Worst Web Writing Mistakes You Can Make

Posted on December 6, 2012 by Ryn G

Flashing graphics and videos that start playing loudly out of nowhere are not the only things on the web that can give you a headache. The writing may be to blame. Your job when copywriting web content is to avoid the worst mistakes out there, which came to our attention at HighRankings.com, Badlanguage.net and through our web surfing experience.

SEO SOS

A site gets an SOS for SEO when keywords are either crammed so tightly the readers’ eyes start to spin or are misspelled, grammatically incorrect and awkward yet a big part of the text anyway.

Some clients may not care how obnoxious a key phrase such as “carpet cleaning resident’s Cinsinatti Ohio” can be. No one talks like that. The phrase is grammatically incorrect. And most folks would probably notice the popular Ohio city is spelled wrong.

That’s OK, the company rep may say, as our keyword search analyzer said people spell Cincinnati wrong all the time. We wanted to cover all bases. Compound the horror by using the phrase no fewer than 22 times in 400 words and you’ve created one gloppy mess of web content.

Links that stink

Links that stink come in several categories. They can:

  • Link back to shoddy websites or sources with equally shoddy content
  • Link back to porno websites with, well, you know the content
  • Link back to a stand-up, authoritative site that has absolutely nothing to do with the content but was only linked for an edge when it comes to search engine results

All of the above bring down the credibility of the content, as well as the company. Shoddy sources can include forums where anyone and their dog can add comments that are treated as indisputable facts. It may also include personal blogs written by yourself or your neighbor, no matter how knowledgeable either of you may be about “carpet cleaning resident’s Cinsinatti Ohio.”

Non-shoddy sources are typically those that include an About page with proof of experience on a given topic. Some content can particularly benefit from government or academic sources while others blossom with info linked to scholarly articles or scientific studies.

Woeful wording

We offer supreme products that enhance network platforms with stalwart protection against malicious keylogger attacks by encrypting keystrokes, a basic functionary element required in a comprehensive next-generation security solution and one designed by our in-house researchers and next-generation architects.

Huh?

Woeful wording packs the above example, with pockets of woe that include:

  • Focus on the company rather than the reader
  • Jargon and complicated language
  • Too much info in way too little space
  • Lack of info on items the reader really does want or need to know

Informative and compelling copy is what appears to be surviving all the web copywriting fads and trends. That also means it’s the way to go. If a client insists on falling victim to bad copywriting techniques, at least remember you still have a saving grace: many web writing projects remain anonymous.

Ryn G is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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