Starting a blog is an exciting and beneficial next step in content marketing for small and medium-sized business owners. However, your blog is your marketing tool and it has to known for its quality, just like your business. There are common marketing mistakes, especially in regards to SEO and site ranking on search engines like Google, that many new content bloggers make. Here are four such mistakes.

Over-Stuffing Your Content Writing with Keywords

This is a common mistake the vast majority of new bloggers make, usually to hit the word limit. I know I did it when I first started. I was just so involved in the writing process I did not realize I had stuffed my articles with the same keywords 15+ times. Luckily, it was called to my attention and I fixed it.

If you do not correct this mistake, your blog will be perceived as an amateur attempt at blogging and your business will lose credibility. Unnecessary repetition makes your readers think you have nothing interesting to write about, and SEO ranking search engines like Google will believe you are manipulating their site ranking system. Both the loss of readership and ranking will hurt your SEO ranking on Google.

A good rule of thumb when content writing is to use the keyword(s) in the title, in one subject heading (if you use them), and once per paragraph. If this system seems too rigid for you, using your keyword(s) once per hundred words should be enough to keep your readers’ attention as well as rank favorably in your SEO.

Using Broken or Incorrect Links

Everything’s going great. Your readers are impressed with your content writing ability and prose and it seems like they will share your blog. After all, blogs are the 5th most trusted information source on the Internet, according to a Technorati report on Panorama.net. Your writing has interested a reader and they click a link to check out one of your sources.

The link however is broken, or worse, wrong. Now your readers are conflicted. They do not know whether these bad links are due to lack of site maintenance or lack of editing to ensure the links were correct. Either way, your content writing and your blog will be judged and, with the millions of blogs currently active on the web, your readers will look someplace else for their content.

Even though it may not be your fault, always be cautious when linking to a site that has a paywall. Pushy content will deter your readers and they may be redirected to sales pages and pummeled by ads. There is no excuse for a broken links. The only way to overcome this is to fix all broken links and to start performing regular site maintenance to avoid this issue in the future. As you start to lose readers, your SEO will decrease, leading to a lower ranking on Google and a lack of trust from your readers.

Using Another Person’s Text, Word for Word

Depending on social and cultural differences, not all content bloggers may share the same views on plagiarism. For example, only 69% of marketers favor original content writing, as stated on Contentboost.com. However, your SEO and readership will suffer if you do for two reasons.

First, your readers probably also subscribe to other blogs with similar content or interests as yours. If they find that you have stolen material they will publish their findings across the web. Second, Google does not condone plagiarism and will decrease your site ranking dramatically if they learn you have stolen material. Do not plagiarize. It is not worth it.

Of course, you may have posted material without your knowledge, especially if it is yours. Yes! On the Internet, it is possible to plagiarize yourself. If you, for instance, have two or more web pages with the exact same information, Google will treat that as duplicated content writing and will lower your SEO ranking, even though it is your property. Performing regular site maintenance can help you find and delete copied content to ensure your SEO ranking will not decrease.

Outsourcing Your Content to Save Money

Content writing is a full-time job. Kissmetrics.com reports that 94% of bloggers content market. When bloggers already have a full-time job before their blogging commitments, it is tough to handle the increasing viewership and demand, especially when your SEO rises. Many bloggers, overwhelmed by the increase in expected volume of blogging content, outsource it to companies in India, American high school and college students, or to copywriters and/in social media firms.

If you have to outsource your content writing, pay for quality. While paying less to a high school student or an Indian copywriting firm may seem like a great financial deal, the quality of their work is limited and likely to cause problems. Content could be erratically arranged, it might be riddled with typos and grammatical errors, or it might be loose on substance due to intense pressure and work that is put on the blogger in charge. Spend the extra money if you have to outsource and ensure the quality of your blog remains strong.