for your viewers to jump from one post to another. There will be a flow to your content that encourages viewers to stay longer on your site, which positively affects your website performance.
2. Neglecting the Meta Description
The meta description is the short text found under the title and URL link when your page appears on the search engine page results. It’s a brief summary of what people would find in the page when they visit it. Editing this for every post is an opportunity to target people’s curiosity for the subject you’re tackling in that post and ranking for a keyword.
Solution: Write a short one-sentence meta description with the main keyword
Using the main keyword you’re trying to rank for in the meta description helps increase your post’s chances of ranking higher. Meta descriptions are a direct snippet of what the page will be about, so it’s more important to insert the keyword here than in the actual text.
3. Underestimating Images’ Searchability
Images can contribute to your page’s SEO, but so many people don’t want to pay extra effort to adding little details like the title and alt text. The alt text is a lot similar to the meta description. It describes what’s happening in the photo, so that search engines know what it’s about and what searches the photo will appear in.
Solution: Geotag images and edit the alt text
The best way to optimize the alt text is to use the same one as the title of the photo. If your business relies heavily on locations, another way to improve SEO through images is to geotag them. There are free websites that allow you to do that. It will show up in searches by people near the location of the geotag or searches with the name of the geotagged place.
4. Too Much Self-Promotion
Self-promotion is good, if done in moderation. What most people do wrong is focusing their blog content solely on their company’s products or services, and news or event coverages related to the company.
Most people won’t come to your website looking for your products or services right away. You won’t capture their interest and ignite their desire for your product or service that way. They’re looking for information about the things they’re interested in, a solution to their problem, or identifying what their problem is and if a solution exists.
Solution: Produce evergreen content mixed in with regular content about products or services
Evergreen content includes articles that can keep relevant regardless of time and trends. They don’t necessarily have to be related to your products or services, but keep them in the same general subject as topics in your industry or market. People will find you easier this way, and they can immediately establish you as an authoritative resource on the topic they’re looking for more information about.
NOT Evergreen Content:
5. Writing About Broad Topics
In an attempt to relate to a lot of people, some companies would blog about universal topics that everyone might find interesting. While the intention is good, doing this runs the risk of losing potential customers that are interested in a specific topic — probably something they’re dealing with or something that’s unique to their situation.
If you’re trying to rank for a certain keyword and choose a very broad topic because of it, you’re not likely to end up on the first page of search engine page results anyway. So many others have probably wrote about the same broad topic.
Solution: Value specificity in your posts
When you have a broad topic in mind, think up at least 5 other topics related to it that could be more specific to a certain kind of person. Your goal should be to relate to a specific few rather than aim for relating to everyone. The latter doesn’t result in strong customer relations, but the former encourages engagement and fosters loyalty.
6. Trying to Relate to Everyone
The reason why you’re writing broad topics is probably because you’re trying to talk to everyone. You want to attract as many people as possible. Well that’s a good way to not attract any audience at all.
Contrary to what you might believe, trying to relate with everyone more likely results in the exact opposite. People care about their own situation and their own problems, and giving generic information or tips won’t hit their particular interest.
Solution: Write for a specific kind of person and write as you would talk
When you first start your business and do market research, creating a customer avatar makes it easier to identify who belongs in your target market. Knowing basic information like their demographics, characteristics, personality, and interests will also help you specify your content and hit their interest.
7. Not Prioritizing Links
Links are the best part about searching on the web. One post could lead you to multiple relevant content and resources. When I include not prioritizing links as a business blogging mistake, I mean 3 kinds of links:
- Internal links
- External links
Backlinks are other pages or websites linking back to yours. Internal links are links to your own content in the same website. External links are the opposite of backlinks as they are links in your page that lead to other websites.
Solution: Produce content that authoritative sites want to link to and include internal and external links in every post
First off, you have to create posts that people want to naturally link back to. This ties in with the solution of producing more evergreen content because they’re the ones that other sites will deem important and timeless information.
While getting backlinks is great, it’s also important to take note where the backlinks come from. Getting linked to by sites that search engines deem authoritative is better than getting linked by small, personal blogs.
It takes a while to get a good enough amount of backlinks that can actually affect your traffic. Meanwhile, make sure to include internal and external links in every post. Internal links, specifically, encourage people to stay longer on your site, which improves your metrics.
8. Not Updating Old Blog Content
Determine which posts are due for an update. Evergreen content, though we’ve established should be timeless, are the ones that need to be updated the most. They have the most potential to be linked back to and viewed multiple times long after its publication date, so it needs to contain the most recent data and information.
Solution: Edit or repurpose old blog posts
Editing content should be part of your editorial plan. Schedule content evaluation into your editorial calendar because it should be done regularly, then do the necessary changes. For bigger articles or posts, you can repurpose some concepts and ideas mentioned within it and create other posts related to the same subject but goes more in-depth on a specific topic.
9. Failing to Market Your Posts
I say this all the time: blog posts on their own rarely generate organic traffic. This is especially true for small and starting blogs. We’ve come from putting out content to attract readers in the old days of blogging. These days, blogging especially for business includes 2 steps:
- Acquire leads and audience
- Create and deliver curated content for them
Solution: Promote your blog posts on social media
Social media is your gateway to potential customers. It provides direct access to any kind of market without being too straightforward about selling. Now that people are more conscious of being aggressively sold to by companies, presenting content to them first gives you a subtle in on their radar. Promoting your content on social media to ultimately lead people to make a purchase gets sophisticated, so learn more about content marketing.
10. Using a Slow Web Hosting Site
Content in itself doesn’t determine the overall success of business blogging. User experience is an important aspect of business blogging. A slow website defeats the purpose of your entire business blogging efforts.
Visitors tend to exit sites after viewing one page because it takes too long to load, which affects your bounce rate. Ultimately, a consistently high bounce rate will inform search engines of your website’s low performance. Other things that affect your business are the conversion rate and engagement.
Solution: Minimize image content size and constantly update your website’s plugins and coding
One of the biggest factors to a slow website is images. Images are a big asset in business blogging, since they drive people toward your content. Just make sure you compress them to the smallest size possible to reduce data bandwidth while still delivering great quality to go along with your text content.
While images can be tackled as you post one article at a time, checking your website’s code and plugins is a habit that should be done regularly to speed it up. These two are among many other tips to make your website load faster.
Some of these mistakes probably worked at some point, but all of these no longer apply now. I would immediately apply these solutions if I were to make my business blog more effective in terms of attracting leads, converting audiences, and bringing more exposure to your business. Blogging takes careful planning and constant checking up for relevance.