Developing a strong search engine optimisation strategy is extremely important, especially if you are a small business just starting out. The benefits of investing in SEO include increased online visitors to your website traffic, higher conversion rates turning browsers into buyers, as well as brand awareness and longevity of organic rankings. Here are the top 5 SEO copywriting mistakes business owners can make when creating content (and how to avoid them on your own website!):
1. Trying to do it all by yourself: Think about it this way, if you were getting married, would you try to take the photos of the day yourself? No? …So if you’re not a certified SEO copywriter or experienced in search engine optimisation, then why would you attempt to write the entire copy of your website yourself?! Even though it might seem like a peripheral expense, hiring a freelance copywriter can pay dividends in the long run. Still not convinced? Read our article on 5 reasons why you should outsource your website copywriting.
2. Overlooking the importance of meta data: Stick with us here – we’re not talking in a foreign language! – meta data is just a fancy term which refers to all the textual content in the back end of your website that is not visible to your readers (for example the html coding and programming which you pay IT nerds big bucks to develop for you). The problem with ignoring the data in the back end is that it is exactly this information which Google and other search engines use to determine whether your webpages are worth ranking or not. At a very minimum, make sure your meta data includes a page title and meaningful page description, and don’t neglect to include any keywords you hope to rank for as close to the beginning of your sentence structures as possible.
3. Keyword stuffing (aka sounding like a broken record): One of the most common SEO copywriting mistakes made by newbies is falling into the trap of trying to stuff as many keywords into your content as possible. Repeating targeted SEO keywords many times through the body of your text does not help your rankings, and in fact can work against you. The Google brains trust has become too clever to black hat SEO tactics such as this, and now includes clever ways in its algorithm to be able to sniff out keyword stuffing repeat (pun intended) offenders! Instead, concentrate on writing SEO copy that is less focussed on the number of keywords, and more focussed on the quality and readability of your content. Make sure your copy flows naturally, and incorporate keywords into your titles and as descriptions on your image files.
4. Ignoring social media: Regardless of whether you ‘like’ the idea of using social media sites such as twitter, facebook and linkedin as part of your marketing strategy, the fact is, the even Google is now recognising the importance of these medium. Creating SEO copy for your website is half the battle – sharing this content and acquiring ‘likes’, ‘followers’ and ‘comments’ will not only show Google how relevant your copy is, it is also the perfect driver for new users to visit your website.
5. Failing to measure your efforts: If you aren’t acquainted with website tracking tools such as Google Analytics etc – familiarise yourself with these handy (and free!) reporting sites STAT! It’s extremely important to understand your website data even at a very basic level in order to continually improve on your SEO copy and user experience. Regularly monitoring the behaviour of your website visitors will not only help you to create new content which is engaging and ultimately attracts other visitors, it also will show you the areas on your site where you are losing traffic. Look out for pages which have high bounce rates, low conversion rates, and low rankings in search engine results pages.
There’s no denying that if done correctly, spending time on SEO copywriting for your website content can give you a unique advantage over your competitors. Unfortunately, the same can be said of ill-thought out and badly written SEO copy – so it pays to get it right the first time! What are your top tips on SEO copywriting – or alternatively, are there any mistakes you made when curating website content which you learnt from in the early stages of your website build you’d like to share with us?