Let’s face it: we all make mistakes. And some can be worse than others. However, there are others that can derail your success. But, minimizing common mistakes is key, and making sure that you mitigate the impact of these mistakes is a talent all on its own.
From publishing content, to search intent, to grammatical mistakes, to passive voice vs. active voice, to not using reputable sources, to just writing content for SEO reasons, there are common mistakes that you can make when it comes to content creation.
By making sure you implement a solid process for editing, along with quality checks and other processes for creating high-quality content, it’s possible to create a well-oiled content production machine that will help you achieve even more on the search engines.
The following mistakes are mistakes you should aim to avoid at all costs when writing your website’s content.
Not Having a Team Who Is Unified in Their Approach and Execution
Yes, there are some things that can seem a little different than others and may not appear to coalesce into their well-oiled machine. Publishing schedules can change. Circumstances can change depending on the project (especially if you’re working on the launch of a new site design). And your content can change over time.
But, what shouldn’t change all that much is the overall approach and execution (assuming you have a solid one from the start).
Getting that team in place and removing as much friction as possible between tasks is key to a successful, well-oiled SEO publishing machine.
Not Having a Process That Double Checks Everything
It’s only natural that some errors will creep through. However, if you find that you are producing too many errors in the final product, then this is a process you will want to tweak until it’s perfect.
Having a process that double checks everything is important for two reasons:
- You’ll be able to catch more mistakes early on. This means less work later on.
- You’ll know exactly how to fix any issues that do arise.
This doesn’t mean that you need to go overboard with the process. Just make sure that you have something in place that helps you avoid making the same mistake twice.
And whenever possible, make sure you do everything right the first time!
The SEO of Your Content is Poor or Nonexistent
Ensuring that your content has strong SEO is one of the first steps towards better ranking. It’s important to confirm that your content has strong SEO attributes. From page titles, to the meta description, to making sure you have the right keywords and topics throughout your content, it’s not a one and done process.
Also, internal linking, image optimization, Schema code, everything is applicable to making sure that your pages have strong SEO.
As they say, one of the fastest ways to the grave of the second or third page (or beyond) is not having strong SEO.
You Haven’t Conducted Thorough Enough Research
One of the more obvious mistakes is when someone has not conducted thorough enough research. It tends to stick out like a sore thumb. Not conducting thorough research can lead to a lot of problems down the road.
If you don’t conduct thorough enough research before writing an article, you could end up wasting a lot of time trying to come up with ideas. If you don’t conduct careful research before coming up with an infographic, you could end up spending hours trying to figure out how to create one.
However, even if you do conduct in-depth research, sometimes you just miss something. Or maybe you think that you’ve covered every aspect but you haven’t. In either case, it’s best to check back and see if anything has changed.
This is why conducting thorough research is critical. It helps you figure out the topics that you need to include in your article, it helps you figure out the information you need to cover, and it helps you figure out the keywords you need to have.
You Used Copyrighted Images From Google Search Instead of Royalty-Free Stock Photos
You would be surprised how often this comes up in audits. Perhaps someone thought they could use any image that they found on Google.
Sadly, this is not the case. You should always use royalty free stock photos instead of using copyrighted images from Google search.
There are a few reasons why this is bad:
- The copyright owner may sue you for violating their rights.
- They might take action against Google and you.
- Their image might get removed from Google.
- They might charge you money to use their image.
- They might sue you for using their image without permission.
- They might file a DMCA request against your web host, which will force your host to remove your blog post because you used their image without permission.
It’s not a pretty picture when you use copyrighted images. One good rule to follow is: if you are in doubt, don’t use it.
Always use the royalty free alternative.
You Did Not Start With a Clear Plan or Structure
When creating your content production blitz, you may have just started out by writing content. You didn’t take into consideration a clear plan, or other structure, on how you would accomplish creating an SEO implementation. You may not have considered things that would be critical for your SEO at a department level, which is a mistake.
When you start off with a plan, you can make sure that everything falls into place as needed. This way, you can avoid making mistakes along the way.
For example, if you’re going to write about a topic, then you should know what kind of keywords you want to rank for. If you don’t know what type of keyword you want to rank for, then you won’t know what kind of content to produce. You should also know the competitor landscape so you are well aware of what it’s going to take in order to rank for those particular keyword phrases.
Not Having a Clear Purpose When You Write
Making sure you have a clear purpose when you write is paramount. You have to know 1. What you are writing about (nobody just starts out writing and writing until they are done), 2. What your ultimate goals for the content are. These two things are critical when it comes to getting started on your content.
If you don’t have a clear purpose, then you won’t have anything meaningful to say. You’ll end up producing generic content that nobody wants to read.
Not Writing Without a Clear Understanding of Your Audience
You must write with a clear understanding of your audience. When you have that understanding, you know things like 1. Their pain points (what matters to them the most), 2. Their interests, 3. What they want to know about when they finish reading your content, 4. The reaction they are likely to have after they finish reading.
These are all important considerations when you sit down and start writing. Don’t just think that you automatically have a clear understanding of your audience, unless you have been writing in the field for a long time. Otherwise, you may not hit the nail on the head when writing, and leave your audience feeling like they could have gotten more elsewhere.
