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Great content is important for your brand’s website to thrive, and for helping people to learn more about what you do as a business.

It’s essentially the backbone of any successful marketing or branding strategy, and high-quality content has true power to capture the attention of customers/readers – and in turn, you can build brand credibility to drive healthy conversions. But like with most processes, writing content comes with its problems if you don’t look out for these warning signs…

The content icks you need to avoid

We’ve listed the content writing fails you need to avoid, to help your brand rise above the competition – and we’ve also detailed why they should be avoided. So, read on to keep see what no-no’s to look out for!

1.       Not having a plan

You can’t expect content to be written every single minute of the working day, as this leaves no room for creativity. To avoid writer’s block, split out tasks into healthy chunks and make bullet points before starting (this is especially important if deadlines are tighter than expected, due to an urgent product launch, for example).

2.     Not prioritising the key focus

Ensuring your brand’s content is engaging and relevant to the target audience is so, so important. For instance, if you’re a clothing retailer, you don’t want to have content about muslin cloths being the main focus on your ‘accessories’ landing page, as this product is just a drop in the ocean compared to all of the other items you offer to your customers.

3.     Keyword stuffing your content

Keyword stuffing is when content includes too many keywords, in an attempt to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Google will just see this as spammy content which can result in penalties. So, at all costs, check your keyword usage!

Of course, SEO is integral for a blog, landing page, product description – or any type of content for that matter. But SEO copy always needs to be written for the reader AND Google, not just for search intent. Don’t sacrifice the quality of your content for search engine optimisation – instead, your brand needs to find the right balance.

To help avoid keyword stuffing, you can:

  1. Look at SERPS to see what competitors are doing or ranking for, and how often they target specific keywords.
  2. Using ctrl + “f”, type in the keywords that are being targeted for your on-site content, to see if they read as organically as they should.

4.     Duplicating content

It may seem obvious, but duplicating content is a no-go when adding copy to your site. Search engines might penalise your website if you copy content from other websites, or duplicate existing copy from your own site. So, make sure your content is always original, and beneficial to your target audience.

To help avoid duplicating content, you can do the following:

  • Conduct a content audit – this identifies any areas where your website already has existing duplicate content, and you can rework the content on these pages.
  • Research, research, and research some more – always allow time for research, because the more you read about your customers and what they need, as well as the products/services you offer, the more this will show in your content.
  • Use Google Search Console – Google Search Console can check for duplicate content issues, which saves time and lets you create fresh, original content in the meantime.

5.     Not prioritising proofreading

Proofreading your work is just as important as writing it, if not more important! After all, mistakes are more likely if the content hasn’t had a fresh pair of eyes reading it since it was written.

This can include anything from a misspelt title and a missing full stop to a strange format fault – like an extra bullet point appearing without any content added to it. Our proofreading for beginners guide is a great checklist to go by if you need a helping hand with your proofing.

Our top tip: Edit and revise content after writing it. Don’t let the proofing process interrupt your writing flow. Instead, focus on getting your ideas down on your Word document or the CMS you’re using. Then, go back to edit content, as otherwise, time might run away with you, leaving you to lose sight of the end goal for the piece.

6.     Forgetting your brand’s TOV (tone of voice)

Good content really helps to establish your brand’s tone of voice, so when copy is hurried or put in the wrong hands, you run the risk of losing your brand identity. A customer needs to understand who your brand is from the get-go, so consistently adhering to brand TOV guidelines is a must.

  • Establish content dos and don’ts by creating a TOV document.
  • Ensure copy is reviewed when written by a new person to the business.
  • Direct writers to sources of previous content that aligns with your brand’s tone of voice and values.

Doing all of the above lets you foster a strong connection with your audience, which then encourages them to engage with and share your content. And more importantly, buy whatever service or product you’re offering!

Discover more pointers

For other helpful insights on writing and optimising content, alongside tips on how to write meta titles and descriptions, head over to the c3 blog

and start learning!