New bloggers tend to cling to a common SEO limiting belief.
The limiting belief fuels this SEO mistake: believing incredibly long blog posts attached to unrealistic high-numbered titles rank well on Google.
Peep newbie bloggers who come across a monumental blog post. Observe the same newbies who gobble up the often shared advice touting long form posts as ranking best on Google. Pay close attention to their next post boasting 100 plus tips to drive traffic. Note the 20,000 word masterpiece. See their disappointment when the post fails to crack the top 20 pages of a Google search.
Why do bloggers make this mistake? Most believe being spectacular beats being practical.
Imagine being a newbie blogger. Picture Googling “how to increase blog traffic“. Do you honestly want 100 traffic-boosting tips? Nope. Overwhelm sets in after 20-30 tips, if that. Newbies feel paralyzed by the endless blogging resources at their finger tips. The moment you cease publishing practical, usable content, Google has no use for your blog post.
I Googled “how to increase blog traffic”. Page 1 results spanned from 5-32 traffic tips. But I guarantee that some new and/or struggling bloggers will embark on a stunningly ambitious, traffic-driving guide of 100 or 200 tips today, the likes of which we have never seen. Other bloggers may focus on 10 tips but intend to write a 20,000 word resource fit to become a blogging novel.
Both strategies lead to failure because Google favors:
- proven domains; building up your domain juice requires a significant time, energy and quality investment
- practical, simple posts over spectacular, bloated posts way too over the top for being a usable blog post
- information as opposed to overwhelm
Observe a page 1 result from my friend and hyper successful blogger Adam Connell at Blogging Wizard:
Do you see how Adam lays out the post in simple, clean, easy to process fashion? From formatting, to using brevity to expand on each tip, you can read and use the blog post to drive blog traffic in minutes.
He did an excellent job informing you with a generous amount of knowledge versus overwhelming you with the blog post version of “War and Peace”. Adam also built up his domain authority over many years. I know; I have followed him and his exceptional blog for a long time.
Google rewards bloggers with a proven track record of publishing valued content. New bloggers have no proven track record of publishing value content.
Building your blogging track record involves:
- publishing valued content on a single topic for thousands of hours over years
- gaining high quality, organic backlinks from bloggers who link to you based on your merit, via your blogging skills
- patiently, persistently and generously allowing Google to give your site page 1 priority
Ranking by Accident
I rarely give any thought to ranking on Google because I do not SEO-optimize blog posts.
Sure enough, when I shared an old blog post of mine and decided to Google “how to become a prolific blogger” for the heck of it, my post appeared as the first result on page 1 of Google. See featured image.
This is the power of publishing helpful content for years. Google gives my blog page 1 priority based on the perceived domain authority of my blog. I built up my domain authority over thousands of blogging hours spent publishing helpful content. My Google traffic is almost completely organic – aka by accident – because I rarely SEO optimize posts deliberately.
Did I try to hit a grand slam with a 20,000 word treatise titled “200 tips to be a prolific blogger”? Nope. I patiently, persistently and generously published 600 to 1200 word posts – largely – over years. Google gives me some domain priority based on my years of publishing helpful content so when a handful of posts solve a problem-query sweet spot according to Google, my blog ranks on page 1 without me even trying to rank.
Seasoned, veteran bloggers can publish “100 to 200” tips type posts to drive a high volume of traffic. But this is an advanced strategy new bloggers should avoid because virtually 100% of the time, newbies do this to game Google. Good luck with that.
Publish helpful, valuable, practical solutions before all else. Stop trying to hit a grand slam with 100 tips or 20,000 words.
Build up your domain authority by publishing helpful content for years. Then, when you feel a nudge to publish a longer form post with a moderately but practical higher numbered title – that humans can read and use in a reasonable amount of time – follow your urge. Google may even begin ranking your posts without you trying to SEO-optimize posts.
Even if no posts rank on Google, the loyal tribe you’ll build through such valued posts will slowly and steadily grow your blogging business.
Help people before pleasing Google.
Succeed by publishing helpful, realistic content that human beings can read, process and use for their benefit.