If you created a blog to drive visitors and conversions for your business, you’re in excellent company.
New business blogs are started each day. Many successfully build a loyal readership and increase their customer base, but even more businesses never achieve that success with their blogs. In fact, more than 70% of blogs fail to ever make a profit.
It turns out that simply creating content and posting it online is not enough to make your blog successful. You also need to understand how to blog effectively using content and SEO best practices—only then will you be able to drive relevant traffic.
Why Your Blog Isn’t Getting Traffic
There are many reasons why your blog might see lackluster traffic results. Below, we address seven of them, and offer ways to fix each issue.
#1 – You’re focusing on the wrong keywords
If your blog isn’t getting the traffic that you want, you might be focusing your content on the wrong keywords—and neglecting the keywords that will drive new leads and create loyal customers.
Not sure if your keywords are off-target?
Here are a few clues:
- A high bounce rate
- Little organic visibility
- A high impressions rate coupled with a low click-through rate
Content centered around the wrong keywords can bring traffic to your blog and website, but not the kind of visitors that are ideal leads. While you’re investing in content that brings guests who will never convert, your future customers are slipping away—drawn to your competitor’s content.
The solution to this problem is proper keyword research.
While there are many ways to discover the right keywords for your blog, Google’s Keyword Planner is a great place to start.This tool helps identify trends as well as keywords to use for your business, even if you aren’t running an active Google Ads campaign. Backed by Google’s tremendous base of data, it can help make sure your keyword focus matches your target customers’ searches.
#2 – You’re not paying enough attention to your competitors
Naturally, audience research helps to understand the struggles, questions, and concerns that your target customers have concerning your industry and products and services.
But there’s another source of insight you might not have considered: your competitors.
There are several different ways to approach competitive analysis, which can help you develop a more effective content strategy and build a business blog that drives traffic. That includes:
- Analyzing those who rank for your target keywords – Perform a search for the phrases or long-tail keywords that you want your blog or blog post to target, and take a look on what ranks first. How are these post structured? In what ways can you improve on them—by improving the writing quality, adding missing information, or improving the post’s structure?
- Performing a content audit of your competitors – Collect information on the frequency of your rivals’ posts, the topics on which they focus, and the topics that they miss. This information can provide insights that help you fill in gaps and improve your own content strategy, while also supplying content that your competitors have neglected.
Studying top content in your industry can help you craft blog posts that expand on the most popular content pieces that already exist. Better content means better rankings over time, resulting in a higher number of interested readers visiting your blog and engaging with your business.
#3 – Your blog posts aren’t designed for human readers
When it comes to optimizing your blog posts for search engines and your target keywords, you can actually have too much of a good thing. It happens when your blog posts are so focused on capturing the attention of bots that you lose sight of the real target—your very human customers.
To make your content more appealing to actual people, you need to:
- Craft content that is conversational in style and easy to read.
- Use eye-catching visuals to emphasize key points.
- Break longer paragraphs and sentences down into shorter ones. Ian Cleary of RazorSocial recommends that your paragraphs contain only one idea and four sentences at the most.
- Make generous use of subheadings, numbered lists, and bullets whenever possible.
Making content readable can drive great returns in traffic and conversions. When posts are human-friendly, casual skimmers become engaged readers.
More importantly, your business blog will become a compelling source of content that keeps the best leads on your site, giving you the opportunity to convert them to customers.
#4 – You don’t have a content and distribution strategy in place
Many blogs start with little more than the understanding that relevant content is necessary for search engine optimization and building an audience. The writer or blog owner creates posts as ideas come to them, or as particular topics come up in their industry.
Although this approach may draw some traffic to your site, a blog without direction isn’t sustainable and won’t bring the long-term gains that you want.
To grow your business’s content marketing strategy, you need a plan for creating, publishing, and promoting the content on your blog. A detailed strategy and posting schedule, built on an understanding of both your audience and your business, provides the consistency that draws a loyal following.
You can also ensure that your content reaches the widest possible audience of potential customers by designing a thorough promotion plan.
