Stay Optimized and Captivating: Content Writing Practices that You Need to Avoid

By Megan Marshall, Friday, June 3, 2022
Content Writing Image 1
Photo by StartupStockPhotos on Pixabay

Good content can give you a major competitive advantage. That being said, creating good content is hard. As the internet grows, so does the number of blog posts available, making it increasingly more difficult to capture the attention of readers and search engines. The best advice you can be given as a writer is that content isn’t just a side hustle. You have to be consistent with it. In order to have a successful online presence, be mindful of these ten poor content writing practices.

Putting in Zero Research Time

Unless you are writing a reflective personal piece, it’s in your best interest to make use of what the internet has to offer. Even if you are an industry expert, there could still be things that you don’t know, that other professionals do. This is why so many sites incorporate statistics that they find elsewhere from professional studies. Including relevant external links is a content writing practice that will provide your readers with more value. They also help out your own site in the SERP rankings because Google will be able to recognize how your content is related.

Going in Without a General Outline

It can take someone a few rough drafts before they get a piece exactly where they want it to be. Not everyone is capable of going in blind as they try to write something. In fact, you shouldn’t do that. The outlining process is important because it gives you the chance to organize your thoughts. If you are just throwing words down on a page and hoping that they make a cohesive argument, that simply isn’t going to work. With that in mind, a content writing practice that you should incorporate, on any channel, is having some ideas about how to structure the copy. There needs to be a flow of information that makes sense to the reader.

Content Writing Image 4

Photo by Justin Morgan on Unsplash

Using a Title that Doesn’t Correspond

Many news channels will opt for a sensationalized headline to get people to check out their article. This is known as clickbait—which people hate. Writers that use clickbait headlines value receiving clicks over the quality of their information. While they may have some hard-hitting facts within the piece, they clearly didn’t trust that readers would naturally want to read it. So, instead, they took a route that could be quite harmful, depending on the title and the topic. If you want to execute best content writing practices effectively, you can’t let your title get away from you.

Excluding Subheadings to Break Up the Copy

Having a large wall of text isn’t eye-appealing. There is nothing for the reader to easily scan through, so they can’t be immediately sure whether a blog post will be relevant to them. Subheadings are an important content writing practice because they can keep that initially-interested reader on your page for longer. In order for subheadings to be more demanding of attention, they should be ultra-specific and promise the section’s usefulness. Make sure that they have a consistent rhythm throughout the piece, too. For instance, a step-by-step guide could have each subheading labeled as “Step 1,” “Step 2,” etc.

Disregarding the Importance of Keywords

There is no getting around using keywords. This is a critical content writing practice on account of the fact that it determines where you are going to rank on Google. Keywords communicate to search engines what your content is about. A business that sells hair care products may want to rank well for the phrase “ultra-hydrating conditioner.” When you neglect to optimize your blog posts or web content with identifying keywords, you miss out on an opportunity to attract users organically.

Content Writing Image 3

Photo by Cup of Couple on Pexels

Forgetting to Use a Call to Action

If you are using these content writing practices to create something for your business, you should be encouraging the reader to take an action. Oftentimes, this will happen at the conclusion of your article. You can let them know that they can contact you for a particular service. Another option is to place your call to action on a button. Doing so will create a 45% boost in clicks. When you set it in one of your branded colors, it gives the reader something visually interesting to look at.

Worrying About Word Count Over Quality

Not every piece that you write is going to hit 2,000 words. Sometimes, you may have a topic that you’ll be able to successfully explain in just 500 words. Worrying too much about word count can cripple you as a writer. After all, that number doesn’t really mean anything. What matters more than the length of your blog post is how you are writing it and what you want the reader to gain from it. Hit on as many points as you feel are necessary to round out the article.

Throwing Internal Linking Out the Window

People should be able to use your blog post as a jumping-off point to find other content that pertains to them within your site. Internal linking is the easiest way to accomplish this. Leaving your reader with nowhere to go is a bad content writing practice. You do the work of finding pages that can enhance the information that you just provided. When people click on these links within relevant anchor text, it will increase the page views elsewhere. This also helps you spread the link juice around to improve your SEO. 

Content Writing Image 2

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Not Including Appropriate Images

Your media elements need to go along with what you are writing. Random images will throw off the reader, which is problematic considering they are supposed to make your page more appealing, not less. Whether you are using your own photos or royalty-free stock images, they need to reinforce the points within your content. Just take care to not use any content without credit or permission. This includes not cutting off the watermarks to make the images appear as your own.

Hitting “Publish” Without Editing

In order to be viewed as a credible source of knowledge by your readers, you have to edit your content. They are unlikely to trust what you have to say if the piece is full of typos and grammatical inaccuracies. Having someone else read through your article before it goes live can save you a lot of heartache when it isn’t performing up to your standards. Consider using a tool like Grammarly to help with mitigating errors along the way, as well. It will ensure that you have achieved all of the content writing practices you set out to implement.

 

If you aren’t the best writer and want to offload your blog onto someone else, that’s perfectly okay. There are thousands of freelancers out there who would be happy to take on the job. Or you could hire a team that follows best content writing practices, like WEBii. As a Texas SEO company, we write with both the user and search engine experience in mind. Reach out to us to learn more about what we can do for your organization.

Posted in: Blogging, Content Marketing, SEO, WWW Learning Center

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