If there is one thing that all web copywriters – newbies and veterans alike – have in common, it’s making mistakes.
Every copywriter makes mistakes, especially in the complex art of SEO copywriting with the added pressure of deadlines always bearing down on you.
What are these mistakes? Let’s begin with the most common mistake almost every SEO copywriter makes.
It happens quite often – you take up SEO copywriting gig on a subject you know so well. So, you believe that research is not necessary because you already know everything about the topic.
That’s a big mistake.
Being a subject matter expert is good, but that’s not all it takes to write a result-oriented SEO copy. You also need to know the words your target audience is using to search for the topic you’re writing on and the search intent behind the keywords.
Knowing your target readers search intent will help you to create content that addresses their pain points.
Besides, search terms evolve overtime. For you content to be successful, it must contain the current keywords your target readers are using.
For example, in digital marketing circle, the popular Google AdWords is now called Google Ads. If you were writing on advertising in Google, it’s better to use “Google Ads” rather than “Google AdWords” as one of your target keywords.
Using “Google AdWords” will make your content appear outdated in a few months’ time. Never skip research.
SEO copywriting is about infusing your copy with the keywords that users are using to search for your content so that your content can rank higher in Google and in other search engines.
It’s natural to think that the more target keywords you use, the higher you’ll rank. But that’s not how Google works. In fact, Google’s search engine algorithm is now smart enough to detect keyword stuffing and penalize you.
For example, using keywords in your content like the one below will do more harm than good to your search engine rankings:
If you’re searching for cheap yoga mats, search no more because you just found the best cheap yoga mats website. On our cheap yoga mats website, you will find the best cheap yoga mats. Browse different categories of cheap yoga mats. Ordering for cheap yoga mats on our cheap yoga mat website is simple and quick.
Even if the above content gets found online, users are likely to be turned off by the unprofessional copy.
In SEO copywriting, the quality of your content is more important than the frequency of your target keywords. Instead of overusing keywords, use related terms to spice up your writing naturally and make it flow.
Writing copy that resonates with your target readers is the key to building trust online and closing sales.
Not Addressing Users’ Search Intent
There is an intent behind every keyword that users use when searching online. The intent of some keywords is clear and straight to the point while others are more nuanced.
It is your job as a copywriter to analyze the intent behind keywords and create content that fulfils the intent.
This is why keyword research is crucial. But many writers skip this part and as a result do not know what their intended readers actually wants.
Let’s say you’re writing a blog post for live chat tools for websites. And people are searching for “live chat plugin with mobile app,” that means they are looking for a live chat WordPress plugin that come with Android and iOS Apps.
They didn’t mention “WordPress” in their search term, but then used the keyword “term”, and WordPress is synonymous with the term “plugin.”
Without keyword research and analysis, you can’t know this and wouldn’t address it in your content. To avoid this mistake, always do research and analyse search intent before you write an SEO copy.
Not Checking Your Spelling and Grammar
One of the most common SEO copywriting mistakes is neglecting spelling and grammar.
Granted, editing and proofreading are tedious and boring, especially if you’re writing a long-form copy. But your spelling and grammar is as important as your keywords.
Sure, Google doesn’t give much weight to where you place your apostrophes or misspelling a couple of words, but Google takes users experience very serious.
Google knows when a user stays long on your web page and when they leave immediately, signalling the quality of your content or the lack thereof.
In online marketing, one of the fastest ways to lose credibility and lose conversion is to create content riddled with grammatical and typographical errors.
According to a research by Global Lingo, 59% of prospects will avoid patronizing a company that makes obvious grammar and spelling mistakes on its website.
Make it habit to always proofread and edit your writings. The best way is to enlist someone else to proofread and edit your work. But if you can’t afford it, don’t rely on your word processor’s spellcheck.
Rather, leave your write up for a while then return with a clear mind and a fresh set of eyes to proofread. Read it out loud slowly to enable you catch errors.
Not Using Strong Calls to Action
In the final analysis, every copy you write has one purpose: to move people to take action. It doesn’t matter if you’re out rightly selling a product or service on a landing page or promoting an abstract idea on a blog post.
Content marketing without a strong call to action is like dribbling every opposing player in a football match and not scoring with an open net before you.
Understand that SEO copywriting is ultimately about conversion, not just about ranking high in SERPs. And your copy is written for humans not just for search engine robots.
You may drive tons of search engine traffic to your website through your SEO copy, but if you can’t convert your visitors to subscribers or paying customers, all your efforts won’t matter.
Don’t shy away from calling your readers to action. And when you do, do it powerfully. Be clear about the action you want them to take. Tell them what they will stand to gain if they take action as well as what they will stand to lose if they don’t.
Closing Thought – Write Better to Rank Better
In SEO copywriting, it is not so much about the quantity of your content as it is about the quality. As a good SEO copywriter, you must strike a fine balance between writing for search engine bots and writing for humans.
Remember that humans are emotional and want to be engaged. So, demonstrate empathy and get users engaged.
Chima Mmeje has a weak spot for small businesses because she likes rooting for the underdog. She is an experienced copywriter who has been published on numerous top blogs such as, Search Engine Watch and Hacker Noon. Chima excels in creating SEO-optimized web content that drives traffic and increases conversions for online businesses. You can find her at Zenith Copy.