5 Reasons Why Your Blog Post Is Not Getting Search Traffic

No Search trafficWe all know that the best traffic for a website is organic traffic, and that regardless of whether you have 1 subscriber or 1000 subscribers, in the long run it’s search engine traffic that matters the most.

Getting search engine traffic is not all that difficult, but there are important things we need to learn in order to achieve decent search engine traffic. It all comes down to how great your content is, and how well it’s optimized for search engines. And yes, your social media sharing is also important toward the improved search engine visibility of your articles.

Over the past year I have been continually editing my old blog posts to improve them for readers and for search engines. This includes improving the information provided, adding updated information, analyzing current keywords using SEMRUSH and Google Analytics, and optimizing the articles for target keywords.

This is an ongoing process that every blogger should undertake in an effort to make the most out of their existing content.

In today’s post I will be discussing a few blog post SEO mistakes which many of us unknowingly make, thus hampering the organic traffic to our sites.

Whenever I do a site SEO audit, there are a few common factors I find that decrease the visibility of my articles in search engines. Today I will share them with you so that you can avoid these common mistakes, and thus improve the SEO of your blog’s articles.

Blog post SEO mistakes that result in no organic traffic:

Too many repeated heading tags:

Whenever I analyze ShoutMeLoud blog posts with no traffic, this is one big reason for almost no search engine traffic.

Back in 2010-2011, I used too many H2 or H3 heading tags in my articles.  I was trying to make my sub-headings stand out (size, typography, etc.).  This may have made my articles look great to my readers, but it adversely affected the SEO score of the articles.  This may not be true of 100% of such cases, but for me, almost 80% of my posts with repeated H2 and H3 tags are getting no traffic. Editing and correcting them clearly improved the visibility of the articles in organic searches.

Image name and alt tags:

Using images in your blog posts not only makes your articles look great, but also helps in improving the SEO of your blog posts.

There are plugins like SEO friendly images, which automatically add ALT tags into images by using the image name. I have noticed that articles with images containing no ALT tags or the wrong ALT tags adversely affect the SEO of the articles.

One of the most common blog post SEO mistakes I have seen on many blogs is the failure to change the name of the images to match the topics of the posts.

For example, you might be writing about SEO, but you use an image of a fish, and you keep the name of the image as “fish-catching.jpeg”. This is a very big mistake. The correct approach is to use meaningful image names. Prior to uploading the image, change the image name to something like “SEO mistakes.jpeg”, or whatever is appropriate to the topic of your post.

If you have made similar mistakes in the past, it’s time to go back and correct them. Add a meaningful image with a keyword as your image name, and use your target keywords in ALT tags.  As mentioned earlier, you can use the help of the SEO Friendly Images plugin if you wish.

Long meta descriptions:

Meta descriptions help in improving the CTR of your article in SERP’s, and are also helpful to the general SEO optimization of your content.

With that said, your meta description should not exceed the 160 character limit.

A couple of years ago I would simply copy the first 2-3 lines of my article, and use that as a meta description. This was a big mistake which many of us make.

Long meta description

Think of your meta description as a call to action.  It is best to write a unique meta description in less than 150-160 characters.

You can also use a plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast to add meta descriptions in your blog posts.

It would also be a good idea to find all of your old posts exceeding the meta description character limit, and rewrite the meta description in 150-160 characters. You can use Ahrefs, SEO spider or SEOmoz to find all such blog posts. You can also refer to the official Google help page on using meta descriptions here.

No keywords in the content:

I know blogging is all about sharing information, but what good is quality content if no one can find it?

As I mentioned in one of my older articles, SEO is not dead – it’s now more competitive and detailed. Search engines rely on bots to understand and rank content. One of the most important factors is using keywords in your content, title, images and in a few other places.

If you have written an amazing article on SEO checklists, but you did not mention the target keyword in the article, you are not helping bots to understand your content.

If you are completely new to this, you can read my previously published guides on this particular topic:

Not linking out:

We all want our visitors to stay longer on our websites, but many new bloggers make the mistake of not linking out. For example, I have noticed that many people simply write Google.com, instead of adding the proper hyperlink which will take them to Google.com. Linking out helps in many ways, including the following:

  • It gives a better user experience.
  • It improves the SEO score, as long as you link out to credible sources.

If you are worried about the bounce rate, you can make your external links open in new tabs. If you need more information on this, you could read this post on outbound link SEO.

I always advise my SEO clients to continually improve their old content. Writing new content takes time, but improving existing blog posts is easy, and it greatly improves your results from those posts. Whenever I publish a new post, I go to my older posts that are related to the content, and I link to my new posts. This not only helps in improving the overall SEO of the old articles, but updated information always attracts more reactions from users in the form of comments and social media shares.

