Nailing the ever-evolving SEO copywriting best practice can be likened to navigating a minefield. One innocent misstep and you’ll watch your rankings plummet in an instant. It doesn’t help that Google seems to be constantly shifting the goal posts with their search algorithm. Practices that were once considered crucial for SEO have become redundant, and in some cases can even damage your rankings.
We’ll walk you through some common SEO copywriting mistakes to avoid to maintain a strong Google ranking.
If you’ve banged out a killer piece of copy that you want to plaster across every page of your website, we’re about to rain on your parade. Here’s the thing – Google is not a fan of what we call ‘duplicate copy’. This is basically just a chunk of text that has been copy pasted across numerous destinations online – be it a page on your own site, or on an entirely different website. Duplicate copy makes it hard for Google to deem which source is more relevant than the other.
Having identical copy to another page can see your SEO and traffic take a hit. Having quotes, branding or slogans mirrored across pages is completely fine, but full paragraphs are going to cost you. To avoid being smacked down by Google, you’ll just need to rewrite any identical content, so it doesn’t directly imitate another. Alternatively, there are some re-direct and coding hacks that can help you out too (if you’re a whiz with that sort of stuff).
So, you’ve done your keyword research and compiled a list of keywords you’re going to target in your blog post. Contrary to popular belief, the next step does not involve crowbarring these terms into your text wherever humanly possible.
While this may seem like an effective way of boosting your organic search rankings – Google is a little more switched on than that. The way Google ranks the relevancy of your content is far more complex than the keyword saturation of your copy.
You’re better off writing an engaging piece of prose that doesn’t leave readers choking on the number of keywords you’ve forced down their throat. Your readers are more likely to stick around and read a smoothly flowing blog post that provides value. This is beneficial for two key reasons. The first is simply because you won’t be boring your audience to tears—always a plus. And the second being that the more time users spend on your page, the more it helps mark your content as relevant to Google, boosting SEO.
Link-building is a longstanding pillar of SEO copywriting. Inbound linking to relevant content within your site, and links to your site from relevant external sites, help promote your Google authority. However, there is a very right and an equally very wrong way to create links. Let’s start with what not to do if you’re keen to keep the powers that be at Goggle happy.
You may have heard of linkfarms? These are essentially meaningless websites that contain nothing but a bunch of links back to websites in attempt to strengthen SEO. They were once a go-to way of spiking your ranking quickly. The thing is – Google cottoned on to this pretty quickly. Now, linkfarming is one of the quickest ways to get your website punted to the murky depths of Google’s search results. Rather than linking for the sake of linking, it’s now crucial to have relevancy to your joining pages.
What does this look like in a practical sense?
If you run a beauty business, having links to your website from genuine beauty directories with strong Google authority is a big tick. Similarly, if you write a blog post on the best beauty trends of the year, linking keywords within the copy back to your relevant service pages is another tick. However, throwing links to your spray tan services in a blog post dedicated to hair styling will win you no favours with Google. It all comes back to relevancy, relevancy, relevancy.
Earlier we touched on the danger of keyword stuffing – the majestic art of defying grammatical laws to cram keywords into your text. Well, here’s a few more writing woes to steer clear of when search engine optimising your content.
A common misconception with SEO copywriting is that you are writing for robots. This is simply not the case anymore. Google’s process for SEO ranking is a complex system that is ever-evolving. Just ticking the boxes for keyword density and inbound linking is an out-dated approach to SEO that won’t get you very far. These days, you’ll need to work a little harder to prove to Google that your content is worth putting at the top of those search results.
This means writing for people.
The more audiences interact with your content and the longer they spend on your page, the more relevant your website is going to appear. Basically – you need to be producing content that is engaging and of value to your audience.
- Avoid content that is wordy and hard to read. Clear and easy to understand text is going to appeal to a broader audience. Try to keep your sentences under 20 words where possible, and keep jargon to a minimum.
- Avoid large chunks of text. This is going to look overwhelming to a reader and can send them straight back where they came from. Headings and subheadings are your best friend in this scenario. Keyword load them and use them to break up your text.
- Keep it interesting, engaging and in line with your brand tone. Give your audience a reason to stick around.
Wish you could simply avoid the headcase of perfecting SEO copywriting all together? Leave it to the team of experienced SEO pros at Wordly to nail your online copy. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can boost your Google ranking, the right way.