The article was originally published on Fox Strategy blog in August 2018 by Aleksandra Sudnik in Polish.
As the well-known saying in the SEO industry goes – “content is king!”. However, in order for this to apply to the content we create, we must be careful about the risk of making mistakes. And despite appearances, we can make a lot of them.
We grab a keyboard or pen, and we are ready to work. Creating content is a complex process that requires preparation and implementation of particular steps. The problem arises when we don’t realize it and the turgid understanding of “created content” boils down to stuffing a Word document with random words. That’s not how it’s done!
To avoid making mistakes and actually create high quality content, stick to the following 10 points.
Substantially uprepared copywriter
The basis for starting the broadly understood “creation” is our preparation – getting to know the industry, deepening knowledge. The truth is that a text worth must be rich in content to be worth paying for. By “rich” we mean an individually selected message that exhausts the topic, actually covering elements strictly related to the industry. It is not rocket science to create content consisting of several thousand characters. The trick is to provide valuable information so as not to leave anything unsaid.
What’s more, the preparation is also about getting to know the client’s expectations and the target group to which the text will be addressed. Information about specialist medical equipment will be conveyed differently to a narrow circle of recipients considered to be professionals than a a sponsored article concerning cosmetics for in-home hair styling.
When you message is inconsistent and emotional
The main thought one should follow when creating content is: be credible. Not just in terms of sales reliability from the point of view of Google’s algorithms, but also in the purely human dimension. It is difficult to treat you and what you create seriously when you contradict yourself in a few sentences. It may be a result of ignorance or being unprepared (yes, again!), or a simple oversight. Remember that when you say A, you have to say B. Plan each article, focus on its purpose, don’t let emotions and your beliefs influence its final tone.
Each of us has their own beliefs, values, favorite elements, and industries. However, we leave it all behind, because when we create content, emotions and personal preferences cannot take the lead. You may disagree with plastic surgery, you may not support piercing, but it’s your client who is the most important here. The text created by a specialist must be professional. This means that a copywriter by a big “C” will take on a topic even if at first glance, it seems to be very controversial for them.
When the copywriter doesn’t meet deadlines
Punctuality in delivering content is an obligatory characteristics of every good copywriter. “Customer is king means that a date once set is saint and cannot be postponed. Just as we don’t like to have a doctor’s appointment cancelled or a certain repair postponed, we cannot allow ourselves no to deliver content on time. Your delay results in a delay of positioning results and hence, possible customer dissatisfaction.
Conclusion? It’s important to set a common date with the client, a compromise. Realistically determine your options, count the number of orders, the difficulty of the text, and the time necessary to complete it. Don’t go “on a wild-goose chase” and don’t leave everything to the last minute. My tactic is to create the text ahead of time, then come back to it before the deadline, to evaluate the final result with a “fresh eye”.
Your SEO text is unattractive
Most of us (according to the latest research over 55% of the population) are visual learners. This means that the chance for a customer reading the entire, unaesthetic, or visually unattractive text is bleak. In psychology textbooks, we can find clear information that visual learners remember texts decorated with charts, graphics, and auditors better. So you have to maximize the chance of keeping their interest longer. Current methods are quite simple and yet we still forget about them. Use H1, H2 headings, bullets, bold fonts, don’t be afraid of using emoticons (if the industry allows it). The more points we can focus our eyes on, the better.
You are too pushy with you message
Imagine a situation in which I am a potential customer. I read a sponsored article about, e.g., digestive aids. Within a short text, usually consisting of two thousand characters, I find many repetitive sentences. They all praise cocktails and provide for their beneficial properties. A question arises: will you believe this message? The truth is that a good article which contains substantive content and reaches the target group will defend itself. You don’t need fireworks and advertising slogans. Honesty can provide a much stronger value. Avoiding obtrusive phrases also has one major advantage – it doesn’t raise any red flags at Google.
You forget about SEO in SEO texts
SEO articles are specific and differ from the classic, basic content writing. Their difficulty lies in placing and properly containing keywords, description elements, properly ordered headings including the so-called long tails or links. A good SEO text must therefore meet the requirements set by Google’s robots, but also be transparent and easy-to-understand. One cannot be done at the expense of the other. When we forget about these basics, our text significantly loses its value and in terms of SEO it may unfortunately become useless.
When you’re all about SEO
Do you know the saying “better is the enemy of good”? On his blog Ian Lurie writes about the so-called Keyword Stuffing, i.e. excessive “cramming” of keywords repeated over and over again. According to him, depriving the text of the natural feel or good synonyms often gives the opposite effect of what is intended. Following this thought, remember that overloading content with key phrases or trying too hard can lead, at the very least, to page over-optimization. If our scenario isn’t so dark, let’s just remember about our recipients. The text is supposed to answer questions, not create them all over again. When the number of phrases is too big and the text loses on transparency and natural feel, you should stop right there. Stick to the requested number of words, remember that Google dictates the description terms and that the order of the headings really matters.
When the copywriter isn’t flexible
A good copywriter is a person who doesn’t stay within the box, but is willingly thinking outside of it. Don’t create everything in the same style, search for solutions tailored to the industry, respond to trends. Listen to and observe the target group, check who your client’s client is. If you haven’t used software before, try some. Maybe they will give your approach freshness, open new doors. It’s worth starting with, e.g., answerthepublic.com, which is not only free but also intuitive. Adjust yourself. Answer questions. Search for solutions. Be open.
When you don’t draw conclusions and learn from them
We learn throughout our entire lives and we also make mistakes. When they happen your industry and when your content hits the wall, remember one thing – don’t let the mistake multiply. Every experience, every project, every sentence written is a teaching moment and brings new experience. Get the most out of it and don’t insist that you are always right.
When you “don’t need” tools
Today, the Internet is full of tools. Their job is to help create various kinds of content. Most of them are free of charge and really affect the quality of the final result. The truth is that sooner or later, a copywriter should use them. “Should” is the key word here. Every well, even one filled with ideas, has its bottom. Programs that simplify tasks, suggest ideas, and really influence the work pace, are here to help.