Your blog is where your business lives on the Internet. It’s where people go to find out more about what it is you do. That being the case, you want your blog to be the best it can be, right?
A blog that is too hard to read will turn people away in a heartbeat, and that’s not good for business. Watch out for these common mistakes and your blog can live up to its full potential.
Packing in too much content
Writing too much is one of the most common mistakes bloggers make. Luckily it’s also one of the easiest to fix. We live in a fast paced word and people expect to get to the meat of an article quickly.
A study by web usability guru Jakob Neilson shows that most people will read 20% of a web page before moving on. Not a very high percentage is it. Take a look at your copy and make sure that is clear, concise, and gets to the point quickly. Think Hemingway, not Melville.
Forgetting to focus on reader needs
People visit your page because you are offering something that they may be interested in. Now that you have their attention, drive it home. Use your new concise writing style to tell them exactly how useful your product or service is.
Yes, tell them about yourself and your company. Of course you should describe what you’re offering. But be sure not to leave out the most important piece of information: How your product is going to benefit your customer.
Not making links SEO-friendly
Anchor text is the name given to the words that make up a hyperlink. The words that make up that anchor text have a big say in the search engine ranking your web page will receive, so it’s best to slide a keyword relating to your product or company in there.
For example, if you sell vintage comic books, a link on your page should read: “Buy your vintage comic books here” instead of “Buy your vintage comic books here”. Making sure that the words “vintage comic books” are highlighted in that link will do wonders for your SEO.
Since we were on the subject of keywords and SEO, there are a few more places where you should be make sure your keywords appear.
- Meta Titles – These are the words that appear in the top of the browser. You want to make sure that you have a keyword related to your product or service in every meta title on you site, and that each meta title is a little different.
- Page Headlines – The headline or title of each page should also include a relevant keyword.
- First Sentences – The earlier on in the first sentence of each page you can include a good keyword the better.
- Alternate Image Tags – Yet another way to increase you search engine ranking. These are the little text boxes that appear when you leave your cursor over an image for a second or two.
Making obvious grammatical errors
A blog post or promotional email filled with grammatical mistakes is not only painful to read, but a sure fire way to make sure that no one takes you seriously. Here are a few of the most common grammar slipups.
It’s and Its – “It’s” is a replacement for “it is,” as in “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” “Its” shows possession: “Here is the new battery for your camera, its charge lasts 15 hours.”
You’re and Your – These two are basically the same as above, “you’re is a replacement for “you are” and “your” shows possession.
There and Their – “There” is used when you are talking about going somewhere: “We are going over there.” “Their” is plural possessive, use it when you are referring to the belongings of two or more people: That is their apartment.
Lay and Lie – In this case, “Lay” is something you do with and object: “Lay the grocery bags on the counter.” “Lie” is something that a person does: “I don’t feel good, I am going to lie down.”
Who and Whom – This is the one that bugs me the most. The easiest way to remember which to use is to think about what you want to refer to, the subject of the sentence or the object. For the subject, use “who”: “Who is that handsome fellow with the glasses over there?” The object in the sentence is the thing being talked about: “Whom do these glasses belong to?”
When you blog, there are numerous ways to turn an award-worthy post into an embarrassing joke. By sticking to the rules listed above and avoiding these pitfalls, you can post great content with the confidence that you’re doing things right.
Guest Post By: Daniel Cassady is a frequent contributor to a blog by Benchmark Email (http://www.benchmarkemail.com/blogs), a global email marketing service