Enter the 80/20 rule: spend 20% of your time crafting new content and 80% of your time promoting it.
While this may seem extreme, it puts the focus on drawing a larger audience to the content you’re already creating, rather than on devoting resources to creating more content and hoping your customers find it.
From major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to niche networks and video sites, there are many different ways to promote your content. The key is finding the promotion networks and style that resonate with your target audience.
#5 – Your blog lacks effective calls-to-action
Imagine this: your ideal customer finds your blog through a well-written post ranking for the keyword they Googled. They find that it had exactly the content they needed to answer their current question. What does your customer do next?
If the answer is that they take what they need from your blog post and move on, it means that your blog pages aren’t as effective as they could be.
Even strategic, high-quality content posted consistently to your blog is not enough to convert your potential leads to customers. If you’re not providing them with a way to continue engaging with your website, you’re losing business. This is where calls-to-action (CTA) can help.
CTAs answer the question, “What’s next?” They ultimately ask the reader to take a specific action to move them forward in converting—such as downloading an eBook, signing up for an email newsletter, or setting up a free consultation.
While the most effective calls-to-action will vary based on your brand and audience, there are several CTA best practices to keep in mind:
- Use strong, evocative words.
- Clearly show the benefit of taking action.
- Be thematically consistent but visually distinct from the rest of the page.
- Whenever possible, persuade visitors to take immediate action.
Beyond these main principles, the key to optimizing your calls-to-action is to run A/B tests on each element to discover what drives the highest conversion rates.
#6 – You aren’t updating and recycling older content
Not every blog post or article is going to be a winner. In fact, only one out of every 10 posts will continue to drive traffic and generate new leads long after it’s published—what is also known as a “compounding post.”
Yet these posts are responsible for almost 40% of all blog traffic, making them a priority for your blog. By neglecting your older but valuable content, you’re missing an opportunity to generate a greater number of qualified leads from your blog.
Making the most use of your compounding posts requires doing two things regularly:
- Analyzing your blog content to identify the posts with the largest traffic and highest conversion rates.
- Reviewing and refreshing these compounding blog posts to ensure that they remain accurate and up-to-date.
Even if your industry isn’t a fast-moving one, it’s still likely that some of your posts contain outdated information. Make sure to refresh them to include the latest trends and research. Updating these content pieces will maximize their benefit, drawing more traffic to your site and ensuring that they remain “compounding posts” for a long time.
In addition, since you know these posts perform well on their own, they are ideal content pieces to promote once they’ve been updated, across social media and other channels, as well as with internal links in newer blog posts.
You may also find that these compounding posts are also effective in new formats—for example, pulling out key quotes for Instagram images or filming a video summary for YouTube and linking to the full blog post.
#7 – Your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices
If your website and your blog pages aren’t designed with mobile device users in mind, that will negatively impact your site’s traffic and the number of visitors your content converts.
After all, most searches now begin on mobile—nearly 70% of consumers between 18-39 research products on their mobile devices before making a purchase. A poor or slow mobile experience means these potential customers may never return to your site.
More critically, Google has adopted a mobile-first indexing system, making the mobile version of your site the primary one. Your content’s ranking is now far more dependent on how well those pages perform on mobile devices. Not ensuring that your blog is optimized for mobile viewers will mean your blog posts have an even slimmer chance reaching that coveted top position.
To make your site and blog content mobile-friendly:
- Make sure your posts can be easily read without pinching and zooming (see how your site looks on different devices with a tool like Screenfly)
- Replace any text links (harder to tap on mobile) with small screen-friendly buttons
- Make each opt-in form short and easy to complete on a smartphone screen
- Break up the text content with bullet points, subheads, and images
The issues described above are just a few ways that your blog might be missing out on traffic and conversions. Addressing each of these areas will go a long way toward improving your blog and acquiring more visitors.
It’s important to remember, however, that while receiving more traffic is always nice, the real test is whether the changes you make lead to a higher conversion rate.
And even with all of the above, content remains the foundation of your blog. SEO strategies mean very little without a regular schedule of fresh content to post.