The whole point of your blog, the whole reason you’re producing content, is to gather an audience. Your goal is to bring in users, both new and old, and encourage them to stick around. The longer they stay, the more likely they are to click through to your products and purchase something. When your blog isn’t bringing in any traffic, it’s a big problem. What’s wrong, and how can you fix it?
See also: your content is too long. You need to find the right length to appeal to your users without dragging on and on unnecessarily. If your content is too short, you aren’t giving yourself enough space to write something of value, and your users won’t care to stick around. If your content is too long, it’s dragging on and your users will get bored part of the way through. That’s not to say that long content is bad; long content can be very valuable. You just need to make sure what you write and publish is engaging.
No matter what length your content is, if it’s not interesting or valuable, it’s not doing you any favors and won’t bring in new readers. Avoid the dry, bland professional third person viewpoint. Humanize your company. Give your brand a public face and a public voice. This author persona will be the spokesman for your company online. You don’t have to go so far as to create a fake person; you can use your CEO, your author or yourself, whatever works. The point is to create a compelling voice that keeps readers reading.
Does every post end with a call to action? If so, chances are your readers are skipping it. Most readers skim for value anyway. A better location for your advertising is in your sidebar and your navigation. Users are aware that you’re probably selling a product or service. It’s not the focus of the blog. If you hook them with your content, you’ll entice them into checking out your shop to see what you sell. That’s where you lay on the sales pitch, and that’s where you convert them into customers. Trying to put that sales pitch in your content is just going to drive readers away.
Even if you’re producing decent content with just the right number of words, there’s always the chance that your topic has been covered before, and better, by another blog with a longer history and a larger readership than yours. This is a problem, and the only solution is to do everything in your power to make your content better than the competition’s. Well, that or avoid any topic they already covered, but that can grow very restrictive, very quickly.
It’s always possible that, with no incoming links to your content, Google simply hasn’t indexed it. Even if it’s been indexed, incoming links are a sign of other sites finding value in your content. It’s worth your time to promote your content amongst other bloggers, to get them to link to your posts. Find people discussing the topics you write about, participate in the discussion and share your link for more reading. Always make sure you’re providing relevant discourse, to avoid being labeled a spammer.
It’s incredibly easy to set up a Twitter, Google+ and Facebook profile trifecta. For an added bonus, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram are valid options as well. At the most basic level, all you need to do is create profiles, fill out the info sections, and use them to post your content when you publish it on your blog. Once you have the basics down, you can encourage users to leave comments, like your content, share and retweet for maximum exposure. The bottom line is, if you’re not using social media, you’re missing out.
They say you should write what you know, but you need to remember who will read it. If you’re a show manufacturer, you can write all sorts of posts about the intricacies of shoe factories and shoe leather, but if you do, you’re targeting other shoe manufacturers. Anyone looking to read about buying shoes or using them is going to be turned away, and really, those are the people who would be buying your products. Make sure you’re writing content that interests the people who actually buy your products.
SEO is a tool to help get your content ranked highly in Google. It’s not a magic bullet that shoots you to the top of the list. If you’re a shoe manufacturer and you’re trying to rank for the keyword “shoes,” you have another thing coming. Unless you really think you can out-rank Nike, Reebok and all the others. In which case, more power to you. Chances are, however, that you simply won’t. You need to target specific narrow keywords with your content to have the best chance of showing up high on specific Google searches.
You’re not going to hit the top spots with your first post. You won’t hit the top spots with your first dozen posts. You might not even hit the top spots with your first hundred posts. Content success with Google requires value, yes, but it also requires volume. Think of it this way; every post you make is a chance – just a chance – to rank in search. The more posts you publish, the more chances you have. Maximize your chances by creating a weekly content plan, whether it’s three times a week or seven.
Have you checked on your robots.txt file recently? It’s always possible that you accidentally hit a site-wide noindex attribute. If you did, you’ll spend a long time wondering why your content never shows up in search. The answer is simple; you told Google not to put it there. Make sure your instructions to the search crawlers, through your robots file, are clear and open.
That should get you started on the path to figuring out why your blog isn’t pulling in the traffic. If you’ve checked over all of it and you’re doing everything right, chances are you just need more time and more content. Patience is not a virtue in this industry; it’s a necessity. Take it slow and keep on the right track, and it will pay off.