How often do you hear someone say they want to start blogging or writing articles? If you answered yes, then congratulations! This is a great way to build traffic and generate leads for your business.
The problem is that most bloggers don’t realize that their blog isn’t optimized for SEO. In other words, they aren’t taking advantage of the power of keywords and phrases. They also fail to create quality content that engages readers. Furthermore, they fail to pay attention to certain best practices that can help improve the quality of their blog overall.
Blogging is a great way to share information and connect with customers. However, without proper optimization, it won’t rank well in Google search.
There are some common SEO copywriting mistakes that can tank your blog, and you will want to make sure that you iron these out prior to posting.
You Didn’t Start the Process With Keyword Research
A lot of bloggers are guilty of skipping over the most important part of their SEO strategy – keyword research. This is especially true for those who don’t have a technical background and are trying to learn how to optimize their site.
In fact, we have seen many blogs where the author doesn’t even know what keywords their audience uses to find them. And while there are plenty of tools out there that can tell you what words people type into Google to find you, you still need to do some research yourself.
You might say that keyword research is boring, but it’s really not. There are lots of different ways to approach it, and once you start doing it, you’ll see why it pays off.
You Forgot About Search Intent
Before you start writing, as well as while you’re doing your keyword analysis, it’s also vital to take a close look at search intent. This is because there are different types of searches out there. For instance, people could be searching for information, a specific product, or maybe they just want to browse around.
You need to know what type of search you’re dealing with. If it’s an informational search, you’ll need to provide useful content. However, if it’s a transactional one, you’ll need to focus on providing relevant products and services.
Why is search intent important for search engine optimization copywriting?
Well, for example, if someone searches “best car insurance,” chances are they don’t really care about the best cars. They’re probably interested in finding the most affordable policies.
In such cases, you’d want to forget about providing informative content and concentrate on promoting the best deals.
You Are Not Using Synonyms in Your Writing
The most common mistake people make when optimizing their webpages is adding too many occurrences of one single keyword into their text. This is called stuffing.
While it might seem like a good idea to add lots of variations of one particular word into your webpage, search engines today are smarter than ever. If they see multiple occurrences of the same keyword within a few hundred characters, they might not think too highly of the quality of that writing.
Instead, try out synonym suggestions and related terms. For example, if you want to optimize for both “apple pie” and “apple pies”, just type in “apple pies” and you’ll notice that both phrases may show up in the suggested list. At the time of this writing, both singular “apple pie recipe” and plural forms “apple pie recipes” show up when doing that search for “apple pies.”
You Aren’t Thinking About the User
A company we worked with had been making some changes to its website. One day, we received an email from one of our clients asking us to look at his competitor’s website because they wanted to make sure that ours wasn’t doing anything similar. We went over there and saw that they’d added a couple of features to their website. When we asked them why they wanted us to check it out, they told us that they didn’t like how they had changed the layout of their homepage. They thought that their design looked too much like their competitor’s.
We pointed out that they hadn’t actually changed anything on the home page; they just moved things around a little bit. But they still felt that way. So we took a step back and tried to understand where he was coming from. We knew that people generally liked to see certain elements in the same place on every page. For example, most people don’t like scrolling down a long list of items to find something specific.
So we asked ourselves: What could we do to help our client avoid having to scroll down a long list of products to find what he needed? Could we move the relevant information closer to the top of the page? If we did that, wouldn’t it be easier for them to find what they were looking for?
Then we realized that they probably didn’t even notice the change—they just assumed that it was their website. They had no reason to believe that someone else might be designing it. In fact, they couldn’t imagine anyone else being interested in creating such a simple thing.
But we had learned that sometimes it’s better to take a step back and let the user tell you what needs to be done. By understanding the user’s perspective, you can improve your writing and ensure that it does what it’s supposed to do.
You Commonly Write Text That is Unreadable
If you’ve ever written a blog post, you know how important it is to ensure that your readers can easily read your text. After all, it’s not just about getting traffic; it’s about converting those visitors into customers. And if you don’t convert them, you’ll never see another penny from your efforts. So, if you want to increase conversions on your landing pages and blogs, you must first focus on creating content that’s easy to read. Here are some common mistakes that writers make while crafting content that’s hard to understand.
Using too many words.
The average person reads somewhere around 250 words per minute. This means that someone reading your text at normal speed will finish it within 15 seconds. However, some people read even faster than that. In fact, there are people out there who can read 500 words per minute. So, if you use long sentences, complex vocabulary, and lots of jargon, you might actually slow down the process of reading your text. You’d be better off going for short sentences and simple language.
When you’re writing, you usually start typing without thinking twice. But when you’re done, you should take one last look at your work. Proofread everything, including headers, subheaders, bullets, paragraphs, and images. Make sure that every word makes sense. Also, check for spelling errors, punctuation issues, and typos.
