When it comes to SEO and ranking online these days, content is king. That means knowing how to write high-quality content is crucial to the success of any SEO strategy. If you want to stand out from your competition, you’ll want to write your site’s content the right way. In this post, we lay out some mistakes you should avoid when writing content for your website. And if you’ve already made some of these mistakes, don’t worry. You can easily correct them, if you catch them in time!
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
1. Forgetting to research your keywords
Before you write any content for your website, you need to think about what words you’re going to optimize for. What are the words you want to be found for online? Are these words that your audience actually uses? So many business owners either skip this step and wing it, or forget it altogether. But doing that can harm your chances of ranking high in the search results. Your content might be amazing, but if it isn’t optimized for the right words – for words your ideal customers are using to search online – then it won’t be of any help to you.
Keep Reading: 8 Great Keyword Research Tools
Take some time with your team (or even by yourself) to brainstorm some ideas for the words and phrases you want to be found for. Then take it another step further, and prioritize which words you should try to go after first.
2. Talking about yourself too much
One of the most common mistakes we see with online copy is making your website all about you. It may be your website, but your website exists for your customers. It’s there to provide them with a solution to a problem, like food for a pet with an upset stomach or a brand new website to help them grow their business. When writing copy for your website, make your customer the main character. It’s all about them, and they don’t care how your grandmother started the bakery in her basement when she was 24. Instead, they want to know if you can solve their problem or answer their question.
So, when you start writing, make your customer the focal point. Use active language that spurs them onward. And avoid saying I or we. On our own homepage, you can see how we frame our narrative this way:
- Build an awesome website that fits your budget
- Stand out in search results
- Bring more visitors to your website
- Start getting real results from your website today
Notice how each of these phrases uses active language to paint a picture of success for the customer? They can see, when they come onto the site, a solution to their problem: they don’t have a website, but we can build them one! How can you do the same with your product or service when writing your online copy?
3. Making things too complicated
Another common copywriting mistake that people make is writing content that is hard to understand. As business owners, we are closer to our products and services than anyone else. And unfortunately, that means we fall prey to the curse of knowledge. We know so much about what we do that we start communicating at a level that’s far above everyone else and what they can easily understand.
When your copy is easy to read and understand, you have the opportunity to open up your content to reach a wider audience. Not only that, but Google itself will better be able to understand the content. And that can lead to higher rankings in the search results!
Bottom line: keep things as clear and concise and simple as possible. Writing isn’t easy for everyone, but writing great web copy doesn’t have to be difficult! Here are some practical tips to keep in mind to help you write this way:
- Avoid difficult words / jargon
- Keep paragraphs and sentences on the shorter side
- Use transition words to connect ideas together
- Divide your content up with different headings and subheadings
4. Not taking search intent into account
Every online search has intent behind it. Why did they search for this particular keyword? Were they looking for information about a topic, product, or service? Were they trying to find a particular website or company? Or were they looking to buy something? Understanding the user’s search intent helps you create the content your visitors expect to find when they click onto your web page. You help satisfy their needs as a searcher, and Google can recognize this by the fact that they navigated to another article on your site, or clicked the Buy Now button. When you create content that matches the intent of the searcher, you have better chances of ranking high in the search results. Fail to take intent into account, and you risk people leaving your site as soon as they arrive.
If you aren’t really sure what the intent behind a keyword is, go straight to the search engine itself. Type in your keyword and take a look at the results. What kind of content shows up on that first page? Use that to inform how you’ll write your copy and craft your call to action.
5. Ignoring synonyms and related keywords
Luckily for us, Google and other search engines have gotten so smart that they can now understand that some words have similar meanings. So use that to your advantage in your copywriting for your website. What are some synonyms for the keyword you’re optimizing for? Are there other keywords closely related to it that you could integrate into the article or page to make it more interesting?
Synonyms and related keywords help add some variety to your text, so you aren’t using the same focus keyword in the exact same word order dozens of times in your copy. Without synonyms and related words, you sound repetitive (in a bad way). There is a time and place for repetitive language, but this isn’t one of them!
If you’ve audited your site’s content and found that you made some of these mistakes, rest assured. You can fix it! You simply need to take the time to prepare what you want to say on your website and write quality content. Research your keywords, focus on your customer and what they expect to find on your page, and above all: keep it simple! And don’t forget to optimize your content, so it ranks well in the search results!
Keep Reading: Optimizing Your Website’s Homepage For SEO