Search engine rankings don’t happen by accident; everything you do, marketing-wise, either helps or hurts your search engine presence. This includes the content you write for your website. Great content can appeal to Google’s search bots and cause your rankings to climb, while poor content can have the opposite effect—either making your rankings collapse, or worse, actively incurring a Google penalty.
In other words, content errors can be truly costly from an SEO point of view. Here are five of the main ones you want to avoid.
Content That’s Poorly Optimized
There are a couple of different traps you can fall into here: Either failing to optimize at all, or being overly aggressive about it. As is so often the case, the middle ground is best.
- Each page of Web content gives you some invaluable opportunities for keyword optimization—including in the meta description, the SEO title, in headings and subheadings, and even in the body content. Don’t squander these opportunities! Use keywords judiciously and strategically.
- At the same time, don’t come on too strong. Remember that your content always needs to read smoothly and organically. Don’t try to shoehorn too many keywords into your content, to the point that it’s clunky or cumbersome to read.
Content That’s Poorly Organized
Remember that a lot of your readers—especially those who are reading on a mobile device, which should be more than half of your total audience—will effectively be skimming. The last thing they want is a huge, unbroken wall of text. Not only does this make your content off-putting to human readers, but it also impedes your ability to rank well within voice search queries.
Some content organization tips:
- Write short paragraphs and short sentence whenever possible.
- Use subheadings to break your content into digestible segments.
- Employ bullet points and numbered lists whenever you can.
- Use images to make your content easier on the eyes.
Content That’s Too Thin
Users go to Google for answers—and Google rewards content that provides those answers. As such, your #1 content goal should always be to offer something of substantive value to the reader.
- Consider using a Q&A format to emphasize the value in your content; note that this is another good voice search strategy.
- Don’t worry about word count so much as providing full, complete information for your readers. Make each piece of Web content a treasure trove, rich in value-adding information.
- Include links to relevant resources. Both internal and external links are valuable.
Content That’s Not Localized
If your company has a local, brick-and-mortar presence, you’ll want to ensure that your website content is appropriately localized. Some tips:
- Include geographically-specific keywords, as naturally as possible.
- Include your NAP (name, address, and phone number) information on every page. Make sure it’s a phone number with local area code.
- Augment your content marketing efforts by seeking Google and Facebook reviews from your local customers—a great way to bolster your online visibility.
Content That’s Not Made to Convert
While good content is always written to offer value, first and foremost, it should also help you move the sales needle—however subtly. Some suggestions:
- When appropriate, include a lead-capturing form at the bottom of your content.
- Always place a call to action at the end of your content; this is a good place to include that NAP information.
- Look for opportunities to position your product or service as the answer to your readers’ problems; express your unique value proposition, focusing on the benefits you offer to consumers.
Write Content That Ranks AND Converts
Good content needs to accomplish much—ranking, informing, conveying authority, converting—without falling into any of these traps. We can help you develop content that does all of this and more. Call Grammar Chic’s team to schedule a consultation today. Find us at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.