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Writing Content for SEO: 6 Mistakes to Avoid

SEO content writing is a game changer, no qualms about it.

Powerful, effective, and expertly optimized content can take you from a fair-to-middling business to a visible, fast-selling, and reputable brand.

If done right, that is.

Content is very easy to get wrong.

When up-and-coming businesses take the reins with little to no experience and expertise, the outcome can often end up doing more harm than good.

The good news is that avoiding these mistakes isn’t all that difficult.

As long as you know what you need to steer clear of, you’ll navigate your path with adroitness.

That’s what we’re here for.

This blog will walk you through the most critical SEO content mistakes.

Why are they so harmful to your brand? How can you avoid them? And what should you do instead?

We’re breaking it all down!

1. Writing for Google, Not People

Who is your brand targeting?

Google or people?

The answer’s pretty obvious, but many brands often fail to put two and two together.

We don’t blame them; Google’s omnipotence has only increased over the years.

We wouldn’t be surprised if a Google-worshiping religion popped up in the coming years!

Today, the Google algorithm is put on a pedestal.

Marketers do just about everything with the intention of pleasing Google.

While that’s important, it’s also a critical mistake when it comes to content.

You’re not creating content for Google; you’re creating content for people.

Google won’t buy your products/services; people will.

Instead of centering Google, center people while ensuring that you meet Google’s guidelines.

Let’s show you what we mean by this.

If you run an interior design business, your content ideas should revolve around your target audience’s interests and preferences.

What are they looking for? Which topics do they enjoy? What would they want to read?

This is a great example:

blog written for real people

Notice how there’s a strong focus on the audience.

This blog title knocks it out of the park because it directly targets readers.

“How to Design & Decorate the Living Room of Your Dreams.”

See what we mean?

You’re the focus of attention, and the blog title makes that very clear.

In comparison, here’s a blog from the same industry that sounds like it was written for Google instead of the brand’s actual clientele:

blog written for especially for Google

Why would homeowners care about how technology is changing the business of interior design?

The topic is too technical and vague; it’s not specific to the audience’s needs.

By the sound of it, this was written to please the Google algorithm.

The worst part? The syntax and punctuation are also wrong.

As you start writing content for SEO, prioritize your audience at every step of the way.

Think about what they want and create content titles accordingly.

We have a neat trick.

Your content title should ideally include one of the five Ws and H:who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Here are some examples:

How to Tow Your Car: 6 Different Ways

Industry: Car Towing

Where Can I Find Durable Iron Doors in Seattle?

Industry: Iron Door Design and Manufacturing

Why Is the Bottom of My Pool Always So Dirty? (+ Quick Fixes)

Industry: Swimming Pool Cleaning and Maintenance

What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of Roaches

Industry: Pesticide Manufacturing

Who Can Help Me Fix My Credit in Arizona?

Industry: Credit Repair

That’s not all.

To make a splash, add a pronoun (you, my, etc.) to these titles.

Here are some new examples that use both techniques at once:

How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule

Industry: Sleep Medication

Why is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

Industry: Air Conditioning Installation, Repair, and Maintenance

How to Outsource Your SEO in 6 Simple Steps

Industry: SEO

When combined, these two approaches are foolproof.

They help you write content for your audience, not the Google algorithm.

Once you implement this fix, you’ll start noticing a significant improvement in your content traffic reports.

Keep this in mind: Google isn’t clicking on your content, people are.

Start writing for them, and you’re in for a treat.

2. Neglecting Keyword Research

We consider this one of the most cardinal SEO sins.

This faux pas won’t just temporarily mess things up for you; it’ll leave lasting reverberations that affect your content marketing funnel in its entirety.

According to a recent study, 90.63% of content earns no traffic from Google.

That’s an alarmingly high number.

While this usually happens for many reasons, lack of keyword research claims the first spot.

When it comes to successful SEO content writing, keywords are the best tool available to you.

If you use the right ratio of the right keywords in your content, you’re in for enviable online visibility, kickass conversions, and a sweet stream of profit.

Even if you have a ton of experience in drafting monthly keyword strategies, don’t rest on your laurels.

Keyword patterns change regularly. There are new trends, events, inventions, adaptations, updates, and developments every day, in fact, every hour.

Now, we’re not asking you to update your keywords daily.

