We can’t stress enough the fact that content is important for SEO, and for growing your site in general. Providing high quality content will benefit visitors to your site and also help your website rank higher on Google. But, there are lots of simple content writing mistakes that you could be making. We’ve compiled a list of 11 content writing mistakes and how to avoid them.
1) Not proofreading your work
It doesn’t matter how amazing your writing is, everyone slips up every now and then. Proofreading is the only way that you can avoid mistakes in your writing before publishing it – if you forget to do this, you could risk your brand’s reputation. Asking someone else to proofread your work gives them the opportunity to spot errors or improvements that may not be able to see yourself.
If you must proofread your own work, leave a sizable chunk of time between writing and rereading it. This lets you come back to it with a fresh mind, and you’ll be more likely to spot any mistakes.
2) Improper research
You don’t need to be an expert on every topic you write about, but you do need to do plenty of research. Every piece of content you put out should provide value to readers – after all, they’re clicking on your content for a reason. Your readers will be looking for answers, so you should make sure you’ve researched the ins and outs of whatever your topic is. As well as providing correct information, your content should aim to be more in-depth than other content that’s out there. The sources you gather your information from must be reliable, especially if your content is on a more serious topic, such as health or finance.
3) Poor planning
A good piece of writing will always have a plan in place. If you don’t create a plan, your content will probably be messy and unclear. It helps to identify a goal for your piece – what solution or answer are you going to provide your audience? It’s also a good idea to break up your content into sections to optimise readability. Having a plan like this will help to keep your writing focused and relevant to what your readers want to know.
4) No SEO
Utilising SEO in your content is one of the best ways to grow your website. Conduct some keyword research before writing your piece, and make sure to include them in your writing where you can. However, be careful not to keyword stuff, as this could affect your content’s readability, and could even result in a Google penalty.
Alongside including relevant keywords, make sure you know how to write effective alt text and meta descriptions. These are crucial parts of uploading content through WordPress and other content management systems.
5) Messy structure
Poorly structured content is difficult to follow, so readers might give up on reading it. This can lead to a high bounce rate, as you’ll likely struggle to keep users on your website. As simple as it sounds, it’s essential to break up your content into different sections. Any content you write should include an introduction and a summary, including a call to action at the end. If your content is particularly long and in-depth, you might also need lots of subheadings to keep your piece organised.
One of the best content writing tips for websites is to keep paragraphs short and snappy. This is great for SEO and is more appealing to readers.
6) Vague content
As we’ve mentioned, doing the right research is paramount for creating good content. If you don’t, your content might be vague, and you’ll sound like you don’t know much about the topic. Always try to go into as much detail as possible, without overwhelming your readers. One of the biggest content writing mistakes is attempting to flesh out your content with vague rambling. Stay specific and focused, making sure you’re providing your readers with accurate information.
7) No visuals
No one wants to stare at a page full of text. Great content is visually stimulating, often making use of images or other visual content. This will improve the experience your audience has on your website, and should keep their attention for longer. Make sure these images are relevant to your article and that you aren’t breaking any copyright laws.
Sites like Pexels and Unsplash are useful for sourcing royalty free images to include in your content. Or, you could include images of your products and services within your blog post. This is an easy way to further highlight your business, without it seeming too salesy.
8) Not including a call to action
A call to action (CTA) at the end of your content is the key to prompting readers to interact with your website. Your CTA could be a link to a product, or encouraging users to get in touch with your company. Think about what step you want readers to take once they’ve read your content. Not including a CTA is one of the worst content writing mistakes you can make, as you’ll have missed the opportunity to direct users to other parts of your site.
9) Writing for the wrong audience
When it comes to content writing, knowing your audience is essential. For example, if you want to appeal to younger audiences, you’ll probably want to adapt a more informal tone, and possibly throw in some cultural references, too. Contrastingly, writing for a more formal publication means you’ll need to adapt your tone for a potentially more serious audience. This means less jokes and a more straightforward approach. It might take some time to work out your audience and the type of content they respond to. However, once you’ve got this down, consistency is key for keeping your target audience reading your content.
10) Adding no value
Although it’s helpful to gather inspiration from other content about your topic, you shouldn’t simply regurgitate what’s already on the web. Any content you write should offer a unique perspective, and ideally be more informative than competing content. Content that doesn’t add more value to the internet isn’t likely to perform well. Why should users click on your content instead of someone else’s if they’re both exactly the same?
11) Being overly salesy
While it’s important to include relevant internal links to your site, you shouldn’t force them into your content. Sounding too salesy will just come across as transparent to readers, and they’ll be less likely to trust you. Your content should, first and foremost, have the purpose of answering your reader’s queries. Any product promotion should fall naturally into your writing, and your audience shouldn’t feel pressured into buying from your site. Try to save most of it for your call to action at the end of your blog to avoid sounding like a salesperson all the way through your content.
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