15 Content Writing Mistakes for Websites

Writing website content is an art-form and it's not something that everybody can do well. If you are a decent writer, this article will show you what to avoid while writing content on websites.

1) Repeating the same thing over and over through multiple pages

Content duplication is a big no-no for optimizing your site for Google rankings. It's also not very valuable to your users. Why would your website visitors want to read the same thing over and over? If you repeat the same message over and over you are insulting your visitors' intelligence and defeating the purpose of having separate pages on your website.

2) Covering too many topics on one page

Each page on your website should follow the same theme. For example you don't want to put a 1,000 word company history on your frequently asked questions page. You should make a separate page for this content departmentalize your information. It would be okay, however to make a short paragraph answer one of the questions on your FAQ page is "What is your history?" Instead of putting the whole history within the FAQ page, just simply provide a brief overview paragraph and give your user the option to read the whole thing on the dedicated history page.

3) Copying text from another website

It's not yours, so don't use it's a short excerpt that is put in quotes with credit and linkage given to the original author. Brief quotes here and there with a link to someone else's full text is ok though if it makes your message more useful to your visitors.

4) Making pages that are completely off-topic from the rest of your website

Even though you have separate pages on your website and you shouldn't repeat the same information over and over, you should still make your pages relevant to one another. Think of your website like a book and your links are like your table of contents.

5) Breaking continuity or the "voice" of your writing

If one of your pages uses the first person, then all your pages should. It keeps things consistent and less confusing for your readers. Also, if you have specific goals for your website in mind, then the voice you use should be determined to be the most effective for your strategy. If you are using the writing style of writing in the third-person, then make all of your pages like that. An exception to this rule can be a blog, which can be inherently random in nature. This rule should mainly apply to the main non-blog pages on your site such as your services and products pages.

6) Stuffing Keywords into your content

Many people still believe that inserting keywords over and over into your content will gain them successful search engine rankings. This was once a common practice that was effective, but it isn't any more. It is good to know what words people tend to search for when they are looking for information because it can help you communicate to them using the wording they understand. This also helps to reach the broadest audience knowing the most popular phrases used for any particular subject. So, the general rule here is to use keywords, but not to the extent that it takes away from the value of the content you are writing. Focus on making your message high quality and useful.

7) Not taking advantage of internal linking

A good website has pages of information that are related to one another. A good website also has these pages linked together effectively so the reader can expidite themselves to more specific, yet related areas of interest. For example, if you have a page about the evolution of shoes, then it could be effective for your audience to include a link a page dedicated to sandles where sandles are just briefly mentioned in your original page.

8) Write to your intended audience

If you have a phd and you are writing an article for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, then it would be most effective to avoid using the extent of your vocabulary. Just because something is written clear and simple doesn't mean that it is not intelligent. Conveying the message and catering for your website visitors should a priority for you. If you want to use the full extent of your vocabulary and semantic complication, then that's great for your personal diary or something that you don't want may people to read. The same concept can be applied the other way around too. If your intended audience is highly educated, then it might be a good idea to expand beyond an 8th grade reading level to full communicate your message.

9) Poorly labeled page names

Your headline and name of your article or page is the foundation on which your reader will acquire information from your page. There is a slight difference between regular core pages of websites vs article titles. A regular page could be called "services" or "about us."
Let's use "services" as an example. If your company is a law firm, then instead of just listing your page title as "services," you might try to be most specific and say "legal services." This reminds people right away just by looking at your navigation menu that they are in the right place. In confirms what you do and that yoru reader is in the right place. Be careful and avoid going overboard with this. You don't want to be overly spcific or wordy with your page names. Avoid using a page name that is too long or inneficient such as "Great legal services for everybody." Funnel your message by from going from general to specific while maintaining inviting communcation.

10) CAPS LOCK WILL DRIVE PEOPLE CRAZY! THIS WILL MAKE YOUR USERS FEEL LIKE YOU ARE YELLING AT THEM.

Just don't do it, it's not cool. Your users will be annoyed, leave your page and possibly want to punch you if they ever meet you in person.

11) Introductions that don't make people want to read more

Many talented writers, regularly say that after writing the first draft of an article, they usually delete their first paragraph form their first draft. This doesn't always apply to everybody, but most poorly written pages take forever getting to the actual information that the reader is looking for. People don't need your life story, unless that's what the page is about.

12) Poor use of bolding, italics and underlining

Never undeline something on the web that is not a link. This is does not follow good UX design strategy, because people are used to underlined information being a link. Overusing bolds and italics can detract from their emphasis and thus make them less effective. Doing this will just overwhelm and annoy your user. If you use bold or italic, make sure that it's really important and used appropriately.

13) Using a bunch of different colors

You need to use colors that match your website and brand. It's a good idea to hire a professional graphic design company to design your website. If you do, then you want to make sure that you use the color schemes, fonts and sizes that they created for your brand. If you are using a content management system that allows you to have control over these aspects of your font, then be careful!

14) Boring or generic article headlines

Your article headline is obviously pretty important to whether or not a person will even read your article. They might just see your headline from a link on social media or your headline and excerpt in search results. If your headline doesn't grab a reader, there's a highly likely chance your reader will assume your article won't be very interesting. You only get one chance to make a first impression and what you put forth first will set the tone for the entire interaction with your user and your website.

15) Exclamation that get out of control !!!!!!

Everything you say is not so exciting that you need an exclamation point! Overusing these can make them less effectice when they are appropriate. This is pretty much the same as overuse of bolding, italics and underlining mentioned previously.





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