This is my article 100 and I wanted to stop and look behind. Think about what I’ve done, what I’ve learnt and share with you a few blogging tips that I’ve learnt after more than a year of consistent blogging.
Hopefully my learnings will save you some time and make your life easier!
Blogging Tips – What I Did Wrong
1. Lack of consistency
One of the key points of blogging is being consistent. Your readers will get used to this consistency and they will like it. Imagine, for example, that you like to pick up a newspaper every Sunday and suddenly one Sunday you can’t find the newspaper that you like. A couple of weeks later it happens the same again. Wouldn’t you be disappointed as a reader? Don’t disappoint your readers; they are your most valuable asset.
Google also likes consistency and I have experienced Google’s wrath myself when I took a couple months of blogging holidays. When I started again Google didn’t trust me anymore and my rankings went down, decreasing my organic traffic dramatically. Here is the experiment that proves that blogging frequency helps if want to know how to increase traffic to your blog.
From June 11th 2013 to August 14th, 2013 I didn’t publish anything. This is what happened:
2. Not Mobile Optimised WordPress Template
When I started my Blog, I didn’t focus too much on the look and feel of the website. I started my blog in Blogger platform and them I moved it to WordPress; without knowing any coding I thought that was my best bet. I was never too bothered about what template to use as long as it was easy to read. That was a big mistake and here is the fact that proves I was wrong.
My template was not mobile friendly, and this is a major mistake because 15% of all my traffic was coming from mobiles devices. Let’s take a look at the bounce rates before and after the new mobile optimised template.
Bounce Rate Mobile before Mobile Friendly Template: 78.35%
Bounce Rate Mobile after Mobile Friendly Template: 73.68%
As you can see, the bounce rate decreased almost 10 points for mobile traffic, from 82% to 73%. This had an overall impact on the whole traffic of more than 5%.
If we look at the desktop traffic, the bounce rate also decreased which means that the mobile optimised template didn’t have any negative impact on our desktop visits.
3. Internal Linking
At the beginning I knew that internal linking is important in order to keep readers engaged with the site and the content that I was producing, so I used to link to one or two articles in every new post. However, I never thought about the importance that internal linking has from a SEO point of view.
My http://buydrugsfromcanadaonline.accountant canadian pharmacies online Anchor Texts were always different and pointing to different pages. This means that I was sending http://expressnaturalviagra.accountant http://expressnaturalviagra.accountant Google inconsistent messages, and my rankings were affected. Don’t make the same mistake. Make a list of what pages you would like to push (ideally focused only on 1 or 2 at first), and then be consistent with your Anchor Texts.
For example, if I want to push my latest article about RLSA I would create a link using an appropriate Anchor Text such as RLSA Adwords. Google then has a clear idea of what my website is talking about.
Caution: Having the exact same anchor text in many links might be recognised by Google as a “spammy practice”, so if you build several links just make sure you have a variety of anchor texts.
Internal Linking | Linking your own articles to each other using the Anchor Text to send Google the Keywords you want to be ranked for
Anchor Texts | The actual phrases that are linked and underlined which help your Google rankings
4. Not growing my Social Media Channels
We all know how important Social Media is to promote content. However, using social media does not mean just publishing your articles in your social media channels. Unfortunately, that is all I did. This means that whilst my blog grew in visits and content, my social media assets didn’t grow accordingly.
Social Media needs to be developed and this means that you need to spend time on it. Growing Twitter is not just growing your number of followers without interaction with them. You should take some time to interact, read their articles, comment, retweet them and creating a connection/networking which will pay off later.
Social Media is not profitable at least in the short term, and that is why we usually don’t allocate enough time and effort to work on it. However Social Media, as building a strong brand, is something that takes time and resources but will help your long-term success.
5. Not Setting Up Conversions at the Beginning
After a few months of hard work publishing new content and setting up everything in my blog, I realised that I didn’t know whether or not I was being successful. My blog didn’t have any goals, besides getting visitors on the site. However, this is not enough information to understand what is working best because we are not measuring any conversion.
Now, I do have buy conversion goals and this helps me to identify trends, behaviours, channels’ ROI, etc.
I track 2 main conversions: newsletter registration, and long visits (+1 Minute). Taking a look at the graph before (+1 Minute Visits) for my activity in the last few months there are some great learnings that wouldn’t be possible without conversions.
- The average conversion rate of my site is http://viagrasamplesgenericinusa.accountant viagra generic 8.94%. With this is mind, we can see how each individual channel is performing. The Under-performing channels are canada meds Social and Email.
- Looking at the highest conversion rates we find that Display is the best performing channel, however it only accounts for 0.35% of the total traffic volume.
- Organic Search represents more than 40% of the traffic with a conversion rate above average, 9.33%. It is a channel to take into account for future optimisation.
6. Not looking after my natural rankings
After a few months of blogging I realised that Google was sending organic traffic to a few of my articles. This was great news because it meant that without promoting specific articles or doing any social media campaigns I received traffic every day. My strategy in order to keep getting this organic traffic was publishing new articles frequently so that Google saw that I had fresh content. I thought that this would be enough to keep my articles at the top of the rankings.
Unfortunately, I was wrong, and this is what happened:
This was a shame and getting these rankings back is a very difficult task now. Creating frequent content is required to keep your positions. However, this is not enough. Promoting this content externally and internally is a key point. Internally, I should have created links to this article with an appropriate Anchor Text, this would have been a clear sign to Google that this particular article was important in my website. Externally, I should have asked for promotion to friends and bloggers to get referrals and external links.
7. Not optimising the entrance to my site
Not looking after my natural rankings was not the only mistake I made on these specific articles. Due to the importance of Organic Traffic in terms of conversion rate and traffic volume as we saw on the 5th point, I should have further developed these articles as they were the entrance to my site. This means that I was “wasting” all this new traffic because these articles were not optimised towards any specific goal.
Now, when I have a particular article that has been picked up by Google and is receiving Organic Traffic I optimise it towards my Goal. If you take a look at my article about RLSA you will see how at the bottom of the article I have a clear call to action asking the reader to subscribe to my blog. You will also find a Google Adsense banner ready to be clicked on.
8. Not having a clear Keyword Strategy
I always wrote articles for my readers, not for Google. This doesn’t mean that I don’t take Google into account as I know that it is my best source of new readers. In order to keep Google happy all I did was to optimise my articles using Yoast SEO Plugging (highly recommended) and publish new useful content regularly which had a positive impact in traffic volume as we will see in the next point.
The issue was that I never had any clear keyword strategy to tell Google what my website was about. I did have an internal linking strategy as I would link to other relevant articles to increase engagement rate and other metrics like time on site or pages per visit, but the articles I was linking to were never the same and the Anchor Text was always different.
Having a variety of Anchor Texts in your internal linking looks very natural to search engines, but this did not help Google to identify what the overall subject of my blog was. Also, the fact that I write about different topics like SEO, Adwords, Blogging or Social Media did not help Google to identify my topics. This is bad news because it means it is not going to take my articles into consideration when showing websites in search results.
Blogging Tips – What I Did Right
Thankfully, I also did a few things right which have helped me get where I am now.
I have compiled all these Blogging Tips in a Whitepaper that you can download here for Free. Just sign up below and you will get the download to more than a year and many hours of blogging tips for FREE!