Making your text hard to scan.
You want your text to stand out from the rest of the webpages. To do that, you need to make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for. One way to achieve this goal is to keep your text short. Keep your headlines concise and punchy. Use bullet points whenever possible. Try to use boldface and italics sparingly. Avoid using graphics, unless you’re absolutely certain that they add value to your text.
Failing to proofread.
As mentioned above, you should always proofread your text before publishing it online. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing an article or a press release. The same rules apply. Read through your text once more, paying special attention to the following areas:
Headlines – Are they clear enough? Do they match the message you want to convey?
Subheads – Is each subhead relevant to its corresponding headline?
Bullets – Does each bullet point contain only one idea?
Images – Are they relevant to the topic?
Images – Are they relevant to your text?
Even though you may think that you have a perfect command over English, there’s no such thing as perfection. There will always be typos in your text. Even if you write your articles by hand, you still need to double-check them for accuracy. If you notice any spelling mistakes, fix them immediately. Remember that typos can cost you money in the form of less of an audience reading your site.
Not Double Checking Everything You Write
The biggest mistake some writers make is failing to proofread their work. This is true whether you are creating blog posts, articles, eBooks, white papers, etc., or even books. You must double check everything you write.
If you don’t, you risk making mistakes like misspelling words, confusing pronouns, misusing commas, and forgetting apostrophes. These kinds of errors will turn off readers, and you might lose them forever.
You’re probably thinking, “But I’m a great writer.” Well, yes, but you’re human. And humans make mistakes. So do robots.
No matter how skilled you think you are, there will always be something wrong with your content. The reason behind this is because you are too close to the work. You don’t work with an unbiased eye when you’re working on your own stuff. Don’t worry though, there are ways to fix those problems.
You Are Utilizing Copyrighted Images Without the Proper Attribution
Images are one of the most powerful parts of content marketing. They help draw readers in and keep them there. But if you don’t know how to use images properly, it could cost you dearly.
If you want to attract customers, you need to provide high quality content. And great content means having original images.
But some people are tempted to use copyrighted images without permission. This can put you in serious legal trouble. For example, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it illegal to distribute copyright infringing material online. So if you use a photo taken by someone else without permission, you could face criminal charges and fines.
If you want to avoid such problems, you need to do several things:
Make sure the image you choose is free to use. There are plenty of sites where you can find royalty-free images, like Unsplash, Flickr Commons, Pixabay, and others. You can even upload your own content to Creative Market and sell access to it.
Use your best judgment. Sometimes, it seems like everyone uses the same images. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to steal them. Look around on the Internet and see what’s popular. Then look for similar images. Or ask your clients and friends whether they have anything you might use.
Don’t forget to credit the source. Even though you don’t need to pay royalties, you still need to give proper attribution. Include both the photographer’s name and the website URL.
Disclaimer: Be sure to consult a copyright attorney for more information that may apply to your specific situation. This is just general advice to help SEO professionals like yourself get started, and isn’t intended to protect against all legal situations.
Your Search Engine Optimization is Poor
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the most important aspects of online marketing. If you’re not optimizing your site properly, it could cost you customers. Here are some common mistakes that webmasters might make while trying to optimize their site.
You don’t use meta tags.
Meta tags are basically little descriptions of your web page. They help search engines understand what your page is about. For example, if you sell shoes, you’d put “shoes” in the description tag.
But many sites just write something like “This is my shoe store.” This isn’t helpful because no one wants to read about how your shoe store works. Instead, you should include words that describe your product, like “men’s dress shoes,” “women’s sandals,” etc.
You don’t use enough keywords.
When someone does a search, they type in a question or topic. So, if you’re selling men’s dress shoes, you want to use the keyword “dress shoes” somewhere in your copy. Don’t stuff your entire page full of keywords; keep your focus where it needs to be.
You don’t link out.
One of the best ways to improve your rankings is to link out to other relevant sites. When someone types in a word or phrase, they’ll often see a list of related terms. By linking to another site, you give Google even more information about the subject.
You don’t use internal links
Internal links connect pages within your site. Internal links are very valuable because they tell Google that there’s value between two different parts of your site. Internal links also allow readers to navigate through your site easily.
You don’t create unique content.
The key to creating good content is to make it useful and interesting. People will share content that has value and interest. If you try to force people into reading your content, they won’t enjoy it. And they certainly won’t share it with their friends.
You don’t update regularly.
If you want to rank well, you need to update your site frequently. New content helps Google determine which pages are the most relevant. It also keeps visitors coming back to your site.
You don’t add new products.
