SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is one of the best performing Digital Marketing tactics that has been employed by countless business for the last several years to increase the traffic they receive. SEO is extremely beneficial to any business or individual website as it essentially translates to more customers. By providing searchers with higher relevance, it increases conversion rates and makes for enhanced user experience. In essence, SEO generates quality traffic, and traffic is what a business lives on.
There are several ways to achieve this, one of which is through SEO writing. Basically, SEO writing focuses on choosing the right keywords and phrases and placing them in the right places, so that they gain maximum traction. However, being an SEO writer is tricky business, and it is easy to make many common mistakes when writing for SEO.
Here are ten of the most common SEO mistakes that writers make:
1) Repetitive Content
Repetitive content is the presence of the same material on two or more different web pages within the same or separate websites. What this does is that it often omits the website from search results due to the search engine being unable to index the content. It also lessens the impact that your site has on users as they are being exposed to recycled material.
Repetitive content can appear under several faces, including homepage and URL duplication as well as similar content showing up on different pages of the one website. In its most basic sense, repetitive content is an indicator of sloppy content writing on the creative’s part.
2) Not Focusing on Conversions via Analytics
While attracting quality traffic is an outcome of SEO writing, the end goal is to garner conversions. However, what many writers do when engaging in SEO writing is to allot their full time and attention to selecting keywords and phrases that will get them traffic. Once they become stuck in this process, they can forget the real purpose on hand; that of conversion.
In reality, it is not always the most traffic concentrated keywords that lead to conversion. In many instances, keywords that have a lower traffic rating can help your website get on the first page of search results, all because they’re more specific. Such keywords are called long-tail keywords.
The key to this is to put in the work, and money when it comes to analytics. Google Analytics is one of the leading Website Analytics tool and is free for most features. It has all the features and reports you can need to get the right information and optimize your content for better engagement and conversions.
3) Optimizing for the Wrong Keywords
It’s possible that while your SEO writing may be on point in terms of quality, you miss out on maximizing traffic and conversions due to your keyword optimization strategy. This is particularly important for names that are new in the market as they cannot afford to spend on content that does not convert.
Some classic examples of optimizing for the wrong keywords include:
- Choosing international keywords when your target audience is local
- Choosing primary keywords that lead to too broad of a search result
Again, in such circumstances, it is best to go for specificity.
4) Not Hiring the Right SEO Consultant
The only thing worse than not hiring an SEO consultant is hiring an incompetent one. Imagine writing an essay that is brilliant in terms of content, but the person responsible for editing it fixes it up with sloppy grammar and edits that only take away from your piece. This is what hiring the wrong SEO consultant will feel like. Your content writer will provide them with spot-on SEO writing, and they will deal with it in such a way that it fails to get traffic or conversions.
SEO Consultants focus on making sure the website is optimized, the content is optimized and also doing the needed keyword research to help the writer.
5) Using Generic Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘Never judge a book by its cover?’ No matter how many times we come across it, it’s still what we inevitably do. And the same applies to websites. Visitors will form an opinion of your website based on the content that they see first, and this is usually your title tags and meta descriptions. Using the same old title tags and meta descriptions will make the rest of your content seem unappealing, even if it is the opposite.
SEO writers should try to go for unique and exciting title tags and meta descriptions that are likely to attract visitors. If you want to include your website’s name, just move it to the end of the phrase so that way the user will know exactly what they’re about to see.
6) Ignoring Anchor Text for Internal Links
Linking within web pages is an increasingly common practice as it makes the site easy to navigate for users. However, the anchor text that writers use for these links makes all the difference. Most writers tend to go for a call to action, such as ‘click here.’
The better bet is to opt for customized anchor text as this will allow for a more appropriate use of words. Website users can click on links knowing exactly where it will lead them and what content they will be able to view.
7) Choosing Link Quantity over Link Quality
Quality over quantity, always. And this holds true for any external links you may want to add to your website. Adding several links that lack in reputable standing works to disadvantage your website. Quality links, on the other hand, push up your website’s placement when it comes to search engine rankings. Writers should strive to add links that are relevant to their website’s content.
It’s easy to get lost in the world of numbers, but remember, performance precedes concentration.
8) Badly Written Content
This one’s a given. When faced with too much workload, SEO writers often do one of two things: delegate to inexpensive and low-quality writers or use article spinning tools. Article spinning tools construct several slightly differently worded articles from a single source of information. While these spun articles might increase the word count on your website but they would negatively impact your search engine rankings as well as user engagement.
Visitors will be able to recognize that the content lacks quality and hence, your website’s reputation will be at stake leading to lower conversions. The better option is to opt for writers with skilled writing techniques and sound knowledge of writing SEO based content.
9) Skimping on Investment
While SEO is a free of cost process, it’s no hidden secret that money makes it sing. There are several areas where individuals can invest their money to achieve better SEO rankings and conversions. Of these, one is financing social media marketing. Boosting your website on top social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can increase your reach by thousands.
Other alternatives include featuring your content on influencer channels, paying for optimized keywords and inculcating quality links into your content. All of these will help your website gain traction and eventually lead to higher conversions.
10) Including Sneaky Redirects, Hidden Text and Hidden Links
Many a time, SEO writers attempt to reach their optimization target by violating the Google Webmaster Guidelines. This violation only works against them as Google is skilled at picking up on it and as a result levying sanctions on such websites. Some ‘tricks’ that writers should stay away from are:
- Pasting white font on a white background
- Positioning an image on top of the text
- Linking a minute component of the phrase
Instead, it is better to optimize content that is in line with regulations and focus on boosting its quality organically.
So, there you have it; ten common mistakes that even the best of the trade make when engaging in SEO based content. It’s important to remember just how big an impact SEO has on your website so that you don’t end up slacking off. At the end of the day, good SEO leads to a successful website.