10 SEO Writing Mistakes That Will Hurt Your Rankings

Posted on June 2nd 2014

10 SEO Writing Mistakes That Will Hurt Your Rankings

SEO Mistakes to Avoid

These days, webmasters have to invest a considerable amount of time, money and energy in the right optimization tactics to stay in Google’s good graces, including correct SEO writing. If this is your case, good news – we’ve got some useful information for you to share in this blog. The bad news is that you cannot count on a one-size-fits all search engine optimization (SEO) plan allowing you to improve their rankings. Don’t be discouraged though. The good news is that practice does make perfect in this case, without too much blood, sweat and tears.

What Can Hurt Your SEO Writing Rankings

Once you agree to play by the book and ditch black hat SEO tactics in SEO writing and all SEO you do, you can easily avoid some of the most common optimization pitfalls. Here are 10 major mistakes that could hurt your rankings and get your website in serious trouble, forcing you to crack open your piggybank to correct your wrongdoings.

1) Posting Duplicate Content on Your Website. Duplicate SEO writing will never do you any favors. As tempting as it may seem to save some time and money by stealing someone else’s intellectual property, don’t go down this road. Duplicate content is dangerous for a number of reasons:

  • It exposes you to major penalties from search engines. In case you didn’t know Penguin 2.0, Google’s much-feared algorithm change was rolled out to target duplicate content, identify unethical SEO tactics and remove offending websites.
  • It disappoints your readers, making them land on your competitors’ websites. Posting duplicate content is like telling your audience how awesome your main rivals are. Your competitors will most likely send you flowers for this. Just take a minute to think about it: what does duplicate content say about you, your company, or your aspirations, vision and purpose in business? Absolutely nothing! This is precisely why instead of copy pasting meaningless, unoriginal web content, webmasters should turn to personalized, compelling, relevant, user-oriented web writing that ensures a flawless user experience and also helps the website rank higher in search engine results.

2) Relying on Keyword Stuffing. Keyword stuffing is so yesterday. None of the competitive players in your niche are doing it anymore, so why would you? Long gone are the days when you could stuff your texts with dozens of keywords and get away with it. At this point, according to Search Engine Journal, first-class, Google-friendly web writing should display a perfect balance between everyday language and keyword usage. So this leads us to a very pressing question: how much is too much, when it comes to keywords? Unfortunately, there is no mathematical formula that you can apply to get a precise answer to this question. The experts at Moz have weighed in to say the keyword density would be a waste of time. Here’s a simple solution for you: read your text aloud: if it doesn’t sound right, then it probably isn’t. If what you are reading makes sense and flows naturally, chances are that Google will also appreciate your optimization efforts. When in doubt, you can always use one of the many keyword density analyzer tools available online to assess the quality of your writing.

3) Posting or Approving Spam Comments. Some business owners prefer to take the easy way out when it comes to implementing on-page and off-page optimization tactics. The road to SEO writing hell is often paved with good intentions and ignorance. Those who pay third-parties a certain amount of money to spam different websites by posting comments accompanied by a link to their webpage seldom attain their end goal. This technique is very annoying and less effective than you may be inclined to think.

It will inevitably affect your brand, making you seem desperate. We all have to start somewhere, but do you really think that multimillion dollar companies managed to reach their target by posting spam comments on other people’s websites? If the recipe for success would be so simple and so transparent, everybody would be following it to get rich and famous overnight. Unfortunately, this is not how it works. Also, according to Entrepreneur, you have to be very careful when it comes to approving comments posted on your website or blog. Keep only the ones that provide real value to your customers and ditch the rest. This is the safest method to protect your image, discourage spammy SEO writing practices employed by others and show the uttermost respect for your readers. If you want to safeguard your website from spam comments that may compromise your reputation, just follow Google’s set of guidelines.

4) Investing in Irrelevant, Low-Quality Content. Google strives to ensure a more than satisfactory navigation experience for all Internet users. This means that it values high-quality content and compels webmasters to improve web writing that doesn’t meet its standards. If you’re willing to cut corners when it comes to crafting new content, you may want to reconsider, since Google is not the biggest fan of quality compromises. Before writing a new blog post or on-site content, make sure you:

  • Have an in-depth knowledge of the topic that you plan to expand on
  • Conduct a keyword analysis to discover the most popular queries around which you will build your content
  • Are familiar with the particularities of your niche, business and audience and can actually respond to your visitors’ needs and demands.

5) Not Investing in Content (At All!). Sometimes,lack of drive can be much more dangerous than a misguided action. The history of your company is not going to write itself. If you can agree upon this fact, then you can also reach the conclusion that lack of content won’t say too much about who you really are and where you’re heading. Your visitors are craving for premium, informative, problem-solving content; so what exactly are you doing at this point to address their needs and demands? Well-focused, reader-oriented content gives your audience a good reason to listen to what you have to say and answer to your unique calls-to-action.

These days, it is not enough to have a killer website to attract potential buyers. You have to go the extra mile to spread the word about your fantastic new-arrivals, new giveaway or discount campaign. In this case, you will need a blog and a constant presence on some of the most important social media platforms. No matter what channels you plan to use to broadcast your message, you should always keep in mind that content is a powerful bridge between you and your segment of public. By refusing to post content or update the existing one regularly, you basically burn your bridges behind you, allowing your competitors to celebrate your early, self-inflicted failure.