You can read my guide on how to use SEMRUSH to improve the SEO of your blog, which will give you detailed insight on how to improve the SEO of your old posts.

If you have any questions regarding above topic, feel free to ask me in the comments section below.

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Article By
Harsh Agrawal is a blog scientist and a passionate blogger. He is blogging since 2008 & writes about Blogging, SEO, Make money online & tech. His blog, ShoutMeLoud receives 1 million Pageviews/month and have over 700K subscribers.

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COMMENTs ( 15 )

  1. Akshay Hallur says

    Hey Harsh,
    This post has helped me a lot, eespecially Too many repeated heading tags was a eye opener for me. It helped me lot. I have included h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 in my all of my blog posts, my blog is not receiving any organic traffic. Now recently after reading this post, I replaced all the h2 tags with paragraph with class “note” tags as yours (Thesis).
    I will tell you if it works :-)

    Cheers,
    Akshay Hallur.

  2. Peggy Woods says

    We all know, the high search traffic is good for blog post but if you are not getting the traffic then you should look for the reason. Harsh, you have done a great job. But one more reason can be that you are not writing popular topics. A research into Ad words keyword tools would give you a statistic on how much keywords are being searched.

  3. Nikhil says

    Now days Google updates their algorithms regularly to give quality of results. Many bloggers use repeated keywords to increase visibility in search engine but google knows that and performing to avoid them.
    But Sir, I am confusing that when we giving any href link to any website (like wikipedia, google etc.), it will be “do follow” or “do no follow” .

  4. vipin says

    I read your posts regularly. I have learned blogging from your blog. Can u tell me some ways to build quality backlinks quickly. I have subscribed to your comments and love to know your views

  5. Abhay says

    Harsh,

    I am agree with the point to have links within posts. If I am having links within my site they keep my visitor alive with my site but outbound links can make a user bounce out. Yes we can have links opened in new window or tab but still there is a chance of loosing a user. How to handle this situation. Any Ideas?

  6. Sunitha says

    90 % new bloggers do this copying first 2-3 lines from first paragraph for use of meta description. This article may help them to understand importance of meta-description. Using your targeted keyword once in title and 2 times in description is best practice for best results.

  7. Ravi kumar says

    Good pointing out. If we want to get good traffic in our blog, we should write keyword reach content seeing keyword density.

    Some things I used to look after:
    1. Title(Keyword contains) for good CTR
    2. Good Article Description
    3. Internal and External linking
    4. Tagging with relevant information etc

    when I was new, i did not it. Your blogs give lesson. Thanks.

  8. raman bathina says

    Third point in this post is done by me every time in my posts and this might be one of the main reason for getting low traffic for my website.From now on wards i write unique meta descriptions for posts.Thanks harsh.

  9. Gautam Doddamani says

    nyc article harsh…ya even i use the yoast plugin so my meta description is optimized i.e. i have no post exceeding 160 characters…but i also made the same mistake as you…i copy the first two lines and paste it…writing unique description never occured to me because i thought it didn’t matter…wil take your advise on this! :)

  10. Pramod says

    You said that linking out helps but linking out too much can cost our page rank as our pr juice is spreading so is it g good technique?

  11. says

    We totally agree with you on updating your content. We have started doing this on all of our posts and have started gaining a lot more traffic. Whenever we update a post we blast it out over social media again prep-ending it with “Post updated as of mm.dd.yy -” It’s great for how to articles on our site because when people see the post has been updated, most likely it is a new fix/way to do something and so it creates a return visitor. Otherwise the content will just become stale.

    Here is the order in which I read blogs posts when I have time to help enrich our own blog:

    #1 – ShoutMeLoud
    #2 – Neil Patel
    #3 – John Chow

    To be honest, everything you need to know about blogging is in those three blogs. No need to go anywhere else :)

    Keep up the great posts, or perhaps this is a re-worded and updated post lol??

  12. stargaterich says

    A very good short and concise post on SEO mistakes and how to work around them. I really like the tip in regards to naming image file to make it relevant to the topic in discussion. Most of the tips highlighted and discussed in this post are very doable and simple to implement.

  13. Nishant says

    Linking out is really a great tip, Not only in the terms of SEO but also linking out to other blogs and websites gets you noticed in the crowded blogosphere.

    You have a larger readership than me and I want to attract more people to my blog then the best way is to link to you and send traffic to your blog this way maybe you notice my blog and you will also consider linking to my blog in the future and I will get more visitors.

    This tip works the best when you send traffic to new serious bloggers because they will easily notice your blog and link back to you.

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