Writing great content is more than just putting words on paper. Copywriting is an art and requires a strategic approach. Content is often the backbone of an entire marketing strategy and can make or break your business or dreams. There are many aspects of creating content that you need to think about and consider, such as audience research and knowing your goals. Whether you’re writing copy for a website, blog post, or ad campaign, it can make the difference between a successful marketing campaign and one that lands in the trash. What follows are eight of the most common copywriting mistakes made by writers looking to increase the online visibility of their content. Use this as a guide to avoid making these content marketing mistakes, and to succeed in the new world of copywriting.
Excessive Jargon, Vocabulary, and Industry Lingo
Using vocabulary, industry lingo and other buzzwords is considered widely as a means of gaining an edge over the competition, giving content that is higher quality in terms of appearance. However, in most cases, too much of anything is dangerous. Excessive vocabulary, jargon, and buzzwords have a tendency to repel readers, especially those who are functionally illiterate. Despite exponential growth in the use of social media and the digital space, many readers have a limited grasp of hard terminology. While they may understand simple language, putting too much vocabulary in your text will discourage further reading, consequently causing you to lose your audience. Excessive vocabulary and jargon will also hinder readers without proper knowledge of the language, to acquire any relevant information contained within your text. For instance, there may be readers who learned the language as a second language and thus only understand simpler definitions and vocabularies. Using complex wording is guaranteed to dissuade their interest in the text because they cannot understand what is written. While using relevant words and vocabulary is encouraged, it is essential to put them in your text in appropriate measure, such that you can maintain the interest of all readers, regardless of their level of comprehension.
SEO is an important tool for increasing your content’s visibility. However, many copywriters will not prioritize SEO, which is particularly critical for all content published online. Overlooking SEO can make a vast difference for a copywriter, usually hindering them from accessing a larger audience they could gain from online searches. On the other hand, some writers will focus significantly on optimizing their text for online searches, usually leading to complex and often incomprehensible text. Copywriters need to find the right balance, brushing up on on-page SEO best practices without going overboard. Search engines today have updated algorithms that not only focus on the keywords but also the quality of content and the relevance to the reader. Writing good quality work with relevant keywords guarantees a better ranking over the competition.
Ignoring Mobile Responsiveness
Most readers tend to consume content through their mobile phones. In fact, mobile phones are the primary devices used to browse the internet, read articles, or watch videos online. Consequently, it is essential to put this into consideration when writing content. Our mobile phones generally get used for most or all of our daily activities, and consequently, we do not spend too much time on one app, or one task. We tend to allocate a specific amount of time to each task, with the more engrossing content getting the bigger chunk of allocated time. Additionally, alluring content usually ensures that readers visit the website often, usually checking for any updated uploads. As a copywriter, it is essential to take note of these tendencies, to ensure that your content gets the right amount of engagement with your audience. It is very critical that your content is to the point. Readers tend to consume content that is less exhausting to read, that answers their questions, or satisfies their curiosity. Some writers get tempted to put too much content into their texts, usually looking to exhibit their prowess. However, this is counterproductive since readers often lose interest when texts become too long and wordy. Consequently, ensure that you maintain a correct balance between relevance and length, to ensure that you maintain your readers’ interest throughout the text.
Plagiarism is a common vice that plagues copywriting. It is common to find two pieces of texts from different writers containing similar content, sometimes even word for word. Plagiarism is the easy way for many writers, especially those who are seeking to beat the deadline. While stealing content is an easy fix in the short term, it usually holds severe repercussions long term. For instance, frequent plagiarism can lead your website to get flagged, and consequently punished. With the increasing use of plagiarism-checking software like Grammarly, identifying plagiarism is easier, and this helps weed out content copied from other sources. Copywriters usually have to refer to other texts before writing their own, after all, that is the premise of conducting research. However, it is considered plagiarism if the content gets copied and pasted onto another medium. Additionally, even in instances where it could be necessary to utilize words or a statement from another source, it is essential to reference the author, eliminating any plagiarism. All quoted texts should get referenced and credited to the author whenever used within your work.
