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High Rankings Question of the Week

October 31, 2012

To go along with this week's article, I asked my social media followers:

++What's the biggest copywriting / content writing mistake you see websites make?++

Here's how they responded:


danaditomaso: Talking about how awesome you are instead of helping the visitor.

AndyBeal: Not using their targeted keyword in their content. I still see far too many instances of this.

NoamFixler: Writing great content without actually promoting it.

justindeaville: No clear call to action on the home page. It's a simple piece of copy to write, but often gets missed out.

Using corporate speak.
Question of the Week
AKAInternetMktg: Lack of clarity; not telling the visitor specifically what they do. And the most annoying mistake: typos :-)

JTPotts: Using technical or "proper" terminology, instead of common language of the users.

nightwriter: Bad headlines like "Welcome to our site!" Also... focusing on what "we" do and how "we" work, rather than addressing "your" questions and what "you" need.

nibfickle: To be generic instead of original: cut 'n' paste instead of copywriting. Even if content is average, it'd better be unique...

: Copy & pasting copy from suppliers/catalogues instead of writing fresh, so content is duplicated. 


Seth Jacobs: Duplicate content.

James Fairlie: Talking about themselves too much rather than a focus on the customer... oh, and long lists of keywords at the foot of the page.

Annette Riley: Web Design – Big blocks of words, instead of breaking text up in an easy-to-read way.

Pontus Österlin: Too short and boring headlines. I've often found that you can cut a sentence from the introduction text and make it a much better headline, with minor adjustments.

Dianna Huff: The biggest mistakes: Not saying what you do or offer on the home page (or lack of copy on the home page); lack of copy/content throughout the site; lack of copy that educates and generates leads (i.e. no white papers, case studies, reports, etc.); and "me me me" copy -- vs. telling prospects what they'll get if they work with you.


Tadeusz Szewczyk: Mistaking sales copy for actual content.

Rick Nimo
: Trading clarity for jargon.

Troels Kjems: Thinking too much about search engines.

Fran Irwin: Rehashing what's already been said a thousand times. Not having any actual knowledge. Infographics that should be presented as text.

Lindsay Shugerman: Meaningless content just to get keywords on the site for SEO. Poorly written content by people who clearly have no clue on the topic. Copy so full of links it's almost impossible to read it. BIG, HUGE chunks of copy without proper paragraphs, bullets, section headings. Weird colors and fonts for the copy. Grammar and spelling mistakes!  Sometimes there are even errors in the titles! What is billed as an article is just a sales pitch.

Samantha McArthur: Spelling errors and badly formatted text. Talking about how great their products / services / company is with bland and boring copy, rather than the benefits of their service, not inspiring the customer, or using testimonials and case studies.

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Post Comment

 Thomas Ballantyne said:
I see the common consensus of the group is to write original content and avoid duplicate content.

No one finds it difficult having to recreate original content on a regular bases for a subject as old as "pest control"? ...
 Jill Whalen said:
@Thomas, I'm not sure that a pest control site even needs to create content on a regular basis.
 Terri Zwierzynski said:
Definitely lack of keywords in the title, or even worse, completely generic title that tells you absolutely nothing about the content. This may work with faithful blog readers...but you will lose everyone else!
 Chris said:
I can get behind pretty much all of these but these ones really speak to me...

"Using corporate speak." - Oh yeah big big problem I see. The worst is when you explain to them why you want to use more common language and they still fight you.

" Talking about how awesome you are instead of helping the visitor." - Yeah I run into this often. People get so hung up trying to impress they forget what the potential client is actually looking for.

Bad headlines like "Welcome to our site!" - Yes it's not 1995 anymore... people know they are on your site they don't need a welcome.