As a copywriter, your job requires a good grasp on vocabulary, an ability to expand thoughts in a way that makes them both easy to understand and more informed, and an acquired craftsmanship of words, in general. Copywriting is a skill, meaning it can be learned, but just as practicing can achieve a higher success, you may also find yourself making mistakes. In the professional world, many of these should be actively avoided. Here, we will list and explain seven common mistakes copywriters should avoid.
As a copywriter, you will either be given a set of keywords a client wishes you to employ throughout a certain body of text, or you will be responsible for researching keywords that may work best for the project. In either regard, your initial step should be researching keywords. Being knowledgeable of Google trends and your client’s target audience will ensure you are writing something that won’t get lost in the Internet world. Choosing to skip researching keywords you are assigned or discover yourself can lead to a lack of interest in your project, leading it to not even show up through Google searches, and if you aren’t gaining traffic, you’re not helping your client gain business.
Keyword “stuffing” is an error copywriters may make on their own, or, at times, an uneducated client may even request keyword “stuffing”. It’s your responsibility to abstain from this action. Keyword stuffing looks unprofessional on your part and can even be penalized by Google if featured on a site. Not only that, but it will make your writing one-dimensional and look negligent to readers. Websites, such as Yoast, allow you to check the keyword density of your writing. If the site detects keyword stuffing, it will notify you. To avoid this blunder, utilize Yoast before turning in a project, and practice using keywords only every other paragraph, if not a little less, and also while keeping the length of the article in mind. Lengthy article can allow for more presentation of keywords throughout the body of the text than a smaller in size article could.
On the subject of keywords, installing only one can be just as much of a mistake as utilizing too many too often. Creating a variety of keywords will help propel your piece to higher viewership. An example of this would be to use the keywords/phrases: “animals at the zoo” “zoo animals” “Chicago Zoo” “new animals” “new species”. The variables allow you to fill your content with keywords but not simply repeat one, perhaps “Chicago Zoo” over and over again. You can even employ synonyms for words in the key phrases, helping you refrain from making the mistake of focusing too much on one keyword or phrase.
Proper SEO content involves being aware of the readability throughout the writing and editing processes. Sentences shouldn’t be too long or convoluted, especially if the writing is more a broad, more general audience. Creating content that will be readable to a wide audience is a key tactic copywriters should practice. If your message, whatever that may be, isn’t easily understood and received by readers, you’re losing traffic to the website.
Research is a task that doesn’t typically excite its practitioner. However, it is necessary to creating and successfully executing work that you’re proud of and that readers will positively respond to. Even if you are commissioned to write on a topic you know a lot about, you should still support your opinions with concrete facts and support. Data, results of scholarly or scientific studies, and graphs are great inclusions.
This is perhaps the most tedious part of copywriting, but skimping the editing process can lead to grammatical errors and misspellings. If visitors of a website find these mistakes, it makes the content and author less credible, possibly discouraging them from becoming consumers. Make a point to create a habit of proofreading, allowing for the time that process takes, when quoting clients the amount of time a certain project may take you. The best time to edit and proofread is after you’ve practiced a hiatus from your work, giving your eyes the time to more aptly reevaluate the writing. You may enlist the help of a close friend or spouse to help your proofread, a fresh set of eyes may catch mistakes you couldn’t yourself find. There are also online services dedicated to helping ensure a lack of grammar and punctuation mistakes, such as Grammarly. Skipping over editing, or doing so haphazardly, can make your work appear amateur.