Starting a blog is no easy feat. There are several moving parts happening at once, and it can become easy to get lost in different features, blog ideas, website design, and marketing. As a business owner, these early stages are critical.
During your planning stages, it’s important to avoid critical mistakes when it comes to copywriting and blog content (check out these expert blogging tips for some tried-and-true tactics). Many webmasters mistakenly follow the wrong advice and strategies in an attempt to cut corners and beat their competition. However, this can ultimately decimate your business. With that in mind, here are four mistakes you should avoid when it comes to creating your blog:
In the race to get to the top of search engines, it’s not uncommon for you to start to stuffing keywords into your blog posts. Google uses keywords to help them put your writing into context. This is one way search engines learn what your page is about. Knowing this, many marketers attempt to squeeze as many keywords into it as possible.
However, over the years, Google algorithms have changed, and it’s much more efficient at examining natural language. Therefore, it notices when blog posts have a high keyword density and is attempting to “cheat” the search engine rankings. At a conference, Google’s Matt Cutts explained the dangers of keyword stuffing, saying:
“We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO—versus those making great content and a great site. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”
As a general rule of thumb, you should use online keyword density checkers ensure you stay within the 2.5% to 5% range.
Linking is very important for SEO and blogging. In fact, linking is considered on of the most important ranking factors. Every link that points to your site is considered a vote in the eyes of search engines: the more websites that link to your blog, the more Google believes it’s relevant. And when you link to other websites, search engines are able to gather context about what your blog posts are about. Throughout your copy, be sure to cite your sources and link to other high authority blogs. And to increase your inbound links, reach out to other blogs for guest blogging opportunities.
Auto-blogging allows you to automatically publish posts that are relevant to your blog. This syndication is possible through RSS feeds. However, auto blogging is something that should be done with very careful moderation. Too much auto-blogging can result in penalties from Google, and it doesn’t contribute to your brand voice at all. Your website visitors need to know who you are and what your mission statement is, and this becomes nearly impossible if you fill your website with various bits of content from different publishers.
Let’s say you have a marketing blog and have a mission to post A-grade marketing content. And then you suddenly stumble upon a great article on marketing on another blog. Instead of re-writing the same thing, you decide to save yourself some time by using an article spinner.
An article spinner is a tool that recreates existing content by replacing it with synonyms and similar phrases. It’s a simple way to churn out dozens of articles in a short amount of time. This prevents duplicate content from being on the Web—after all, duplicate content could result in penalties from Google.
However, although article spinning can help you push content quicker and rank better on search engines, it’s a huge risk. To begin with, content that’s spun doesn’t have natural language. This makes it difficult for the reader to connect with it. For example, take a look at the previous two sentences after they’re put through an article spinner:
“In the first place, content that is spun doesn’t have common language. This makes it troublesome for the peruser to interface with it.”
As you can see, someone reading this would find it difficult to get through the entire blog post. As a result, your engagement rates would plummet and your bounce rates would skyrocket. And when people are showing up to your site for a few seconds before leaving, Google understands that you aren’t offering a solid user experience. Furthermore, if readers don’t find your website useful, it can become much more difficult to monetize it and score customers.