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Why is nobody reading your blogs?

Written by Emma Smith on 22 May 18
Why is nobody reading your blogs?
It’s every content marketer’s worst nightmare: Spending hours researching and writing a thoughtful, insightful blog, only to have the analytics report that hardly anyone has read it.

Customers and clients want to read unique, custom-written content on your site. In fact, 82% of consumers like reading relevant content from brands, and even more say that personally relevant content improves how they feel about a company. Studies show that readers are crying out for informative, educational and inspiring content – so if the demand is there, why is no one reading your blogs?

They’re written for a search bot, not a human

It’s crucially important that your content is optimised for search, but it’s vital not to go too far down this route and focus too much attention on what Google might reward, as opposed to what your consumers will actually want to read.

One of the biggest turn-offs for both your audience and modern search engines is keyword stuffing. Keyword density is an oft-talked about concept in content marketing, and one that should always be a consideration when writing your blogs. While it remains important to add keywords to your content for relevancy and ranking calculations in search engines (you can use SEO and keyword research tools to help identify relevant keywords to go after), being too heavy-handed with these in your blogs can be a disaster.

From a pure readership point of view, keyword stuffing looks spammy and unnatural. Your customers won’t want to read something that has been written purely to appeal to search engines, and search engine crawlers are sophisticated enough to determine whether keywords are used an unreasonable number of times in your content – so if you go overboard, your well-intentioned keywords can lead to a drop in your site’s rankings, as opposed to a rise. 

With that in mind, use keywords within your content carefully and intelligently. The inclusion of such words and phrases should sound natural and blend seamlessly into the text.

You’re not making them SEO-friendly

While it’s important not to write content with the sole purpose of boosting your site’s SEO, you shouldn’t disregard search engines entirely. Content creation is an incredibly effective inbound marketing tool, thanks in part to its link to search – each fresh page (blog) you create is another that will be indexed in search engines, giving you more opportunities to be found by users via search. 

It pays to follow search engine optimisation best practices when writing your content, incorporating both relevant keywords and information that audiences want to read. For instance, if you’re a recruitment company that wants to rank for construction jobs, you could create blogs that answer common client and consumer questions (for example, ‘What are the most in-demand skills in the construction industry’? or ‘What changes can we expect to see in the construction industry in 2018?’). 

Keywords should be added to headlines where possible, but you should mix up the types of titles you’re giving your blogs in order to see which works best for your audience. Sometimes, humourous click-bait style titles work well, whereas other times you might style your blog in a list-style, ‘top 10’ approach. 

Include relevant internal and external links in your content and ensure these are linked to via relevant anchor text (the clickable text in a hyperlink). In order to maximise SEO value here, keep the anchor text succinct and relevant to the page you’re linking to. And as with everything these days, ensure your content is optimised for mobile devices – this means using subheadings, shorter paragraphs and images.

You’re not promoting them properly

You could write the most insightful, in-depth and inspiring blog in the world, but without proper promotion, it’s unlikely that anyone beyond your company will read it. Poor blog promotion is one of the most prominent reasons why your content marketing strategy isn’t working. People need to know your blog exists, and that you regularly produce helpful, relevant content. In order for this to happen, you need to market your blog in the right places.

Social media is an obvious place to start. Your company’s social profiles provide an excellent platform for you to promote your own content, provided you maintain and nurture your social media followers year-round. Ensure you’re using these platforms to engage communities and strike up conversations about relevant industry topics, not just as a platform for you to shout about your own work and achievements. Once you’ve built up a decent following on your social channels, you could also invest in some paid advertising on these channels to give your content an extra targeted boost. 

Email marketing can also help to circulate news of your content, however be careful that you’re not overwhelming your database with too many unsolicited emails. Perhaps you could send out a monthly newsletter with a roundup of your most interesting and compelling blogs. 
Another obvious yet often overlooked blog promotion tool is having a direct link to your knowledge centre or content hub on your homepage. This needs to have an obvious title and sit in an obvious place – for example, a button that says ‘blogs’ on the main toolbar. Backlinks to other relevant blogs within your content can also help to keep audiences circulating. 

Finally, you can also investigate paid promotional activity and acquiring back links from relevant third party sites. This approach requires time and effort, so it might be something you outsource to the experts.

You don’t add anything new

You need to give readers a real reason to read your content. Users can leave your website within 10-20 seconds of arriving, according to this research, however if you give readers a reason to stay on your page – a clear value proposition – then you’re on your way to capturing their attention for longer. This is particularly true of blogs.

With so much content already out there on the internet, you need to offer blogs that not only engage your audience, but are also unique to anything else they can find. Your point of difference may be that your content is impeccably researched, written in a particularly interesting style and tone or simply offers up information that is better and more relevant to users. Whatever you write, you need to ensure your readers come away from reading it knowing something they didn’t know before. This is the “so what” factor that will keep readers coming back to you in future. Give them content they can’t get anywhere else. 

You’re focusing on quantity, not quality

Before the Google algorithm became more sophisticated – and indeed, before marketers had as much understanding about how the algorithm worked – there was a commonly held belief among many in the industry that publishing shorter pieces of content more frequently was better than focusing on fewer pieces of high quality content. However, this idea has since been turned on its head and brands now need to ensure the content they publish is relevant, insightful and something that users actually want to read, as opposed to putting out content every day for the sake of it.

Similarly, there used to be an understanding that each blog post had a life cycle of around 30 days. One recent study has debunked this theory, showing it takes up to two years for blogs to gain 99% of their impressions. This is particularly true of evergreen articles that provide real value to readers – anything that’s not time sensitive and shows people how to do something can be picked up years after its initial publication date. So with blogs providing value two years after you’ve written them, it makes sense to ensure they’re high-quality content that has been written for the human eye, not a robot.

You’re not getting expert advice

A good content marketing strategy is just that – a strategy. This means time and effort must be invested into developing the best blogging regime, not to mention producing the content and then marketing it. 

At 4MAT, we can do everything from build up your keyword deck with relevant and reachable industry keywords through to designing and implementing an entire content marketing strategy. We’ll save you time and energy that you can spend focusing on your core business objectives. To find out more, contact us here. 

Tagged In: Content Marketing
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