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When Neil Patel talks, we tend to listen. Or, more specifically, when the digital marketing expert explains how he lost traffic, everyone in the content marketing industry takes notice.

Patel is best known as the co-founder of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg and for his blog, Quick Sprout. At its peak, the KISSmetrics blog received close to 770,000 visitors a month, with no end in sight. Now? The blog gets around 543,000 visitors per month, Patel wrote in a recent post. Think about it – that’s more traffic than most websites receive in an entire year.

But Patel was humble about what caused the 29 percent dip in traffic, and he recently wrote about some of the mistakes the site made. From New York to Chicago to Los Angeles to Toronto, every search engine optimization company should read his post.

Here’s a brief snapshot of what went wrong:

  1. Don’t be so generous: Probem numero uno? Kissmetrics would allow just about any big brand to republish his posts (with permission, of course). That’s a mistake, Patel writes. Sure, you get a lot of brand exposure, but, as he says, “… most big brands don’t understand SEO, which means they republish your content in a way that can hurt you.” The correct way to republish an article is to use a rel canonical tag. You can learn how to use a rel canonical tag here.
  2. Don’t forget about comments: Regardless of whether you’re operating a small firm out of Paris, Texas or a big search engine optimization company in Toronto, you can’t forget about the comments to your blog posts. Respond to them. “Without this bond,” Patel writes, “it will be difficult to get your readers to convert into customers.” Be mindful of spam, too.
  3. Check those links: When you’re editing, don’t just check for grammar, tone, etc. Make sure, too, that the author hasn’t inserted bad links.  Look for plagiarized copy, links to bad sites or statements that don’t represent your brand, Patel writes.

Keep the Content Coming

KISSmetrics’ blog made a name for itself, in part, because of its infographics. As Patel writes, KISSmetrics probably had more infographics than any other site like it. But, after a while, the site stopped cranking out as many infographics. Big mistake, Patel says.

He’s a huge fan of infographics, because, as he writes, they tend to get shared more than text-based content. But the lesson here shouldn’t be contained to infographics. The same can be said for maintaining your blog and your social media posts.

Remember, close to six in 10 companies with a blog have picked up a customer from it, HubSpot reports, while blogging leads to 97 percent more inbound links. But blogging and social media help create connections between consumers and companies. They help you gain trust among your readers, and they encourage repeat visits. All of this, IMPACT says, leads to more website traffic.

 

meniceJake Rigdon is the executive editor at Nimble Media, a content marketing firm based out of Toronto. You can reach him on FacebookLinkedInGoogle+Twitter or by email at jake@nimblemedia.ca.