5 SEO Content Mistakes You're Making

by Angie Nikoleychuk (Haggstrom) May 28th, 2009 

Content plays a significant role in the success of a website. Get it wrong and you're doomed. Make one mistake and you'll struggle to attract visitors and convert them. (and they're more common than you think).

Are you sure you don't make these mistakes?

1. Keywords, Keywords, Keywords!SEO Content Mistakes

Keywords are important, but they should take a back seat to your topic. Match your chosen keywords to your content. Recent changes in the search engines only magnify this point.

If the reader wants to know about oranges, don't tell him about apples. Tell him everything you know about oranges and use 'orange' related keywords.

To find the right topic, consider your site's organization. Where you will put the content? Why is the reader in a specific area of your site?

Want to know a bit more? Copywriter Glenn Murray recently made an excellent video on how to organize keywords and content topics.

In the end, a logical order with the right topics and keywords will satisfy both search engines and people.

Oh, and before I forget, stop keyword stuffing! It sounds terrible, looks bad, the search engines can tell, and YES people without SEO experience can tell. Focus on placement, and forget density!

2. Failing To Target The Right Audience

A majority of SEO copywriting has nothing to do with search engine optimization; it focuses on your target client. In fact, the more you know about your audience the better. What's your customer's main priority? What do they do for fun? What do they know? What problem can you solve? Answer these questions, and you'll end up with perfect copy every time.

Stay current. People want to read about what's going on right now or discuss relevant issues. Social media and search tools such as Google Insights are full of hot topics. Be sure to use them!

3. Providing The Same Old Thing

If you want to market an eBook to advanced Twitter users, basic topics such as 'how to use Twitter' are overdone and a waste of time. It certainly won't make you sound like an authority. Instead, improve the user's experience and make them a better tweeter with advanced topics such as 'how to increase your retweet rates'.

If you want to add common information to your content, link to a quality source. On a commercial site, get creative with the basics (offer an eBook, or create a database). This makes it optional for the reader and leaves the reader with nothing but pure, juicy tidbits.

Bottom line: be unique, give the reader an 'ah' or a 'D'oh' moment, and prove why you are a superior source.

4. Using The Wrong ResourcesGreat SEO Copy Requires Credible Sources

Wikipedia is NOT a trusted resource! If you've made this mistake, you are in good company, but don't repeat it. Only use Wikipedia to get a general idea of a topic rather than collecting facts.

Incorrect statements cause you to lose all credibility with your clients. In some cases, you could even do harm. Imagine your doctor consulting Wikipedia before you're supposed to go under the knife. Would you feel comfortable?

Use several resources and always check them before you write your content. Wolfram seems promising in the straight facts department, but I would still check them.

5. Not Showing Off Good Content To The Fullest Extent

For website copy, use content to add value to your products. For example, use it to get into your reader's mind and show them what life will be like if they buy your do-it-all new gadget. But, don't fall into the trap of listing the features. Instead, show how the client will feel and think once they try your gadget.

If you write blog posts or articles, don't write them and leave them sit. Tweet them, link to them, use social media, refer others to it, and treat good content like it matters. The difference is astounding!

And, here's a freebie:

6. Deal with the negatives for a product or service before someone else does. This keeps you in control of the situation and it sounds a lot more honest and credible (not that it isn't!). For example, if you price a product low, why is it so cheap? What are its real downfalls?

Be honest, but don't say 'I make a few new points that other's don't', say 'I have been in the industry for 20 years and have learned the finer points that come only with experience'. The trick is how you address those negatives!

Content involves more than throwing words at the page. Great content brings people, products, search engines, and your business together all in one place.

Angie Nikoleychuk (Haggstrom)

Angie Haggstrom is the Senior Copywriter and Consultant at Angie's Copywriting Services, specializing in online and offline content including SEO web copy, brochures, and more. A Twitter and blogging fanatic, you'll find she chats about SEO, Social Media, business, marketing, and just about anything else she finds interesting along the way.

Angie's Copywriting

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2 Responses to “5 SEO Content Mistakes You're Making”

  1. Tom Bradshaw says:

    I'm sure I tend to make these small mistakes sometimes. What I prefer to do is explain to the client how keywords need to be displayed and get them to write content around these rules.

    It must be better because they know their company and instrusty far better than anyone else. I think this makes a difference both for the user and for SEO purposes.

  2. Hi Tom,

    It is always great if the client will write their own stuff, even if it has to be polished up a little. It's a matter of balance and what works best in your situation.

    For instance, no client should write their own web copy without experience and knowledge as to how it all works. Blog posts and articles for marketing, on the other hand, are more than fine.

    I always love to read what client have written. Like you said, no one has a passion for their industry quite like they do.

    Angie Haggstrom
    Freedom Freelance/SEO-Scoop