You’ve built a website and filled it with content, yet your sales numbers are down the toilet. Where could you have gone wrong? When it comes to developing a successful content marketing strategy, you should have the needs of your customers and your brand in mind first before tackling the optimization.
Use these red flags as a guide to correcting content marketing errors:
- Too much SEO – Strong SEO is vital to a website’s ranking, but your copy will suffer with too much. Customers may struggle comprehending overly keyworded (read as: spammy) copy, and Google’s crawlers will assume you’re playing the system. Plus, if you use too much SEO on each page, then it makes it harder for crawlers to decide what your site is about. Stick to one or two strong, relevant keywords per page.
- Too many links – Have you taken every SEO phrase and covered it with a link? While linking can improve your ranking, bring credibility to your site and educate your customers, too much of it makes it harder for customers to read about your product and can get your site on Google’s “spam” radar. We’ve written before about what can help or hurt your link profile.
- Too much bolding – Did you also encase every other SEO term with a <strong> tag? Again, use this old SEO strategy in moderation: too much attention-grabbing with this tag will encourage Google to mark you as spam and hurt your rankings.
- Overly vague, irrelevant or duplicated copy – Just having content on your site isn’t enough: it needs to be well-written information about your product. Google’s Penguin update set out in April to begin penalizing sites that rely on poor content.
- Self-righteous – If, on the other hand, you’ve written abundantly about your company and not actually spelled out what you offer a potential customer, then you can say goodbye to conversions. Newt Barrett offers a great example of how this infomercial-like writing can shut the door on sales. Content writing should always begin with the question, “what does the customer need from my website?”
- Out of date – Brick-and-mortar stores regularly move products around, put up new informational posters, redecorate and provide customers events and incentives to visit the store. Do you do the same thing online? Your site needs to be on a healthy diet of fresh content both for your customer’s sake and Google crawlers. A fresh approach to content—whether that means regularly posting new information or refreshing old copy—acts as an invitation for crawlers to review your site, as well as proof to Google that your product is relevant. But more importantly, it engages customers.
- Filled with errors – Whether it’s poor grammar or inconsistent facts, an error is an error and will ruin a customer’s trust in your brand.
Harvin Bedenbaugh – Project Manager