4 SEO Mistakes You're Probably Making
Updated: Jul 25, 2019
4 SEO Mistakes Your Content Writing Service Is Probably Making
SEO is very much in vogue at the moment in the content writing industry. Everybody’s got something to say on the subject, and the internet has become flooded with articles talking about best practice SEO techniques. However, we’ve decided to do something a little different.
Content writing services depend heavily on optimizing the webpage in question for Google and other search engines. Without being properly indexed, you’re unlikely to get much traffic, if indeed you get any traffic at all. But how can you know whether your content writing service of choice is doing their work the right way?
To answer this question, we’ve decided to come up with some mistakes that are probably being made by your content writing service, right now. Don’t panic, though: it’s a simple fix. Simply adapt the finished piece in accordance with these ten guidelines, and you should see your search engine ranking soar upwards.
Without further ado, let’s get into it. Here are four SEO mistakes you’re probably making right now.
1. Title Issues
The title tag is one of the most important aspects of any page with regards to how the page is interpreted by search engines. If you’re using the same title tags—or very similar title tags—throughout your website, you’re probably hamstringing your potential ranking.
A well-developed content writing strategy should involve unique titles which use your chosen keywords in sensical, grammatically-correct ways. If you suggest nothing else to your chosen service, make sure that you mention how you’d like your title tags to be more distinctive.
Another common problem we encounter throughout our work as a content writing service is people using titles which are just way too long.
Google and other search engines truncate the titles of your webpages in order to fit them more easily into their framework. If your title is too long, that means you haven’t optimized it properly, and you risk losing vital information during the process of search engine truncation.
To combat this issue, try to ensure that your title is less than 60 characters long. While most SEO specialists will claim that you can get away with titles of up to 70 characters in length, we don’t recommend this strategy on account of the way Google consider pixels, not characters.
Put it this way. If your title is less than 70 characters, you’ll probably be alright; but if your title is less than 60 characters, you’ll definitely be alright. And while it may not seem like a big difference, the chasm between probably and definitely is one you can be sure your competitors are taking advantage of—and nobody wants to get left behind.
2. Meta Description Issues
Meta descriptions, we find, are one of those jargon titles that can scare away even the hardiest of online businesses. We get it: it’s easy to look at a word like ‘meta,’ which has enjoyed a recent upsurge in popularity thanks to internet culture, and immediately call your webmaster to deal with the issue.
The thing is, though, that meta descriptions aren’t all that difficult. Whether you’re a professional content writing service or not, you should be able to create your own meta descriptions. Some firms won’t tell you this. They’ll claim that meta descriptions are highly technical fields which you can only make use of by paying through the nose for their services.
Even though we’re potentially robbing ourselves of free business here, we’re not going to pull the wool over your eyes. Anybody can write their own meta descriptions, as long as they follow a few simple guidelines.
The first of these is to do with length. Similar to the way Google handles title tags, meta descriptions that are over 160 characters are going to get cut off, and the bit that gets cut off could well include your most competitive keyword. Nobody wants that, right?
To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, have a look at all of your meta descriptions (you can ask your content writing service where they are if you’re not sure) and run a simple character count check on them, with an online tool like this one. Anything that’s over 160 characters needs to get cut so that it fits the length requirements.
The other big way people can trip themselves up with meta descriptions is by including the wrong kind of content. Again, the similarity with title tags is striking. You don’t want your meta descriptions to be carbon copies of each other, just like you don’t want them to be re-written knockoffs of your competitors’ descriptions.
If you’re confused about how you should go about writing a meta description, keep it simple. Describe the webpage in question as you would to a five year-old, and remember to frame it in the form of a question.
For example: ‘This webpage includes all of the information you need to know about basket weaving.’
This is a poor meta description, because it’s boring to read and it doesn’t include a question, which is a powerful way of drawing readers into your page.
A better way to phrase that could be the following: ‘Have you been wondering how to get started with basket weaving? We break down everything you need to know.’
