Optimizing a Copy: The Mistakes that Creep in

Headlines that don’t sell

The problem is that people and companies are so interested in getting their website and content to the top of a search engines results that they forget the fundamentals. They are so busy making sure that keywords are in place and their preferred search phrases are primed in their website that they forget to engage the reader. The headline is what makes the viewer read the website. It is what makes a viewer click the link. If the headlines do not engage the relevant readers, then it doesn’t matter where your web content is ranked.

Repetition……again

The curse of SEO optimized web content is that it is giving birth to a hate among website user. How sick are you of reading the same thing three times. Where a search engine optimized page has simply stuck the needed keywords into a sentence and then “spun” it to say the same thing again in a different way. Here is an example, where clearly the writer has had to fit in the keywords, “cheap hotels”, “discount hotel” and “cheaper hotels”.

“ Find cheap hotels on our page now. We have the cheaper hotels online and waiting. Our discount hotels are cheaper than any other site. If you are looking for cheap hotels then look no more.” Ha ha ha what a dilemma.

That paragraph could have just said, “Our website advertises cheap hotels”, but because it has been SEO optimized to the hilt, that first paragraph on the website is just a waste. A complete waste of a reader’s time and attention, and so many people are getting so sick of it that they will just click off the site, because they assume (rightly) that the rest of the site is full of the same filler.

Bad grammar, broken English and bad sentence syntax

Commercial SEO writing is being bought cheaply. Articles, web content and blogs (and loads more by the way) are being outsourced to companies whom are charging very little but giving back poor quality. People are buying web content and articles for as little as $1 per 500 words. The content will have the keywords in, but the only people who can afford to live on $1 per 500 words are in developing countries where English is not their first language. Their content quality, language and grammar skills are unlikely to be as good as a native person’s skills. They are also less likely to be well educated; as well educated people would charge more. This means that web copy is optimized but stuffed full of poor sentence structure, bad grammar and broken English. The content is often of a poorer quality and less likely to be read in full by the viewer.

Link spamming

Back links are good, but too many back links and the search engine will start to exclude and rank lower. This is thanks to the changes that are making link farms (pages set up just to create links to others) obsolete. Creating too many links to other websites is also starting to work against websites, as it is regarded as spending more time on links than content, and is hence getting pages ranked lower.

Duplicate content

There is a temptation to duplicate yours or other peoples content when it comes to make a web copy more search engine optimised. The big search engines are penalizing sites for this, and it will actually work against a site. Original and frequently updated websites are better ranked.

This is all distilled into one mantra – good copy sells!