It’s important to understand how to write solid content for the purposes of strengthening your SEO. That said, knowing what not to do is just as important. Just as our previous blog covered the “dos” for content writing, this blog will cover the “don’ts”. We’ll help guide you through the basics for establishing a solid SEO foundation with your content.
The 5 “Don’ts” For SEO Focused Web Content
Below is a list of the 5 main “don’ts”, for writing copy for websites and web applications. Avoiding these 5 fundamental mistakes will really help your SEO.
1.) Just Say No to Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is something that once worked pretty well for providing SEO boosts to a website. At one point, company’s found themselves with pretty high traffic by doing things that are now considered “black hat tactics”. This included filling title tags, meta descriptions, footers, and background code with huge lists of keywords and locations. Search engines eventually caught on and deemed this unacceptable behavior. These actions will now hurt your SEO health score and subsequent rankings.
Keywords and locations should only be used when appropriate. Your content needs to be readable, relevant and valuable to the user. You can certainly use a lot of strong keywords, they just need to be used correctly in a sensible way.
Our blogs are great examples, as they are full of great keywords, but only where totally applicable and flows well.
2.) Use Internal Linking and Metadata Correctly
While it is essential to link to pages within your content, it’s equally essential to ensure the links are relevant. For example, when mentioning your company name, it is appropriate to link your company name to the “about us” page. However, linking to an “about us” page from any word in the content will result in a search engine bot deeming the link irrelevant or spammy. You really want to make sure all search engines are indexing all of your links and pages well. Remembering that your internal links are significant is important to your SEO.
Remember, Metadata Carries a lot of SEO weight
This is true of the metadata on your website, as well. If you keyword stuff your title tags, meta descriptions and/or image alt tags, your SEO will suffer. Search engine bots are smarter now, so this metadata should be used intelligently for both your user and for bots.
The title tag and meta description of a page should include obvious information about what to expect on the page. For instance, on a services page the title tag should indicate that it is a services page and the meta description should be a brief description of the content on that page. These are prime opportunities to use strong keywords, but they need to be relevant.
For example, below is the title tag and meta description for our website’s services page:
Title tag: Front-end and Back-end Development Services – Daggerhart Lab
Of equal importance are your image alt tags, in particular for the purposes of accessibility. For people who use screen readers, having image alt tags on all relevant images truly describing the image is important and necessary. Also, search engines, such as Google, score website’s on their accessibility, or lack thereof.
For instance, if you have a picture of your staff together in front of the company’s building, an appropriate alt image text would be “Staff together in front of “Company Name’s” building.”
It may seem a bit obvious, but that’s because they are supposed to be. Metadata and alt text is not supposed to be any kind of a mystery, it’s supposed to be a clear and obvious guide.
3.) Don’t Use A Single Plug-In As Your Only Guide
There are a plethora of great tools and resources to utilize when assessing your SEO and content writing for the web. Some of our favorites are Yoast, LightHouse, Moz, SEMRush, Search Engine Journal, WordStream, SEO Check and Grammrly. That said, each one of them have their own nuances for grading SEO and copy. If you are only using a singular way to vet your content, you will surely be missing out on poignant details and guidance.
Equally, you’re the one who has done demographic and psychographic research and established your brand. You know your company voice and the audience you’re working to reach better than any tool or plug-in. So it’s important to take the advice from whatever plug-ins and resources you get with a grain of salt.
4.) Don’t Forget The Reader
In a similar vein, it’s true that you’re writing to improve your SEO and how bots scan your site for content – but you’re mostly writing for humans.
If someone arrives on your website and they can’t get the information they’re seeking as swiftly as they need, there’s a high chance that they’ll bounce. A high bounce rate is one of the main health scores that can get your website’s SEO score dinged. Equally, if people are bouncing off of your website quickly, they are not likely to be utilizing your business.
It’s important to remember who you want to find your website, and to write content for them. Don’t just write for Google, write for the people who are “Googling” the types of services and/or products you offer.
5.) Is Your Content Worth Reading?
In the same way that keyword stuffing doesn’t work, neither does fluff and filler content. Your copy needs to be pertinent and it also has to be worth the time to read it. If you’re writing content just to create content, you might be missing the mark for your user, and for SEO.
There needs to be real value to the content. Can something be learned? Can they get to the service or product they need swiftly? Is the content significant to your business, service offerings and/or products? If the answer is “no” to any or all of these questions, then this content doesn’t belong on your website.
It is better to have a smaller amount of applicable and well written content than it is to have a huge amount of filler content. There are many different studies that have been done showing that less than 20% of users do more than scan a webpage, as opposed to reading it. So, the copy needs to be relevant, straight to the point, and have enough keywords that will assist users as they scan the page.
Your Website’s Content Matters
It’s easy to overlook the weight that content carries for establishing solid SEO, but it’s best not to. Investing in your website’s copy is proven to have a high ROI in its ability to not only help with Search Engine ranking, but by turning site users into conversions.
Are you building a new website or web application? Do you need to find a new company to assist with site maintenance and iteration? Daggerhart Lab has a team of experienced developers, as well as, SEO and content specialists who can help ensure your success through technology. Contact us when you’re ready, we’re excited to help!