6) Buying Links. This isanother wrong call that can easily put your rankings on the line. Naturally, some deep-pocketed company owners may tend to think that buying links is easier than earning them. The truth is that their plan to use paid links can and will make Google angry, since it represents an attempt to trick the ranking system set in place by search engines and manipulate it to their own advantage. Fiverr is only one of the websites that many people access to buy hundreds of links that point back to their website. Why? The answer is simple: it’s cheap (the whole deal will only cost you about 5 dollars) and easy. Naturally, the “side-effects” are not advertised. Google won’t hesitate to de-index your website once it realizes that you rely on this shady tactic to make a name for yourself and boost your rankings. This means that your website will no longer appear in search engine results and that your counterproductive optimization tactic will burn holes in your pockets in the long run. At this point, the $5 offer probably doesn’t seem as attractive as you considered it at first.

7) Thinking That You Can Never Have Too Many Anchor Text Links. Here’sa general rule that you should keep in mind: in terms of optimization, good things can become very bad overnight if you abuse them. Placing hundreds of anchor texts with specific keywords in your on-page and off-page content would be like using 10 spoons of sugar to sweeten your cup of coffee. Sometimes, less is more. Overloading on overly optimized anchor text links used to be one of the most common shady optimization tactics used by webmasters to improve rankings. At this point, your plot to deceive search engines, based on the usage of such anchor text links will definitely backfire on you, making you lose more than you were planning to win.

8) Using Sneaky Redirects, Hidden Links or Hidden Text. If you think that you’re a magician who can make links or text fragments disappear to attain your illegitimate optimization goals by violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, we’ve got news for you: the joke’s on you. Throughout time, many webmasters have tried to mask text and links by:

  • Posting white text on an all-white background
  • Posting a text fragment behind an image
  • Choosing to set their font size to 0
  • Linking only a very small character (a hyphen, a dot or a comma) to make the link seem less visible

Sneaky redirects simply deceive Google, Yahoo and Bing by letting the users check out content that is different from the one made available to web crawlers. As usual, Google is constantly one step ahead of those who plan to violate its guidelines. All these black hat tactics trigger penalties, so you should avoid them at all costs and focus your entire attention on 5-star content creation correlated with 100% legitimate optimization techniques.

9) Not Working Hard to Improve Your Social Media Presence. Do you know where yourprospects are spending their spare time? They may not be waiting for you just around the corner, dyeing to swipe their cards and get their hands on your products, but you can still reach them on some of the biggest social media platforms, with good SEO writing. You can start a conversation with someone during your lunch break, by simply asking him or her to pass you the salt. This mechanism can be adapted to online environments, as long as you learn how to recreate the feel of natural interactions.

This means that you have to maintain a solid online reputation and a constant presence on social media websites. According to Search Engine Journal, social media channels are becoming increasingly important in the eyes of search engine websites. This is another great reason why you should take your time to create and post fresh content on social networking websites. This simple action will open the doors to amazing, cost-effective marketing opportunities and help you bond with your prospects faster and easier than ever before.

According to Search Engine Watch, those who choose to ignore social signals make a huge mistake. Unfortunately, according to the same source, not many business owners understand and succeed in exploring the full potential of social sharing buttons, which bring their content and ultimately their brand in front of a larger audience.

10) Thinking and Acting like SEO Is a One-Time Thing. A personalized SEO plan is not your one-way ticket to fortune and fame. If you are accustomed to “do this” for a short period of time to “get that”, now would be a good time to revise your approach. The truth is that SEO encompasses many phases and involves the creation and implementation of a solid, comprehensive execution plan, endless tweaks, SEO writing, constant monitoring, result measurement and interpretation and potential corrections.

SEO experts never sleep on the job, and they’re always on duty. They are constantly working to optimize websites and correct misguided actions from the past. If you want to simplify your mission, keep in mind that outdated SEO tricks and tips that enable you to cut corners have nothing to do with good marketing decisions and will never help you improve your rankings. As long as you know and love your brand, creating and distributing first-class content shouldn’t be a challenge. On the contrary, content creation should represent the secret ace up your sleeve allowing you to tell the whole world who you are and who you plan to become.

The post 10 SEO Writing Mistakes That Will Hurt Your Rankings appeared first on Express Writers.

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Julia McCoy

CEO, Express Writers

Julia McCoy is the manager/CEO of Express Writers, http://expresswriters.com. Since launching in May 2011, Express Writers has served over 2,000 clients and provided quality content for all industries, from tax lawyers to appliance repair contractors. Julia has 10 years of experience writing, a track record of academic achievements in writing, and is located in Springfield, Missouri. 

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Comments

Justin Belmont
Posted on June 8th 2014 at 8:56PM

Well done! This is a great comprehensive list of things not to do when working in SEO writing.  You came up with a lot of good mistakes, such as stuffing keywords and approving spam comments; www.ProseMedia.com has seen a lot of companies make mistakes like this, and they are easily avoidable. These are mistakes everyone should take notice of before beginning an SEO writing job.