However, creating a new monthly keyword research plan is a must.

If you fail to do this, your work will fall flat on its face.

Use a keyword research tool to determine what your audience is looking for.

What are the top-ranking keywords in your industry?

Look for phrases with high search volume.

Thorough keyword research will help your content speedily climb SERPs and reach the top.

At Search Berg, we use our own keyword research tool to launch a power-packed campaign.

Let’s say you sell organic shampoo in California.

Our report fetches the most relevant and highly searched terms in your local industry.

Here’s a glimpse:

Keywords for seo content

You get the gist, right?

While most of these keywords may seem like they’re pretty vague and generic, that’s not the case.

Notice how an event landed on the list for this month. Had this client not opted for monthly keyword research, they wouldn’t have noticed how popular this particular event is among the hair care community in California.

Since their monthly plan tipped them off, they ended up creating content around this event to fetch more targeted traffic.

Monthly reports aren’t just important; they’re absolutely necessary.

We also provide you with a list of topic ideas based on the top-ranking monthly keywords.

Here’s an example:

list of blog topics according to keywords

As you master the art of excellent keyword research, you’ll give your business the visibility it deserves on SERPs.

This little fix goes a long way in helping brands revive their reach and sales.

Think about it. You’re not just creating random content; you’re creating hyper-specific content based on what your audience wants in a particular month.

As they search for that specific product/event/trend, your content will pop up.

More clicks, more conversions, more profit.

Works like a charm when you do it right!

3. Using an Incomplete Optimization Checklist

If you’re constructing a house, you have to check everything off the list: soil analysis, layout design, foundation construction, plumbing, electricity, HVAC, fixtures, exterior polishing, décor, final walk-through, and so on.

You can’t leave a handful of things out and expect the same results.

SEO content writing works the same way.

If your optimization checklist is incomplete, you’re in for disappointing results.

This is one of the most commonly-made mistakes in the SEO industry.

Small businesses often cherry-pick a couple of strategies and leave everything else out of the mix.

Avoid this at all costs.

Instead, take some time to complete your checklist.

Here’s everything you should focus on:

  • Keyword research
  • Audience research
  • CTAs (calls to action)
  • Keyword utilization (CTAs, title, headings, subheadings, intro, body, conclusion)
  • External and internal links
  • High-quality, relevant, optimized images with filename and alt text
  • Complete content optimization (title tag, meta description, etc.)
  • Media optimization (images, videos, infographics, animations, etc.)
  • Social media marketing

Our optimization checklist also includes social media marketing because your content is nothing without it.

Even if you write top-of-the-line content that checks off all the boxes, it won’t be able to work its magic if you don’t put it out there.

How do you do that?

By talking about it.

Post it on your social media pages, share it with your followers on LinkedIn, and email it to industry giants.

Your work should occupy both audience spaces and professional realms.

This is the last step of your content optimization journey.

It’ll help you build authority and give your brand identity a much-needed boost!

Here are some of our favorite examples:

Cover the top three social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

We also recommend optimizing your posts with keywords for better reach!

4. Keyword Stuffing

keyword stuffing is a no in writing content for seo

There’s no justification or “right way of doing it”; this one’s just a big no any way you look at it.

Keyword stuffing refers to the process of “stuffing” your content with keywords in hopes of ranking high on Google SERPs.

On paper, this sounds great.

The more keywords in your content, the better, right?

Well, not quite.

As you stuff keywords into your work, Google will be notified immediately.

While we asked you not to prioritize the Google algorithm over your audience, you still need to take it seriously.

Google has no time for businesses that try to bend the rules.

If you resort to keyword stuffing, you will be penalized.

Avoid this strategy; it doesn’t yield better results, and, worst-case scenario, it gets your work taken down.

Here’s what we want you to avoid:

“If you’re looking for the best laptops for remote workers in New York, XYZ Company should be your best bet! We stock top-of-the-line laptops for remote workers. Check out our collection of remote work laptops in NYC. We also provide laptop repair services for remote workers. We won’t disappoint!”

Yes, that’s how painfully redundant stuffed content is.

As you strike the right balance, you’ll manage to keep both Google and your audience happy.

Web users will still find your content (you don’t need 20 keywords for that). And you’ll stay in Google’s good books.

If you’re confused about how to avoid keyword stuffing, here’s a quick guide from Google that covers everything.