If you only offer a few items, then you can get away with having an outdated catalog. But if you plan on growing your business, you need to continually add new products. Otherwise, your competitors will eat up all your potential sales.
You don’t do social media.
Social media is a great way to promote your business. But if you don’t have any accounts set up, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities for traffic and leads.
You Are Not Conducting Thorough Research
Writing essays is hard enough without having to worry about whether or not you’ve done your homework properly. You want to write about a specific topic, but don’t really know much about it yourself. How do you avoid sounding like a complete idiot? Here are some tips to help you out:
Do Your Homework First
Before beginning to write anything, always make sure that you’ve done your research. This includes researching the topic itself, as well as the author(s), publisher, publication date, etc. If you haven’t done your homework, you’ll end up wasting time trying to figure out what to say.
Don’t Just Write About Anything
If you’re thinking “I’m bored,” stop doing that. Instead, think about why you’re writing. Are you writing for fun? Is there a deadline? Are you writing to impress somebody else? Whatever the reason, make sure that it’s relevant to the topic. For example, if you’re writing about a book, make sure that you read the entire thing. If you’re writing about a movie, watch it again. And if you’re writing about something personal, make sure that you understand it better than anybody else does.
Don’t use vague terms such as “the Internet.” Use specific terms such as “social media sites” or “online communities.” Make sure that your readers know exactly what you mean. Also, try to keep your language simple. Avoid using big words and technical jargon unless you really need to. It also depends on the type of blog you’re writing about. For a technical blog, it might make sense to use some technical jargon. It helps clarify things and establishes you as an expert in your field. For a recipe blog, keeping the language simple is advised because of the general cooking audience this type of blog attracts.
You Are Not Catching Enough Interest Early
The web has a lot of information. There are literally billions of pieces of content out there, including millions of blogs and articles. And people are searching for something specific. They’re looking for a recipe for lasagna, a definition of “bromance,” or maybe they want to know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich.
When someone makes a search on the internet, they are hoping to find exactly what they’re looking for. But sometimes, despite having a great idea for a blog post, you don’t capture anyone’s attention. You might have written a great introduction and compelling headline, but no one wants to read your article because they’ve already seen five similar ones.
So what do you do next? What if you could write an article that stands out among the rest? How do you grab someone’s attention without being annoying?
You start with the title. In our research, we found that the average reader skims around 50% of the text on a site before deciding whether to continue reading. This means that if you can hook someone early, you’ll increase the chances of them sticking around.
But what if you have a really long piece of content? Or perhaps it’s a listicle? Well, you still need to make sure that the first sentence catches the reader’s eye. We found that readers tend to ignore the first paragraph of an article unless it grabs their interest. After that, most people skim down the page to see what happens next.
If you’re writing a longer piece, try to keep things short and sweet. A clear intro helps to set up the main points of the story. Don’t go into detail about every single thing that happened in the past. Instead, focus on the big picture.
And remember, you can always add extra paragraphs later. You don’t have to worry about losing your place in the middle of your article. Just like with a book, you can easily jump back to where you left off.
You Have Blatant Advertising Somewhere in Your Writing
Advertising is sometimes necessary for businesses to survive. However, there are ways to make sure that readers don’t feel like they’ve been sold to. Here are seven tips to help you avoid giving off a “buy me now!” vibe:
Be authentic. People want to connect with you, so if you try to be someone else, they’ll likely see right through you.
Tell stories. People buy products based on emotion, rather than facts alone. So, if you tell a story about how a product solved a problem, you’re more likely to win over customers.
Use real examples. When you show what you mean, you increase trustworthiness. For example, say that you offer a discount on a product if you mention a certain brand. This makes it clear that you’re not simply talking up your own product.
Make it personal. People tend to believe what others think of them, so if you like a product, let the world know.
Keep it short. Essay-type copy doesn’t work well online. A good rule of thumb is to keep paragraphs under three sentences. Keep in mind that we are just talking about sentences here; not the overall length of your blog post.
Offer value. Your readers aren’t stupid—they understand that you’re selling something. So, if you provide useful information, they’ll be more inclined to purchase from you.
Show some personality. People love getting to know the people behind brands. They want to find out why you do what you do.
Everyone Makes Mistakes; The Difference is in How You Mitigate Them
Mistakes are inevitable in the world of writing. Things are taken out of context. The content you write might have typos. Your first draft might not be perfect.
But, that’s why writers have editors. To review their work and make sure that a helpful second eye is present to make sure that writers are not looking too stupid.
The more experienced you are, hopefully, the less mistakes you will make (most likely).
The big difference, however, is how mistakes are handled and mitigated, and how they are corrected to ensure the best possible outcome for your readers.
When are you getting started on writing your next blog post?