See how much more energetic it is? Any content writing service worth their salt will know how to handle meta descriptions, but you’d be amazed at how poor some of the work they produce is.
3. Tag Issues
Still another way you might be messing up your own content marketing strategy is by misusing tags. Tags, put simply, are the way search engines can tell which part of your webpage they’re looking at. They take the form of HTML code, inside of which the actual content appears.
There are two important ways you can go about fixing any tag-related SEO problems with your content. This is a really simple fix which is weighted incredibly heavily in the SEO algorithm which decides where to rank your webpage.
The first of these is to make sure that every single page on your side has a H1 tag. H1 is the header, which is the first thing every search engine checks for, and should contain everything a prospective visitor needs to know about the webpage in question. Good content writing services will guarantee that every page has a header; sub-par ones will brush this under the rug.
To find out whether your page has a header or not, right click anywhere on it and click ‘Show Page Source.’ Once the source code pops up (which can be intimidating, we know), simple use the FIND function (control + f) and search for <h1> / </h1>. These are the header tags, and if they pop up in your find search, then congratulations, you do have a header after all.
If they don’t, your content writing service has some explaining to do.
The second major way you might be making an SEO mistake is by failing to use the correct tag hierarchy in a consistent manner throughout your website.
While the H1 tag is far and away the most important, there are also H2 tags, and H3 tags—right the way down to H6. These should be used in order to create headlines for progressively less important topics.
For example, if your content writing service came up with an article about cars, the H2 tags might talk about the main components—the engine, the chassis, the transmission—while the H3 tags could discuss the handling, and the H4 tags could discuss the paintwork, and so forth.
Don’t be afraid to dive into the source code in order to get to the bottom of this. If your content writing service isn’t producing SEO-optimized content, it’s you who’s going to suffer, not them, especially if you’re not aware of it. Get your hands dirty and your SEO ranking will thank you for it.
4. Link and Content Issues
Google is going to hammer your website for including broken links which don’t lead anywhere. Designing a website is a labor-intensive process which requires minute attention to detail, and so it can be understandable that a few links will slip through the cracks here and there. This isn’t in itself a reason to mistrust your content writing service as a whole, but it still shouldn’t be happening; and it certainly shouldn’t be happening very much.
There are online tools you can use to check your site for broken links: we recommend this one, but feel free to do your own research and come up with a tool of your choice.
Again, this is an easy fix. While it won’t make a colossal amount of difference to your search engine ranking, it will help noticeably, and for that reason we here at Triple Vowel encourage you sorting it out sooner rather than later, if for no other reason than to get it off your chest.
A much more problematic issue is poor quality content.
Content writing services must produce top-quality content. That’s what you’re paying them for, after all. If they’re not churning out the best SEO-optimized content you’ve ever seen, you might well be wasting your money and wrecking your organic visibility in one fell swoop.
Good content uses focus keywords at a density of less than 4% and in grammatically-correct, reasonable situations. This is a vital point to take note of, because as search engines become more and more sophisticated, they’re getting better and better at figuring out when a keyword is used in a context in which it doesn’t make sense.
As an illustrative example, imagine your keyword of choice is ‘basket weaving techniques.’
A good way to use that keyword is as follows:
‘One of the best basket weaving techniques involves keeping the reeds as straight as possible before weaving.’
See how it makes sense in the overall context of the sentence?
A bad way to use the keyword (which is sure to get you shunted down on the search engine rankings) might be like this:
‘Football is a game played in two halves, each of which involve basket weaving techniques.’
You might laugh, but we really have seen pieces produced by content writing services which are almost as blatantly terrible as that.
Moreover, if you’re flooding your content with keywords, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Any content service who are providing you with keyword-bloated content aren’t helping, and you should probably let them go post-haste.
Even if you find out that your agency is committing some of these errors, it’s not the end of the world, especially since most of them can be fixed relatively easily.
Just remember to be vigilant, and to deal with issues as soon as you encounter them. SEO stuff simply cannot be put on the back-burner on account of its importance to your website’s overall performance.
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