I love fashion and lifestyle blogs. I want to get that out in the open in the front of this post because my points here might feel a bit critical. If you’ve got a substantial blog, or are thinking of taking up blogging in the fashion or lifestyle sphere in the future, you’ll at some point probably want to grow your blog and reach more readers. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a great way to do that, but if you don’t have a background in digital marketing, you might be doing some serious damage to your site without realizing it. As a blogger myself and a reader of dozens outside my niche areas, I’ve seen some of the same mistakes over and over. I’ve listed the most common one below to get you started:
I don’t mean to pick on fashion bloggers, honestly, but this one is an issue that pretty much every blog I’ve been on in this niche commits regularly. Google has laid down its expectations for web content, and at least at present, cannot “read” images in the strict sense of the word, so if you’re putting less than 300-350 words on a page, you’re in line for a thin content penalty. This means there is not enough content (words, in this case) for your readers to gain context and actionable info from your post. If you get assigned a penalty, you stand to lose most of your rankings, and you’re traffic is going to take a big hit without a massive subscriber base to carry you.
Email subscribers are a hallmark of bloggers. The more contact points you have with your readers, the more likely they are to buy from your affiliate links, and the more loyal they are, the more opportunities you have to make a living. Makes total sense. So many of us use pop-ups to disrupt a user’s time on the page and get them to sign up to hear from us more often. Which is fine when done in moderation. BUT–when done in excess (defined by Google, not you) it damages UX and Google is cracking down. Limit the number of pop-ups on page, and make them easily “exit-able”.
Improperly Executed Redesigns
Having a responsive site is non-negotiable, so I’m not going to waste space or your time making the case for this here. If you’ve recently undergone a redesign, this section is built specifically for you. I follow a blog, who for their privacy will remain nameless, who tanked their site in the name of a redesign. They had a great site before. Clean, good content, awesome domain authority of 35 (which for a mid-size, one person, blog shop, is pretty good), responsive design, etc. Then they re-branded their blog and it all went to hell in a hand basket. The site completely eliminated their main and side navigation, changed their domain (the url) entirely, improperly set up their redirects, and basically started a brand new site. Their DA is now 1, which for search rankings is a pretty devastating loss. If you’re doing a redesign, a cute layout is not enough. Tick off your readers and they won’t come back. Tick off Google and you’ll find your site in a digital graveyard. TLDR: get help with a redesign if you cannot do the following: code basic HTML, set up 301 permanent redirects, resize photos, create site hierarchy, implement basic SEO, are in general moving to a responsive site for the first time.
Some of this cannot be helped. Bloggers make money off of sponsored content and affiliate programs, so a certain amount of linkage is needed for profit–I get that. However, if you’re linking to every product with tons of links off-site, dozens of other posts, or have a massive navigation, you’re doing some long-term damage to your site. Make your posts simple and actionable, with whatever minimal essential links you need for your affiliate/sponsorship, and you’ll be fine.
Other SEO recommendations for fashion and lifestyle bloggers? Leave them in the comments of reach out on Twitter!