The 20 Biggest Content Mistakes That Websites Make

A website puts the most powerful tool for communication right at your fingertips. Whether your website is career related, for ecommerce, blogging or any other reason, you have the unique opportunity to connect with the world and have your own say. How you go about saying what you want to however, is the main concern here.

If your objective with your website is to reach a wider audience and get them to actively engage with you online, you need to be providing relevant and authoritative information. When it comes to website content, no one is immune from making mistakes and sometimes, it helps to know what not to do in order to avoid them. Here are 20 of the biggest content mistakes that websites make so that you can steer clear of them and provide the ideal content for your audience.

Not Establishing a Content Cycle

Website owners who neglect to map out future content aims or track content ideas will constantly be faced with late content. An editorial calendar creates a schedule to outline the new content that needs to be generated and measures how existing content is performing. In addition to updating and maintaining content, the schedule also includes blog post generation timelines and social media posts and engagements.

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Failing To Take Advantage of Email Marketing

Email marketing helps to keep you fresh in the minds of your audience, as you will be building a massive subscriber base for your brand. Email marketing is even more beneficial and more effective than search engine marketing, mobile marketing, social media, and display advertising. For email marketing, focus needs to be on improving open rates through the use of custom social media links, mobile-responsive emails, multiple CTAs. In addition, the subject lines should be clickable, catchy and personalised where possible.

Ignoring or Not Understanding SEO

The world of Search Engine Optimisation can be challenging and seem intimidating to website owners especially with the combination of changing algorithms, practices and constantly evolving practices. People who do not understand the importance of SEO ignore relevant content development, overload the website, stuff random keywords into content, and allow content to become obsolete – all to the detriment of the website, missing out on top rankings that may belong to them. It is therefore important to keep up with changing technology and provide the best content in the best way possible.

Lack of Real Content Objectives

Websites with no goals for their content end up making noise instead of adding value through their content. Setting objectives for content begins with defining an audience, drafting a keyword list based on their search terms, understanding what they want and writing in a style they will enjoy. The next step is to plan the frequency of your posts, which largely depends on your audience as well.

Choosing Content Quantity over Quality

Mistakes related to poor content quality include producing a large amount of content that has very little relationship to your business, rehashing old ideas by someone else, and making weak references. Understanding your audience will make the difference between producing high quality content that leaves an impression and mere page fillers.

Failing to Create Content that is Relevant

To get results, content has to be relevant, current and show some measure of audience knowledge. Websites that fail to do so make big mistakes where their content is concerned. Relevant content begins from the title. When a catchy title is followed by equally captivating content, readers are eager to share it to their friends and social media accounts.

Failure to Optimise Content for Mobile

Choosing to ignore website and content for mobile users is a big mistake because of the sheer amount of mobile users and the frequency of phone usage during the day and night. The way we connect and converse with each other and the brands we love has been completely changed by mobile devices. As a result, mobile phone users prefer short and easy to scan snippets of the overall message so that they can make a decision on the next action to take.

Poor Use of Social Media

Websites have endless means of using social media to reach a wider audience, and a lot of those methods come at no price. It is inexcusable therefore, when mistakes are made when it comes to engaging social users, or not paying enough attention to the competitors – all of which can easily be achieved with the use of social media.  

No Priority on Content Promotion

Another big content mistake made is when time is spent to define your audience and create amazing content but nothing is done to promote your content. The more your content is in people’s faces, the greater the chance that they will stand up and take action. Content promotion strategy should include frequency, the right channels and the right time. Research how your content fits into your audience’s unique needs and tailor your promotion to start from that angle. With this knowledge, you are better equipped to promote and advertise your content in a way that sets you up as an expert with credibility.

Forgetting to Check Grammar and Proofread

As simple as it sounds, proofreading and checking grammar errors is important and failing to do so could lead to a content disaster on your website. Be sure to check for spelling errors or the mix up of words like their, there, they’re and so on. A common mistake is the misuse of apostrophes, where ‘its’ is used in place of “it’s”, or where subjects do not agree with verbs in a sentence. Even if your spelling is poor, get someone to check spellings for you. With another set of eyes going over your content, your content will have less mistakes after you have published it.

