Business Blogging In 2020: 5 Reasons You Are Not Ranking
By John Welch on June 16, 2020
Should I Be Blogging For My Business?
You read blogs, right? Don’t lie, the internet says 77% of web users regularly read blogs. It’s hard for me to believe that out of the 23% that don’t regularly read blogs, a large portion of those don’t at least semi-regularly read blogs.
All I’m saying is that it’s likely you’ve read a blog.
Most of us know somebody who is trying to make it as a blogger or is trying to start a blogging business. Good for them! I just wish they knew half the stuff in this post and their business would be better for it.
There are a lot of factors involved in blogging which lead bloggers to give up or pull their hair out in frustration. Usually this is accompanied by some screaming and a little crying and then a profound and solemn vow to never waste another minute blogging.
All that being said, let’s put to bed the biggest myths about blogging (goodnight, little myths, sleep tight!)
- Should I Be Blogging For My Business?
- 1. Your Blogs Aren’t Long Enough
- 2. You Aren’t Using Internal Links
- 4. Your “Time On Page” Is Low
- 5. No One Is Sharing Your Posts
- Start Ranking #1
First, blogging is the most important thing you can do for your website SEO. BUT, (and this is a massive “but”) not if you’re doing it wrong.
When it takes an average of almost 4 hours to write a blog, it would be a major shame to waste that time.
Second, let’s go over some stats to remind ourselves why we care about blogging in the first place.
- Content marketing is 62% cheaper than traditional marketing.
- On average, companies with blogs produce 67% more leads per month than those without.
- 60% of consumers feel engaged/positive with a brand or business after reading their blog.
- 74.2% of companies say content marketing increased their lead quality and quantity.
So, blogs work. They cost less and create more and better leads. That being said, almost everyone (read: 99.9999999%) is not blogging correctly.
Here are 5 reasons your blogs aren’t ranking and what you can do about it.
1. Your Blogs Aren’t Long Enough
Let’s do a little math. WAIT! Don’t leave the page. I’ll do it for you. All you have to do is follow my line of reasoning.
First of all, on average only 18% of companies post blogs over 750 words.
BUT, the best blog length in 2020 is 1,760 words.
So… if 82% of companies post blogs under 750 words and the best blog length is 1,760 words… that means…
88% of companies are posting blogs that are too short.
Simple math tells me there is a really, really good chance that if you’re reading this, you’re not writing long enough blogs.
Get your word count up, and I don’t mean start using a lot of filler words and repeating yourself. Make bigger outlines, include more points in your content, and write more in-depth posts.
2. You Aren’t Using Internal Links
Similar to how backlinks show that other sites are finding your content useful, internal links show Google that you have breadth and depth of content.
Internal links also help Google index your site. Because internal links are on the same domain, Google can see that there are pages it may not be crawling and add those its indexing.
In case you’re still on the fence about internal links, read this case study by Ninja Outreach. They were able to boost their organic search traffic by 40% using internal linking.
The real power of internal links is in your page rank. When you have more links pointing to a page, Google sees that as an important page.
This ties directly into our next point.
3. You Aren’t Building Topic Clusters
If you aren’t using topic clusters in 2020, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. It’s kind of like working out a ton but not eating any protein. Sure, you’re doing the work, but you could be getting so much more out of the effort.
So what in the world is a topic cluster? A topic cluster focuses around
pillar content. This is the main, overarching concept that you want to talk about. The
cluster content are more detailed individual posts that further explain the pillar content ideas.
An example of pillar content would be
email marketing. Let’s say you wrote a 2,500 - 4,000 word blog post on email marketing called “Email Marketing in 2020: What You Need To Know.”
Then, your cluster content would look something like this:
- Top 10 Subject Lines To Increase Open Rates
- 5 Email Marketing Tools You Need In 2020
- How To Use Automation In Your Email Marketing
- 3 Reasons No One Is Reading Your Emails
These pieces of cluster content then become internal links for your pillar content. As you build out these content clusters, you end up with a main piece of pillar content with a series of high-quality internal links all designed to dive deeper into the overarching topic.
This kind of detailed content strategy signals to Google that you are creating high-quality and relevant content.
Think of it this way, when you build topic clusters, you are showing Google you care about your audience finding what they need on your site.
4. Your “Time On Page” Is Low
Dwell time is important for your SEO. Basically, if people are showing up to your blog post and then immediately leaving, that’s bad.
Google doesn’t want to serve up content that‘s irrelevant. One of their main ways to judge relevance is to see how long people are reading your content. If they’re not sticking around, Google won’t serve up your content anymore.
To increase your dwell time, create more engaging content. There are a few ways to create more engaging content:
1) Use Storytelling
There’s nothing to increase your dwell time like good storytelling. In fact, Buffers says they increased their time on-page by 520% just by using storytelling at the start of their posts.
Here’s the problem though, most people don’t have any idea what storytelling means. Read the beginning of this post for an idea. Also, read more stories. Finally, read really good blogs and see how they tell stories. Simply google terms and then click on the top search results, chances are really good those blogs are using storytelling.
2) Use Humor
Most blogs are pretty dry, like a Cabernet. You want your blog to be more like a Riesling or a Moscato. This means getting creative with your posts. Don’t be a stick in the mud! Make it funny.
3) Use Images and Graphics
I’m trying to think of something more boring than a page covered in text. Maybe watching a move with the sound off and no subtitles, that might be more boring.
Either way, if you want your blogs to engage, they need a pop of color! Get visual, baby. Use memes, gifs, graphics, graphs, charts, illustrations, embedded video, and anything else that works.
Make your posts scream, “READ ME!!!”
4) Use Research
No one really has any reason to trust you.
If a reader shows up on your site, and it’s obvious that your whole post is just you sharing your thoughts, they’re probably not sticking around.
It’s nothing against you, we just live in an insanely data-driven world. There are so many opinions and ideas floating around. Readers need research to feel comfortable giving you their attention. So earn that attention! Do some research!
5. No One Is Sharing Your Posts
Alright, now I know I’m opening a can of worms, but we have to address this. If you’re having issues with your content ranking, it’s likely not getting shared much.
Before you give up and throw your computer (or ipad, smartphone, whatever device you’re reading this on, I’m not a device-ist) at the wall in frustration, let me share (see what I did there?) some ways you can share (see?) your posts organically.
1) Use Social Media
This is the fastest and easiest way to get your posts shared and start generating engagement. Pick whatever social channel best relates to your audience (or all of them) and start reposting your blogs.
PRO TIP: Social media platforms usually favor native content, so take your blog post and copy and paste a portion of it into a post or article on the social platform. Then link back to your original post on the website.
2) Add Social Sharing On Your Website
If you’re on Wordpress, here’s a guide to setting up social sharing on your blog posts.
Social sharing links will make it easy for readers to share your content from your website if they really like what they read.
3) Jam Pack It Full Of Quality Data
Nothing garners shares like quality information. If you want your audience to help distribute your content, make it irresistible. Create infographics and link them to high-quality external sources to verify your content.
Start Ranking #1
The path to the elusive #1 spot is long and torturous. But, imagine a world where organic search traffic is simply showing up at your site, day after day, month after month. This is marketing nirvana, it’s the summit.
Blogging cannot be ignored if that is your dream. The road to the promised land is paved in thousands of words, carefully crafted on your website blog.Back to the blog