Ranking high in Google and the other search engines is an inherently good thing. The problem is when business owners become fixated on the results, forcing bad habits:
Keyword Obsession – This is the number one sin of those over-reliant on SEO. It’s like a light bulb goes off in every business owner’s head at some point or another. The thought goes something like this: “You mean, I can rank number one on Google, and all I have to do is use the same keyword 50 times in a 400 word document?” Well, maybe. If you do, you probably won’t get many sales from copy that looks so trashy. If you don’t you’ll have that same trashy copy, and won’t have even met your goals. Trying to outsmart Google is usually a bad idea that will make you look silly.
Short siting your goals – The SEO Gods have taught us that the all important search is “Your Industry, Town, State.” For example “marketing writer, Chicago, IL” or “Plumber, Green Bay, Wisconsin.” This is an important search, but if it’s where you’re stocking all your marbles, you’re not looking at the whole picture. The same guy who’s looking for a plumber in Green Bay may also be Googling how to unclog a sink. If you give him the practical information he’s looking for via a blog, you’re on your way to establishing trust and creating a real relationship. It can seem counter-intuitive to give information away at times. Do it anyway. The reader may get frustrated with the process and who do you think they’ll call? If they don’t call for this, they may call for the next thing.
Really crappy writing – We’ve heard that content is king, and that search engines are after quality content, right? That doesn’t mean giving us choppy, repetitive copy that’s void of all pronouns. No. You need to remember your audience, and keep in mind that it’s people who will always be buying your stuff. So tell a good story and provide valuable information. When you write things that people will care about, you’ll attract more business.
What other bad habits do you see? Let me know in the comments below.
More Business articles from Business 2 Community: