It’s a very familiar scenario: you enthusiastically launch a business blog and start publishing post after post, but instead of seeing traffic statistics surge, you only hear (virtual) crickets chirping in the distance. What’s the deal?
To start with: you certainly aren’t alone. The vast majority of business blogs — we’re talking 70, 80 or even 90 percent of them — don’t generate much traction. That’s the bad news. The good news is that bringing a dead (or dying) blog back to life is, in most cases, relatively fast, easy and affordable.
Specifically, here are 3 reasons why nobody’s reading your company’s blog — and how to fix it:
1. Your blogs are set to “noindex.”
We’ll start with the strangest reason, but also among the most common. Some businesses aren’t aware that their content management system (e.g. WordPress, Drupal, etc.) is, by default, adding a “noindex” tag to their blog posts. Essentially, this tells search engines not to include the blog post in search results — which means potential customers can only find it if they’re already on the blog.
Thankfully, fixing this is remarkably easy. Simply launch your content management system, go through your blog posts, and make sure that “noindex” is not toggled (typically there’s a box that you can check and uncheck). Just keep in mind, however, that it takes search engines a few weeks or sometimes even longer to scrub websites and index new pages/posts. You can potentially speed up the process by telling Google and co. that you have fresh new content, and want them to pay a visit ASAP.
2. Your blogs aren’t relevant to your target market.
People don’t read blogs because businesses ask them to (even if they say “pretty please”). People read blogs because they believe doing so will be interesting, informative, and worth their time investment — whether it’s 60 seconds or a few minutes. Unfortunately, many businesses are writing blogs for themselves vs. their target audience. That is, they’re trying to sell stuff or self-promote vs. provide useful, topical information.
For an example of how to do this the right way, check out the blog maintained by the Law Offices of Charles Huber. Despite the fact that the firm focuses on a rather complex topic (filing for bankruptcy), its blog posts are highly informative, relevant, and informative — and not at all sales-driven or self-promotional.
3. Your blogs aren’t long and good enough.
It’s worth combining “long” and “good,” since they travel in pairs as far as quality blog posts go. First, your blogs need to be at least 400 words long, although longer is even better. Some of the most indexed blog posts (i.e. those that routinely show up in search engine results) are “long form content” of 2000+ words. If this sounds daunting — and for many businesses, pushing out several 2000+ posts is not possible — then don’t worry: just make sure that you’re getting to at least the 400-word mark.
As for quality: this goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that in addition to being informative, relevant and topical, your blog posts must be “readable,” in the same way that good music is rhythmic, harmonious and melodious vs. just a bunch of notes and instruments thrown together. That’s not music, it’s torture!
And before leaving this advice, remember that you need to be posting at least a few times a week — ideally once a day. Pushing out content once or twice a month is like going to the gym once or twice a month. Sure, it’s better than staying home and eating junk food while binge watching some zombie show. But going to the gym regularly a few times a week is much better, and will generate far greater results in less time.
The Bottom Line
If nobody is reading your company’s blog — or not enough people are stopping by — then don’t panic. Start by targeting the problem areas described above. If you can confidently say that your blog posts are indexed, relevant, engaging, informative, readable and published regularly throughout the week, then it’s almost certain that your business blog will be an profitable asset instead of a costly liability. And isn’t that the whole point?