Having a clear understanding of your audience also allows you to follow trends and figure out exactly what others are writing in the space. With this clear understanding, you are able to know about and determine the blogs that your readers also subscribe to, and keep up with changes in your niche.
This way, you will always be dialed in on what your audience knows and expects from your content.
Your Writing Sounds Like a Sales Pitch
If you’re writing content and it sounds like you are trying to sell something, you are going to turn readers off immediately. Nobody likes an unsolicited sales pitch. And, chances are, unless your readers expect that sales pitch, they will be turned off and go elsewhere. The truth of the matter is that nobody likes to be sold to. Most readers are online because they are relaxing, or buying things they want to buy.
The brilliant thing about search and SEO is that you write content pieces that are lighter and more informative than the traditional sales pitch. And, when potential clients become accustomed to your brand, they are more likely to buy from you as a result. The more times you can get in front of potential customers who are willing to buy what you’re offering (especially through informative content, which gains their trust in your brand), then the easier it will be to sell your product or service to them.
It’s important to note here as well, that very few people have a desire to be sold to. And even less than this want to engage with content, only to find out that they were conned into a very long sales pitch for something else that is exactly what they were looking for.
There is a lot of serious value when it comes to providing people with worthwhile content that creates trust and readership on your blog.
You Try to Target Everyone With Your Content
Let’s get real here. No piece of content is for everyone. And no website is going to be for everyone. Different websites and different types of content have their place, and their place is in your target audience. Different people have different needs, and it is an important fact of writing that you must be cognizant about.
Because if you don’t understand this, most of the writing you do is not going to have a solid target. And it won’t hit the pain points of your target audience.
You wouldn’t build a house without knowing who it’s going to be for, right? By the same token, you wouldn’t create artwork without knowing who that artwork is going to be for. The same is true for any content that you create.
You can’t expect untargeted content to have a proper audience. It just doesn’t work that way. You write a certain way for 80 year olds, and you would write a certain way for the under 40s. No piece of content is going to be for everybody. This is something that you have to wrap your mind around and analyze long before you ever start writing.
Because of these reasons, aiming your content towards everybody is just not going to work.
Instead of Keyword Optimization, You Used Keyword Stuffing
There is an art and a science to the right keyword research and content optimization. It’s not about blatantly stuffing keywords in every other word and hoping you strike gold. This would make your post unreadable and unsightly. There are keyword optimization tools available that allow you to see exactly what’s in the search results, and why. These tools can also give you the proper foundation for optimizations, by examining the top search results and why they are ranking. Then, they calculate the probability that your particular optimizations are something that will work.
After that, you can begin writing your content. In Frase, for example, you have a right sidebar that allows you to see all of your optimization points. Images, links, and headers. By working with optimization tools such as Frase, it is possible to create strong keyword optimization while also sounding natural. This will leave your reader with the feeling that they were reading a blog that sounds like fine silk, rather than a blatant in-your-face-keyword-stuffed sales message.
You Might Have Assumed That Your Work is Perfect
This is always more of an issue of arrogance rather than anything else. You can’t ever assume that your work is perfect. Nobody can. Nobody has a 100 percent mistake-free writing percentage. It just doesn’t happen. Unless someone is the Iron Man of writing content, you will have mistakes. And that’s why we have editing.
Proofreading and editing your work is a critical step that’s not to be missed. Before you hit that publish button, you will want to review your work several times. Don’t just hit publish after you type that last period. Instead, make sure that you go through your article with a fine-toothed comb for any grammatical and spelling errors. Other issues like typos, syntax, and issues with present tense and past tense, all are critical things that you need to make sure are corrected.
This is why it’s recommended that you have a solid proofreading and editing process in place, so you can ensure that your work is error-free upon submission. Assuming your work is perfect is an exercise in futility, because this just means that your work will be submitted with (likely) at least some errors that you could have caught otherwise.
You Don’t Have a Surefire Mistake-Proof Editing Process
Every time that you create a new piece of content, it’s paramount that you have a surefire editing process. You have to edit, edit, and edit. When you do this, you can create content that is even better the second time around, as opposed to when you first wrote it. By allowing your content to sit and marinate a little after editing, you may find yourself putting things in differently than you would have otherwise.
The first version is seldom the best version. You may find that you want things in a different order. Or, you may find that you want to put something slightly differently. And, you may find that you want to ensure that additional quality level that you would not have achieved otherwise.
This is why a concentrated editing process is essential to your workflow. It helps you keep improving your article, and it helps you improve as a writer. By making sure that you catch all the mistakes before you publish, you’ll likely notice that your readership improves as well.
Quality, Consistency, and Editing Are Key to Creating Awesome Content
Whenever you create content, making sure that you avoid these mistakes is a critical step towards creating awesome content that your readers will love. While some content writers are very protective of their work and may not want to have their content edited, when paired up with an awesome and compatible editor, doing this can really make your work shine its brightest.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to teamwork: how well your team is put together, and how well you work with that team. By making sure you have a solid team of content writers and editors in place, and ensuring that your content is of the highest quality, you can create a content production machine like no other.
When do you plan on stepping up your writing game?