Inconsistent Blogging Behaviour

So many blogs have been created, started and died a slow and quiet death because of lack of maintenance or inconsistent blogging. These days, displaying your products & services and promoting your brand on your website is incomplete without a blog. This is because you would be missing out on traffic opportunities and in-bound leads. Also, your readers have nothing to hold their interest on your website after viewing your services. The key benefits of using blogging on your website include: connections to social media, exposure on search results and increased traffic. If your blogging is inconsistent at best, you should be dedicating more time to improving with relevant and current blog posts related to your business.

Placing Too Much Focus on the Sale

While it makes sense to want to promote your brand or sell your services on your website, constantly creating content that makes you sound like a used car salesman will eventually tire out your followers. Even when you are trying to generate leads and convert more followers, build credibility and trust by making your audience feel like they are being presented with the opportunity to engage with you. Avoid this common mistake by remembering to interact more with your audience. The result is, they will naturally buy into your brand.

Using Content Only Once

Some websites make the mistake of using their content only once and then discarding it. You can easily attract a wider audience by re-purposing your content. Another positive result of digging up old content is that you can save a lot of time and resources that would have been spent creating new content. With a bit of creativity, you can use almost anything from scrapped client presentations to the best comments on an old blog post. As long as you reframe the content with a different presentation, you can get away with reposting old content.

Not Using More Than One Tactic

Creation and distribution of content needs to be done using more than one tactic, and at least 13 different tactics should be used. Sticking to just one or two limits the amount of people you can reach, and lowers your creativity with your presentations. Some of the tactics include social media channels, infographics, blogs, videos and so on. Different tactics bring different results. So, if you are not getting satisfactory results from a particular one, switch till you find one that works great.

Trying to Do It All Alone

The error with trying to do it all alone is that you could lose momentum and burn out. When it comes to creating or marketing content, you can only know so much. Ease the burden by learning to delegate tasks to your team or outsource work to professionals who can be trusted to do a thorough job. A Direct Marketing Copywriter can handle the task of writing effective email marketing copy for you, leaving you free to handle other aspects of your business. As your website grows, getting a team in place and giving them the training needed to boost their confidence will also go long way to ensuring that tasks are properly handled without constant supervision from you.

Failing to Plan Your Content

Certain websites skip the planning stage and just jump to uploading a bunch of random stuff online. Understandably, planning and developing content for your website can be an arduous process. Planning can never be overrated especially if the majority of your content is written copy, where SEO is so important. Writing your copy for SEO takes careful planning to make sure that your terms are naturally included throughout the copy on your website. With the help of a professional SEO Copywriting Agency, you will avoid the mistake of overusing key search terms to the point where the content starts to make little or no sense to your audience.

Using Lifeless Headlines

The headlines of website content need to stand out and be catchy. It’s a mistake to use boring or over flogged lines as your content title. Headlines should provide information about what your audience is about to read without giving away too much. Make them curious enough to be enticed into reading the rest of the content. When crafting your deadlines, your focus should be on the reader, and on what they need to do. Don’t rely on the headline alone to reel readers in; make effective use of sub-headings, tables, bullet points and whitespace.

Leaving the Audience High and Dry

Making use of shocking statistics and promises will attract readers but failing to deliver or meet expectations will make you lose the trust of your audience. If the content under a sensational headline fails to provide what is promised in the headlines, then you have broken an important promise to your readers. As soon as people realise that they have been deceived, they will withdraw and any success or growth in website traffic will be fleeting at best. With website content, it is important to remember that people respect honesty, so that your content is aimed at building a following and not drive-by readers.

Failing to learn your Audience

Generally, before putting pen to paper to create content, there needs to be a clearly defined understanding of the audience. This is where audience research comes to play in the process. Websites where this step is missed show the gaps in knowledge because they cannot determine how the site will be navigated by their supposed audience, what information is needed or whether the audience need a gentle reassurance or propositioning.

Leaving Your Audience Undefined

The target audience of your website needs to be crystal clear, otherwise, you could be creating valuable content for the wrong set of people. People tend to overlook websites that do not directly connect with them but when your content shows you know who your audience is, and strives to provide what they need, a strong bond is created.

So how do you define your audience? By asking these important questions, you can determine to a large extent where your website content should be aimed at:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • Are they mostly men or women?
  • Where do they get their information?

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