Recommended Read: 5 Ways You Can Increase Your Blog’s Traffic in 2022

5. Ignoring Link Quality

Successful SEO content writing rests on the foundation of effort.

If you’re not willing to go the extra mile, the output will be weak.

As you approach SEO writing, ensure you’re ready to invest time and effort into the process.

Many marketers rush things and end up making critical mistakes along the way.

Ignoring link quality is one of them.

External and internal links are extremely important.

Before we discuss this further, here’s a quick visual recap of the difference between them:

internal vs external links

Both link formats help you enhance user experience, increase engagement, keep web users on your site for longer, earn more conversions, build link equity, and enhance crawl efficiency.

You’ll also end up improving your site architecture, which is always a plus point, especially for up-and-coming businesses.

Here’s where the stream of mistakes begins.

If you ignore link quality, you’ll end up reducing the quality of your content.

If web users are redirected to irrelevant, poorly written, inaccurate, or inappropriate content, your reputation will take a hit.

When including an external link in your content, make sure you quickly scan the piece to understand whether it’ll provide value to your audience.

If the research is weak, drop it.

If the grammar, punctuation, spelling, and syntax are bad, keep looking.

And if the site simply isn’t credible, move forward.

We also recommend paying a quick visit to their home page.

This will give you an idea of whether you should link their work to your piece or not.

If possible, check the site’s DA (domain authority) score.

This is ultimately the best way to decide if their credibility, ranking prowess, and reputation are on par with yours.

The DA score ranges from 0–100.

The higher, the better.

If the score is above 70, you can rest assured that the domain is trusted and reliable.

That’s exactly what you want.

Make sure you’re just as intentional when deciding which internal links to use.

Ideally, link to your top content.

Your blog page shouldn’t include low-quality content to begin with, but if there’s anything you don’t consider your best work, don’t feature it in your new work.

Link to your products/services and other internal pages.

As always, balance is key.

Avoid going overboard and stuffing one too many internal or external links into your work.

Ideally, a 400-word blog should include 2–4 internal and 3–5 external links.

The links should also be spaced out (1 link for every 100 words or so).

6. Leaving Pictures Out of the Mix

Text-based content is powerful, but visual content is a game-changer.

If your content doesn’t include high-quality, engaging, visually exciting, high-resolution photos, you’re self-sabotaging.

Considering the importance of quality photos, we shouldn’t stumble upon any content that lacks photos.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

The web is filled with heaps of articles and blogs that are picture-less or include low-quality, low-resolution, irrelevant, poorly selected photos.

If you’re guilty of making this mistake, start turning things around ASAP.

We love this visual feast of a blog by Eat This, Not That.

As you keep scrolling, you’ll notice that every heading is followed by a beautifully shot, vibrant, crystal-clear, eye-catching photo that sparks joy.

This is how relevant and exciting your images should be!

At the same time, make sure you only use copyright-free photos.

Use sites like Pexels, Unsplash, Pixabay, Max Pixel, and PxHere to find stock-free images that won’t cause any issues.

If you can, create your own gallery!

Shoot high-quality, professional photos that capture the essence of your brand.

As you equip your content with an arsenal of kickass stock photos and original shots, you’ll help your content take a life of its own.

Remember, avoid posting content that’s heavy on the text.

It doesn’t excite readers.

Images give web users something to look forward to!

By failing to provide visual cues, this blog doesn’t quite make the splash it could have.

The Content Ball is in Your Court

In this blog, we touched upon some of the most common SEO content mistakes that can cost you.

As your visibility, rankings, traffic, and sales are affected, your business will take a hit.

Your brand identity will also be affected.

Now that you have an idea of which pitfalls you must avoid, it’s time to get the ball rolling!

At Search Berg, we offer SEO content writing services to small businesses, startups, established brands, and individuals.

Whether you’re a lawyer, tech support specialist, motivational speaker, healthcare professional, or e-commerce business owner, we’ll help you get seen online with powerful, industry-specific, audience-centric, optimized content.

It’s time for the opening move. We’re ready when you are!

Recommended Read: Google’s Helpful Content Update: What It Means for Your Rankings

It's time for a 180-degree transformation, Search Berg style. Rank higher on Google SERPs, build brand credibility, and drive more revenue by signing up with us today!

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