When your monthly blog traffic dips down for a few months in a row, it can be beyond discouraging. Especially when you think you’re following the rules of engagement, but people aren’t, well, engaging like they are with other truly addictive brand blogs.
If you’ve already checked to make sure you’re not making some common violations–like not posting consistently, writing with only search in mind, or overdoing it on brand mentions–it’s time to dig a little deeper.
Correct these lesser known mistakes to get your traffic heading in the right direction (up!).
You’re a Master of None
It’s tempting to appeal to a bigger audience by creating a lot of articles on a broad variety of topics–but it doesn’t make your blog an authority on any particular subject. That’s bad news, as search engines aren’t as likely to send traffic your way when people want information on niche topics.
Ask yourself what you–or your brand–truly specializes in, and build several information-rich articles around those topics. Once Google and Bing recognize you as an authority in your space, they’ll direct plenty of qualified traffic your way.
Your Readers Aren’t Sharing
Promoting your own content is social media 101, but you also have to make it as easy as possible for others to spread the word.
Do you have share buttons on your blog posts? Take a look at where they’re placed on the page. If readers have to scroll all the way down or finish reading an article in order to share it, they’re much less likely to do so (only a portion of your readers actually make it that far). Make sure you have easy-to-spot share buttons at both the top and bottom of the page.
Your Content is an Island
Taking a workcation on an island? Sounds like a dream. Your blog post living on its own with no connection to the outside world (or links to other posts on your blog, for that matter) is a major problem.
You don’t need to go crazy adding links to your posts, but it’s helpful for search to pepper in at least a few throughout your article–especially links to your own content. You can start by linking a few keywords and phrases throughout your company’s blog, and including recommended links for further reading at the bottom.
Your Headlines Are an Afterthought
Once the body of your blog post is written, it can be tempting to quickly create a title–any title–and post it.
Before you phone in the title, though, think about why you clicked on the last few articles you read. Very likely, a well-crafted title motivated you to keep reading.
I personally spend a lot longer on each word of a title (or email subject line, for that matter) than I do on any other section of the post. With content, not only do you get one shot at a first impression, you have one shot at getting any impressions – so take the time!
Your Social Posts are Missing the Mark
Your social followers likely scroll through hundreds of posts each day, so sharing a freestanding link and uninspired title with no preview image, no explanation, and no connected parties tagged isn’t going to capture their attention–and drive traffic to your blog.
Pick a strong image to accompany the post, post at a peak traffic time, and–just like your article headlines–spend some time crafting click-worthy social media prompts. Be careful, though: if a title comes across as “click bait” (something that’s written for the sole purpose of shocking people into clicking a link) it can turn away your savvy audience
Remember, social media is supposed to be just that: social. When readers comment, keep the conversation by responding within 24 hours. Seeing engagement will pique curiosity amongst your social media followers, and encourage them to learn more about your brand.
You Don’t Have (or Update) a Content Strategy
Hopefully, a blog is just one element in your carefully planned content strategy, along with newsletter and influencer campaigns, social media and other content initiatives.
What’s that, you say? You don’t have a content strategy? Or you think someone at some point may have done one, but you have no idea where it is? It’s time to get on that! Having a content strategy will not only help you hone in on audience and message but will also help you avoid all of these other mistakes.
In fact – according to the Content Marketing Institute – brands that write down their strategy are far more likely to be effective in their use of content.