Blogging in a Social Media Area, 20 Essential Mistakes to Avoid
Does blogging still make sense when especially young people are reading less and less? The short answer is: yes, but it does depend on the type of topic. Despite the fact that you can attract a huge audience very quickly with Instagram and TikTok, for example, blogging can still generate a lot of organic – free – search traffic for many brands or private individuals as well. Sometimes even cheaper and with less effort too.
Google still processes more than 3.5 billion searches a day. Although social media has come to play an important role in entertainment, people still use search engines like Google to find practical information.
So if you really have something to say, setting up and maintaining a blog is definitely worthwhile. Unfortunately, in practice, despite hiring SEO agencies, I still see a lot going wrong on blogs. This article lists the 20 most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
Table of Contents
1. Far too short, in-depth articles
If you write small articles with little content, it is almost impossible to get organic search traffic.
What I hear a lot is the question: who still reads very long articles? In itself a valid question, but to explain the importance of long articles, you must first understand how search engines rank a page.
After all, it is indeed rare for a visitor to read an entire 2,000-word article, but that is also not the most important thing. Google wants to send visitors to a page if it contains very current and unique information, or if the visitor can find everything about a particular topic there. This is described, among other things, in this article on E-E-A-T.
If I stopped this blog post now, this page could never rank because there is much more to say about it.
Many blog owners think that visitors land on a page through the menu and then get 2,000 words in front of them all at once, but that’s not how it works. Normally, based on a search query, visitors land somewhere on your page that has the answer to their specific question. So, the more ‘parts’ of the information on a page that can be used to answer a query, the better it can rank.
2. A random selection of topics
If your neighbor asks for advice from you about landscaping a garden he knows little about, you send him to the person you suspect knows the most about it. In exactly the same way, Google also redirects people based on a search query.
If a blog is full of articles on flowers, dishes, massages, car maintenance, and the most beautiful beach holidays, it is not very credible that the author of the blog is an expert in every field.
So make sure you choose one blog topic and tell all about it with multiple articles. That will show the search engines that your blog is the right place to be.
3. Misleading or meaningless headlines
I have a background in advertising and one of the most fun things to do used to be to create very creative slogans or ad copy. Despite the rapid rise of AI, search engines are not yet smart enough to understand human creativity properly.
An article about a beautiful holiday destination might be titled ‘The Greek pearl among beach paradises’ in a magazine. Search engines don’t understand this very well. What they do get is a title such as: ‘One of the most beautiful beaches in Greece.’ Perhaps less attractive, but more likely to attract organic search traffic to it.
This is not only because Google struggles to understand the title, but also because no one searches for ‘Greek pearl’.
If you promise something then you have to deliver it, search engines believe, and a title is basically the promise you make about what people will read. So if you say, ‘All about the latest fashion trends’ then you should also tell all there is to tell about that.
If you then only give a few tips and insights, you are incomplete and actually bluffing or misleading in Google’s eyes.
4. No internal linking
If you have several in-depth articles on your blog on the same topic, make sure the user can click on links within the articles to read more about something.
For example, if you write an article about Barcelona, you don’t need to mention everything about the beach. If you do mention the beach, you can publish a separate article with everything there is to say about it and link to it.
5. Illogical structure of the article
When someone tells an incoherent story, we quickly drop out in real life. So do search engines when they survey your article. They want clear headings and sub-headings and a clear and logical structure.
For this, you can use free Chat-GPT that can analyze the structure of your article or suggest how best to build it.
6. Use very long sentences and difficult words
Unlike books or magazine articles, search engines want short sentences. In fact, you should be able to read every sentence in one breath. I talk more about this in this article on how to write an article that can rank.
Also, it is not bad at all to use technical jargon, but do explain it to the reader. The same goes for lots of difficult words. That may look ‘interesting’, but it makes the article harder to read for many readers.
7. Illogical menu structure
If you walk into a supermarket, you will see a sign with the word ‘soft drink’ hanging by the shelf of soft drinks. That is the function of a menu too. Showing you the way. If you get too creative with your menu or don’t have a menu at all, but mix everything up, the user can have trouble navigating.
A menu doesn’t have to and shouldn’t actually be creative. Just say what kind of articles the user will expect.
