Every website needs great content. But, it’s easy to get your website content wrong, and many people make mistakes that can undermine their efforts. Here are a few of the most common content marketing mistakes to avoid when creating content for your website.
Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website
10 common content marketing mistakes to avoid
Mistake #1. Failing to understand your audience
Rarely — if ever — will a single message resonate with everyone. People have different pain points and will connect with different messages. If you don’t know who your audience is or understand the kind of message that will resonate with them, you run the risk of your content falling flat.
Before you start creating content for your website and other marketing channels, you need to know who will be consuming it. Once you understand that, you can send a message that will hit home for your specific audience.
Mistake #2. Not providing value
There are many reasons why you need website content. You write it to help you rank higher on search engines, to make a sale and for a plethora of other reasons. But none of that will happen if your content doesn’t provide value.
When you’re creating content for your website, social media profiles, YouTube channel or anything else, your number one goal should be to provide value to your audience. Put yourself in their shoes, and ask yourself what kind of content you’d find valuable.
Mistake #3. Failing to account for SEO
As I mentioned, one of the goals of content marketing should be to rank on search engines, like Google or Bing. That means that you need to find the keywords people search when looking for businesses or services like yours, and optimize your content for those keywords.
While valuable content will always win out, it’s important to use the keywords you want to rank for. Make it a point to use keywords naturally in your metadata, headlines and the bulk of your content. Just don’t overdo it, or it will come across as spammy.
Mistake #4. Writing for search engines instead of people
Even if your number one goal for content marketing is to rank high and increase your visibility on search engines, it’s a major mistake to only write with search engines in mind and forget about the actual people who will be reading it.
Google’s main priority is to provide its users with the results they want, which means that they value content that real people value, too. Always write with your audience in mind, and search engine visibility will naturally follow.
Mistake #5. Stealing content from someone else
When you’re staring at a blank webpage, wondering what to write, it can be exceedingly difficult to get started. Simply looking up what a competitor is doing and using their content as your own can be a tempting prospect.
Stealing content won’t necessarily mean that your site will be penalized, but Google will pretend like your content doesn’t exist at all. Duplicate content won’t help to improve your rankings or your organic visibility. You’re much better off creating your own unique content.
Mistake #6. Failing to format content for mobile users
A lot of small businesses imagine their website visitors to be on a desktop or a laptop, but it’s important to realize that many of your visitors will be using a smartphone or a tablet. It’s a mistake to forget about them when creating content for your website.
The content itself won’t necessarily be different for mobile users, but the formatting should be. A long paragraph can look like a wall of text on a phone. Break your content up into short paragraphs, bullet points and lists to provide a better mobile experience.
Mistake #7. Thinking content just means text
When most people think about website content, they think about text. And, while text is absolutely a big part of it and shouldn’t be overlooked, it’s far from the only type of content you should be creating.
Content can mean lots of things beyond just text, including images, designs and videos. The more you diversify your content, the better you’ll be able to make a lasting impression on your audience.
Mistake #8. Focusing too much on sales
One key reason why small businesses and marketers create content is to drive sales. Ultimately, the end goal of your website is to create revenue, so it makes sense that your website content would share this goal.
However, if you focus too much on sales when creating content, you can end up turning your audience off. No one wants to be inundated with overly promotional content that has no value to anyone. Instead, focus on value and the sales will come.
Mistake #9. Limiting content marketing to your website
It makes sense that your website content will have a home on your website. After all, it’s why you’re creating the content in the first place. But, that doesn’t mean it should be limited to your website.
When you create a blog or a video for your website, for example, it won’t go very far if it stays on your website. Promote your website content on your other channels, like Facebook, Instagram or even YouTube, to make it go further.
Mistake #10. Not getting your timing right
Timing is a critical part of marketing. You can create beautiful, high-value content that’s full of the right keywords and sends the right message, but if you get your timing wrong, it’s not going to be as valuable as it could be.
For example, if an e-commerce website that sells jewelry writes a blog about Mother’s Day gift ideas, but publishes it in June, it’s not going to be helpful to anyone. When it comes to content marketing, always consider your timing.
Consider — and avoid — these common content marketing mistakes when creating content for your small business website.