13 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing for the Web
By Daniel Zeevi
When writing for the web, there is a considerable amount of thought and structure that will need to go into each of your writing projects. Because of this, sometimes simple key technical and SEO factors of your posts can get overlooked. When this happens, this could potentially create a bigger problem down the road once your work has been indexed by search engines. So, what should a person do to ensure that the writing they produce for the web is top-quality and issue free?
Below you will discover the 13 mistakes you will need to avoid when writing for the web:
1. Not Getting to the Point Quickly
Whenever you write content, you’ll want to let people know in the first paragraph exactly what to expect when reading your article. Once you do, make sure you deliver as the opening statements determine whether or not someone will continue reading your article.
2. Lack of Information Sources
Whenever you use or reference information from another location on or off-line, make sure you provide the proper attribution that points to your source.
3. Not Using Anchor Text Correctly
If you use anchor text in your articles, you’ll want to make sure that you use them correctly based on the links they will point to. Add links to authoritative sources using relevant keywords. Also create links to other related articles on your site readers may be interested in.
4. Not Indenting Your Quotes
If at all possible, make sure that you use the quotation mark button to indent your quotes. Most of the time, this option isn’t used and the quotes end up being in the wrong place.
5. Poor Article Formatting
Many readers like to scan through a document looking for interesting points before they read the entire article. Including lists, bullet points and sub headers like h2 and h3 tags allows this process to work much easier by simplifying the readers’ decision to continue forward plus it gives search engines the ability to quickly index your content. This also extends to using proper title and alt tags within you images.
6. Little to no Value in Your Article
One of the most important things you can ever not do is provide value in your article. When you write for the web, you will need to provide value which will keep the reader interested. If they are interested, they will be willing to click the links below in order to take the next step.
7. Redundant Phrases
If you are writing for the web, you want to make sure that you write articles that do not contain redundant phrases over and over again. People are not robots and they simply get tired of this type of content. Write for a human being, and a human being will click your links to move onto the next step.
8. Using Filler
People like important information that is educational as well as informative. If you are using filler in your articles, you will discover that that reader will be lost and there will be no others to follow. Fill your articles with information that is usable.
9. Screwing Up the Title
The title of your article may be the most important consideration outside the content itself. The title needs to be catchy and informative to bait readers to click on your post. Try and keep your titles under 70 characters to make each keyword relevant within search querries and to give ample room for people to retweet the article on Twitter (including the article title plus characters for the link and your twitter handle in the retweet). Also make sure your article slug (URL) is using 5 words or less made up of significant keywords or phrases.
10. Copying Others’ Content
This goes without saying. You should never copy anybody’s content, period. If your using other peoples pictures or media within your article, make sure to attribute the source.
11. Too Long
Today, when writing articles, less is actually more. Keep your articles short and to the point and provide as much information as possible. If you have more to write about, write additional articles or guides. When writing for the web, people only have a few seconds to pick up certain bits and pieces of information. They are not there to read novels.
12. Missing Call to Action
After all, why are you writing your article? A call to action simply asked the individual that is reading your article to take the next step. If they are interested in the information you’re providing, they will. However, you have to ask.
13. No Originality
In order to stand out in a crowd of blogs, you need to create original and fresh content to intrigue people to visit your site. Too often writers look to mimic the work of others, or try and newsjack silly trending topics, or worse regurgitate the latest infographic of the day for example with no editorial input (aka value). Originality and timing are key. Are you providing your readers with something they need to see? Take chances experimenting with new content to carve out your voice!
Be courageous and try to write in a way that scares you a little.” Holley Gerth <Tweet This>
There you have it! These are the 13 important mistakes you’ll need to avoid when writing for the web. Use these on a consistent basis and you will continue to be successful in all of your online writing endeavors.
Quote pic via imgur