7 Things That Could Be Hurting Your Blog Traffic
Blogging. It can hard to get moving and keep the pace. For small businesses, so much focus goes into just getting it done, nevermind all the other bells and whistles that go along with it. Am I right? But there are some important things that can hurt your blog, losing you traffic and wasting all of your efforts. Stop wasting your time, stop blogging overwhelm, and get your blog seen. Here are 7 things that can be hurting your blog traffic (and how to fix them):
1. Confusing Headlines
What’s with all the poetry? One of the most common mistakes I see new bloggers make is unclear or confusing headlines, often for the sake of their craft. Mystery isn’t envied in blogging. If people don’t know what your blog post is about, they won’t click through. Headlines need to be clear and to the point, and if possible, intriguing. Check out this post to learn my 20 tips and tricks for creating amazing call-to-actions to help craft better headlines.
RESOURCE: Check out the Coschedule Headline Analyzer to help you to craft better headlines for your blog content to gain even more traffic.
2. Broken Links
It’s probably happened to you; you’re reading a blog that has all kinds of great resources, then you click on a link and oops! You’re hit with a 404 page – the content isn’t found. Nuts. It’s annoying and sloppy. This can be particularly problemsome if you’re linking to your own content. Always be sure that links are working, including external links, or you can annoy visitors and potentially lose them forever.
If you’re ever moving domains or making changes to your website, check links before you go live. Also consider old links from around the web, making sure that you’re not disrupting traffic that could be coming from other sources.
RESOURCE: If you’re using WordPress for blogging, check out the Broken Link Checker plugin to make sure your links are always intact.
3. Lack of Visuals
We’re living in a very superficial world, and one that doesn’t always have time to read your perfectly crafted words. A lack of visuals in your content, in particular those shared to social media, could limit your blog traffic. People like to get an idea of what they’re in for before clicking through. Provide beautiful visuals and it could increase your blog traffic. Here are my 7 favourite photo editing apps. Also, be sure to include visuals throughout your blog, making it easy for visitors to share your content.
RESOURCE: Use an app like Canva or Pablo to easily create images to use for your blog content, including pinnable images for Pinterest! You can also try to use GIFs, check out this post!
4. Your Content Isn’t Shareable
“Wow” you might say to yourself, “this is an awesome post. The world will want to know about this.” But they never do. Why? Because it’s not shareable, and by that I mean that you’re not allowing people to share it. If your website is missing share buttons, you could be limiting incoming traffic from social media. Be sure to have a share plugin for your website to remind visitors to share your content.
You’ll also want to make sure that your website is using rich snippets and meta descriptions to help pull the appropriate information into links being shared to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and more. I’d highly recommend using the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin to always make sure your descriptions are available for social sharing.
RESOURCE: My favorite sharing plugin for WordPress is Social Warfare (Here are 10 more of my favorite plugins). This super simple plugin makes it easy to offer sharing to your visitors and even allows you create pre-set tweets for your pages and posts.
5. You’re Ignoring SEO
You’ll be surprised to know that despite being a social media strategist, the majority of my blog traffic comes from Google. Now, I’m in no way, shape or form a SEO specialist, but I do know the importance of good SEO for blog traffic. A couple tips I can pass along include:
- Use natural anchor text (the text you highlight to add a link). Don’t link the same text over and over again or it can look spammy to Google and you could be penalized
- Create longer form posts. Google likes 2,000+ word posts. It can be hard for a small business to produce long form posts every week, but just know the longer the post the better for SEO
- Include well researched keywords, including longtail keywords. Consider what people are typing into Google’s search. That’s how they’ll find you!
6. You’re Not Keeping Your Visitors
Here’s the scenario: user clicks on your post from social media, they’re taken to your blog, they read your post, and then…they leave. Why? Most often, they’re not presented with more that they can click on, so they have no reason to stick around. And when they go, your blog traffic goes with them. Here are some ideas to keep visitors on your website:
- Link to other posts to add more value to the users’ experience
- Offer an opt-in for a resource or your newsletter
- Link to your products or services so they can connect with you personally
RESOURCE: Jetpack is an awesome, free plugin for WordPress that will show related posts to your visitors, keeping them on your blog for longer. I also have a post on 7 reasons no one is reading your blog that might be helpful to you!
7. Publishing Less Than One Post Per Month
Here’s the thing – if you don’t publish any posts, then you won’t have any blog traffic. The most you publish, the more traffic you’ll have (as long as you follow my tips above). Blogging does take time, but if you want eyeballs on you, then you need to make it a priority and a commitment to yourself and your business.
RESOURCE: It takes hard to work to create content that people want to read, but not with Buzzsumo. View content that is highly shared to get a sense of what you should be writing about.