8. No recent, related, or popular article lists
With each article on your blog, you want to show readers and search engines what the most recent, related, and popular articles are. It is best to show the most recent and popular articles on the main page of your blog as well.
Several SEO experts will tell you that this is a trick to keep visitors on your site as long as possible, but the real reason is to give visitors as many entry points to information they have been looking for.
9. Writing too commercially
Of course, it is not bad at all to tout your own products or services in an article, but if the purpose of the article on your blog is to tell how good you are, you can forget ranking.
A blog should primarily be informative and tell all the ins and outs of the topic. Primarily, then, that is about the questions, of what, how, where, and why, and not with whom.
10. Lots of spelling mistakes
A spelling mistake here or there is no big deal, but if an article is full of spelling mistakes, it does not read nicely because many users will be distracted. It also says something about how much care you put into writing the article.
With the current spell checkers like deeply, this is not necessary at all.
11. Not using a meta title and meta description
Your meta title and meta description are one of the main sources of information for search engines about how you want your article to be displayed within search results.
If you don’t fill them in, expect the search engines to figure out for themselves how to promote your article. The meta information can be seen as a combination of the title and back cover of a book. Would you buy a book without a title and a short description?
12. Not using consistent keywords
On the other hand, it is useful to know what the top 3 most important words are on which you want to be found and to include them in your article.
In addition, it is becoming increasingly important to use LSI keywords.
13. Sharing the same article over and over again on social media
It is important to share your articles on social media, but this can also work against you. If you share the same article over and over again on social media and even your own online friends don’t want to like or share it, it signals to the search engines that the article is not good enough.
Sharing once and getting no likes or shares is not such a problem. But continuing to do this with the same article works against you rather than for you.
14. Posting far too little
If you sometimes post 2 articles a week and then nothing for 3 months, you are usually not relevant to the search engines. There is no set rule of how often you do have to post, but at least 2-3 articles a month is a minimum.
If you really know what you are talking about and have in-depth knowledge about the topic, it should be possible to post even several times a week.
15. Don’t use an author page
It is becoming increasingly important for search engines to know who the author is of your blog in order to determine whether they are an expert on a particular topic. You can help them with that by creating an author page.
This page contains all the information about you in the same way you would on LinkedIn, for example. This prevents a company from hiring an overly cheap SEO agency that writes all kinds of texts without really knowing anything about them.
Plagiarism is forbidden everywhere in the world and therefore also within the digital world. It is okay to copy a quote from someone, but be sure to tell where the source is.
Copying whole pieces of text is not a good idea anyway, because search engines reward unique insights and knowledge and if you don’t have any, why would they send visitors to your site?
If you get caught plagiarizing, you may even get a penalty and your entire blog may fail to rank.
17. No acknowledgment
Tell visitors how you know what you tell them is true. You can do this textually, but it is more important to link to the real source. If you want to make it easy on yourself, you can always find a newspaper article or other blog that proves that what you state is true. A better way is to cite the original source.
18. The site speed is too slow
If someone talks very slowly, you can gradually fall asleep. This is also how the search engines think if your blog is very slow. Certainly, your mobile site speed needs to be good, because, for some time now, Google’s policy has stated ‘Mobile first’.
You can very easily test your site speed on, for example, PageSpeed Insights
19. Too many bells and whistles on a page
Pretty images can definitely liven up an article, but using various animations and photos to make it look as nice as possible actually hurts your ranking. If you post something, it may look nice, but it should also be informative.
Sometimes you see pages that are more full of what customers think, how many awards they have won, etc., than information. No search engine can appreciate this.
20. Writing for the sake of writing
This article started with a plea for why long and in-depth articles on a blog rank better. But that is not to say that you should write for the sake of writing. Instead, the trick is to be brief and informative. The visitor does not come to read, but to get information. If you manage to do that, search engines will reward you.
Therefore, try to say more with fewer words and if you are then able to write a 2,000-word article, you are very well on your way.
So does it always have to be 2,000 words? No, certainly not. If you can say everything about something in 200 words, that is allowed too, but the question is whether those topics exist and are searched for.
So, this is 2000+ words 🙂