By Enzo F. Cesario
Just as there are different ways of writing for novels, for advertising and for films, there is a way to write for the Internet. To find content on the Web, we use search engines. To make sure the search engines find our content we optimize it. Search engine optimization (SEO) copywriting is writing content that the reader wants to read and will be easily found and rank well with search engines.
The object of writing for the Internet is to get the reader to use your content to click through to your Web site. If they don't get to your Web site, they can't look at your products or services and you will have lost a potential customer. Here are a few mistakes that you'll want to avoid.
Mistake #1 — Have a Boring or Vague Title
This is a very important mistake not to make. If they don't even look at your article, all your time and effort are wasted. If you provide an attention grabbing title, one that makes them curious enough to open your article, you're halfway there.
Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking: Use titles that describe the content of your article but are short and concise; Use keywords in your title that people might be searching for; People can't resist articles with lists or tips such as, "Top 10 Copywriting Mistakes" or "Top Tips on Getting Your Articles Read"; and "How to" articles are popular as well.
The bottom line here is to put some thought into your title. Think about how to get a reader's attention.
Mistake #2 — Create Bland Content
From beginning to end — try to keep it interesting. Make reading your article a pleasurable experience for your reader. Here are a few suggestions.
- Make it fun, relevant and grammatically correct. Nothing pulls the reader out of a story more than bad grammar and misspelled words.
- Use short sentences and try to limit paragraphs to two or three lines. Concentrate on writing rich and appropriate copy rather than just practical words.
- Have a sense of humor. This gives your articles personality. Don't give a sales pitch — use a call to action. The purpose of your article is to get your reader to get to your Web site. Your writing could include a reason for them to find more information, either from another article that you've written or from your Web site.
"Content is king". If you keep this in mind, you'll be ahead of the game. Search engines love well-written and useful content. So do readers.
Mistake #3 — Make Your Article as Hard to Read as Possible
Every post should be easy to scan. That means your reader should be able to easily scan your article and find headings that will tell them what the section is about. You can use numbered lists and bullets to organize your ideas so they are quickly read. If you italicize, bold or underline a word, the search engine assumes that it's a keyword. You can use this to your advantage. However, if you use these tags a lot or if you use them on non-keywords, you'll confuse the search engines and lose any advantage you would have gained.
The other thing that makes a page easy to scan is short paragraphs. When you look at your copy on the page, you should see a lot of white space. Looking at a page that's completely filled with words is intimidating to a reader. You want to make it as friendly and welcoming and as easy to read as possible.
Mistake #4 — Misuse Keywords
Keywords are at the core of writing for the Web. You should research and know your keywords. Here are a few suggestions about keywords:
- Target a set of keywords in every post but don't use them more than three or four times on a page. If you use the same keywords again and again, search engines can tell that the article isn't very useful.
- Use a wide variety of words that pertain to your topic.
- Use synonyms of your keywords in addition to the keywords.
- Don't stick to a standard keyword density for every article or post. You want your words to flow naturally, and overuse of keywords makes your copy sound forced.
- Review your keywords every so often. Sometimes your business changes and you want your articles to change also.
If you provide your reader with content that lets them learn or experience something, you'll have a happy reader. If you provide the search engines with good keywords and a variety of them, you'll have a happy search engine.
Mistake #5 — Try to Trick the Search Engines
Practicing questionable tactics like cloaking and using hidden text is a bad idea. The last thing you want is to get your site banned. These kinds of tricks will do it. So can using hidden links, link farms, linking to bad sites, distributing viruses and sending spam. Don't try to trick the search engines and don't work with any companies that use these techniques.
Overcoming these common mistakes can give you head start when creating effective content on the Internet. SEO copywriting requires effort. Putting content on your site and distributing it on the Web takes time. If you work at it over time and create lots of valuable content, effectively "brandcasting" your site, you'll be rewarded with more traffic.
About the Author
Enzo F. Cesario is a copywriter and co-founder of Brandsplat, the only online marketing and advertising company employing Brandcasting, the most effective way to brand your company on the Web. Brandcasting uses informative content and state-of-the-art internet distribution and optimization to build links and drive the right kind of traffic to your Web site. The approach is simple, highly effective and affordable. Learn more at: Brandsplat.com and www.brandsplatblog.com.