Prioritizing Word Count
In many cases, copywriters will have a specific word count associated with each piece of text they produce. In some cases, the writers will prioritize the word count, paying little attention to the content within their text but focusing primarily on filling the word count. Prioritizing word count more often than not lowers the quality of text presented by the copywriters. The text will contain a lot of repetition and filler text, most of which is irrelevant to the reader. Most writers will seek to give irrelevant explanations to well-known concepts, seeking ways to fulfill their word count quota. However, it eventually becomes a liability to prioritize word count over content relevance, since readers will usually quickly identify sub-par text, leading to a diminished audience for the writer. The prioritizing of word count also means that the writer has little focus on answering the reader’s questions, which will inadvertently lead to a lower ranking on search engine results.
A critical aspect of any copywriting is prior research. It is nigh impossible to write about a topic without first carrying out adequate and appropriate research on the topic. There is a lot of misinformation in the digital space, and many readers have fallen victim to misleading texts, usually because the writer did not carry out appropriate research to validate their content. Additionally, it is essential to carry out relevant research before writing down the text because SEO relies on the relevance of the content written to the reader’s requirements. Without appropriate and accurate text, search engines will not recommend the content to readers, minimizing your audience reach. Additionally, readers today have become more alert to misinformation, and will quickly flag content that is inaccurate. Appropriate research ensures that readers access the exact information they sought, which consequently, enhances more visitors to your content. Research also spills over to the audience. In addition to having proper content, it is also essential to research your target audience, identifying what is currently trending within your subject matter. Writing content after researching your audience’s trends will ensure that you have exactly what they need, helping you reconcile what you want to say with what they want to hear. Identifying audience preferences requires a copywriter to research trending topics related to their subject matter and thereafter craft content that satisfies the audience’s requirements.
Lacking a Keywords Strategy
SEO content is written in a manner that allows easy access by search engine crawlers to the content, resulting in higher rankings. For higher rankings, the content should incorporate primary, secondary, and long-tail keywords. A suitable keyword strategy involves identifying phrases, search terms, and keywords associated with the subject matter, and then consequently creating content incorporating them. Some copywriters will consider using several terms related to the subject as an adequate keyword strategy to enhance their content on search engines. However, there is more importance attached to the use of appropriate keywords, which consequently enhances search engine rankings. All keywords used within the text should suggest that your web page contains the answer to a search engine user’s question. It is essentially critical to use the right keywords, especially for targeted traffic. Keywords can get considered the foundation of copywriting, helping the writer stay focused on creating text that ranks high on search engines. However, despite the importance of using relevant keywords, it is also critical to ensure that they do not dominate your content. As earlier stated, a primary focus on SEO can lead to incomprehensible text that is counterproductive to the reader. As a copywriter, focus more on providing answers to questions asked or likely to be asked by readers. First identify the questions frequently asked by your target audience, and then seek to provide answers to those questions. You can also compile a list of the search terms and keywords associated with the target text, seeking to use these terms within your content. However, do not cram all of the keywords within your text, forcing them into text unnaturally. Use keywords that flow with the text and leave the ones that do not. By doing this, you will have a higher chance of getting recommended to your target audience, and you will provide appropriate assistance further boosting the chance of converting leads into customers.
Absence of Subheadings
Copywriters often have to write long articles, usually explaining a broad subject. Even for specific topics, there may be several aspects contained therein, necessitating the use of subheadings. However, many copywriters do not use these subheadings, instead choosing to write a block text encompassing everything. Block texts, however, often tend to dissuade readers from engaging with the text, often because they get overwhelmed by the seemingly long text. In this age of shorter concentration spans, it is essential to subdivide your work into sections, making it easier for readers to engage with, and comprehend your text. Additionally, many search engine users tend to search for listed items, for example, “five reasons why…”, which in turn, makes search engines prioritize content with listed content. Copywriting while incorporating subheadings also makes the work neater, and therefore more appealing for readers. It also helps readers to quickly skim through the content, increasing engagement with the target audience.
Many marketers are still not aware of the importance of copywriting and how it can increase their sales. The above tips are a good start for those seeking to get into copywriting and content marketing. You can also explore some of the most common mistakes that businesses make when running their Facebook ads and how to fix them. Finally, feel free to also learn how to optimize your site for voice search.