Copywriting Mistakes Most Writers Make (Google Hates These 25 SEO Errors)

copywriting mistakes

Correct these writing errors–your readers deserve quality content.

Are you tired of writing copy that’s as appealing as a soggy sandwich? Well, fear not, copywriting colleagues! Today, we will tackle the oh-so-common mistakes that even the most seasoned SEO copywriters make. From keyword stuffing to “word salad,” we’ve got it all covered. So, please sit back, and grab your coffee (or your preferred beverage, no judgment here). Let’s dive into the world of SEO copywriting mistakes that are so wrong even Google will shake its virtual head in disapproval.

25 SEO Copywriting Mistakes That Too Many Writers Make

Google (and the lesser-used Bing) hate these errors. But more importantly–they mislead, confuse, and confound site visitors. Copywriters, you have just one job. Let’s look in the mirror and admit to the laughable copywriting mistakes that harm SEO and befuddles site users.

1 – Failure to research the keyword.

Failing to research your keywords is like a superhero trying to save the world without knowing the enemy’s weaknesses. So, let’s arm ourselves with knowledge and research our keywords like Batman prepares for a fight against the Joker–with precision and strategy.

2 – Forgetting to use secondary keywords.

Forgetting secondary keywords is like forgetting to put on deodorant before a job interview. It may not be the end of the world, but it can leave a stinky impression. So, let’s remember the small things and use our secondary keywords to boost our primary ones.

3 – No focus on long-tail keywords (among the most common SEO copywriting mistakes!).

Long-tail keywords are phrases that are specific and have a low search volume. They may bring in less traffic than more general keywords, but they are easier to rank for. If you focus solely on general keywords, you should catch up on the benefits of targeting long-tail keywords.

Not focusing on long-tail keywords is like a superhero fighting with one hand tied behind the back. It’s a disadvantage. So, let’s unleash our full potential and use our long-tail keywords like Thor uses his hammer–with power and precision.

4 – Writing a dull opening.

Writing a dull opening is like starting a party with a math lesson–it kills the mood. So, let’s kick off our content opening like a DJ kicks off a party. Bring the energy and excitement!

5 – Forgetting a call-to-action at the end of the content.

Don’t leave readers scratching their heads wondering what to do. A call-to-action statement tells your readers what you want them to do next. You miss potential leads (and confuse the hell out of readers) if you skip the CTA.

Here are three examples of CTA statements:

  • So, what do you say, my generous friends? Let’s show our hearts are bigger than our wallets and donate to this fantastic charity. Every penny counts. Who knows? You might even get a lifetime supply of good karma. Click that donate button, and let’s make the world a better place, one dollar at a time.
  • Psst…Hey, you. Yes, you, with your eyes glued to the screen. Wanna be part of the cool club and get access to exclusive content, insider tips, and the occasional joke that only smart people understand? Then, subscribe to my blog, my friend. Not only will you become smarter (duh!), but you’ll also get a free virtual high-five from yours truly. Click that subscribe button, and let’s be smart and cool together.
  • Attention, shoppers! Stop scrolling mindlessly and listen up. Do you hope to be the envy of all your friends and have a wardrobe that screams, “I’m fabulous, and I know it”? Of course, you do! So, head over to our online shop and give in to the temptation of beautiful clothes, irresistible accessories, and maybe even a pair of shoes that will make you feel like Cinderella (minus the pumpkin and the glass slipper, of course). Don’t wait. Click that “add to cart” button to make your fashion dreams come true.

But seriously. I used some humor crafting these CTAs; you must decide whether it’s appropriate for your audience.

6 – Using the wrong tone (of the SEO copywriting mistakes, this one requires the most self-awareness).

Using the wrong tone is like wearing a tuxedo to a beach party – it’s out of place and may make you look silly. So, let’s use our tone like a fashionista uses their outfit – with style and appropriateness.

7 – Failure to explain a pain point (and then fix it).

Failing to explain a pain point and then solving it is like a superhero pretending there’s no problem until it’s too late. It’s not heroic. So, let’s be like Superman and tackle our pain points head-on, providing solutions like Clark Kent provides news.

8 – Not focusing on search intent.

Not focusing on search intent is like a psychiatrist prescribing medicine without knowing the patient’s symptoms. It is inappropriate and ineffective. So, let’s tune in to the audience’s needs like a therapist tunes in to their patient–with empathy and understanding.

9 – Not using subheaders to make digestible content.

Not using subheaders is like eating a giant burger without cutting it in half. It’s messy and hard to handle. Instead, let’s slice our content like a sushi chef slices their fish–with precision and thoughtfulness.

10 – Long sentences (another of the most common SEO copywriting mistakes).

Long sentences are like a marathon without water stations, leaving us thirsty and exhausted. So, let’s use our sentences like we use our breaths, with breaks and pauses, so our readers can catch up and keep up.

11 – Too formal a tone.

While a formal tone may be appropriate for some content, it’s smug in the wrong context. Ensure your tone aligns with the brand and resonates with your target audience.

You don’t want to sound like a British royal, do you? Jolly good.

12 – Too casual a tone.

On the other hand, sounding like you’re having a chat with your bestie over brunch could be better too. Unless, of course, your bestie is the King of England. In which case, carry on, your highness.

13 – Snoozer, boring headlines.

Let’s face it. A snooze-worthy headline is the equivalent of a sleeping pill in text form. If you want to keep readers engaged, you’ll need a headline that’s as exciting as a game of hot potato (or at least as exciting as a game of Scrabble with your competitive aunt). So, let’s ditch the yawns and bring on the yays!

14 – Using clickbait headlines that deceive users.

Ah, the clickbait headline. The classic case of “you had one job.” We get it. You want to grab attention. But promising a cure for baldness when all you have is a hairbrush is not cool. So, let’s make a pact, shall we? We’ll promise what we can deliver, and our readers will reward us with their loyalty and admiration. Deal? Deal.

15 – Keyword stuffing (Please. Stop!)

Listen, I get it. Keywords are like sprinkles on a cupcake – the more, the merrier, right? Wrong! Like too many sprinkles can ruin a perfect cupcake (yes, that’s possible), too many keywords can ruin excellent content. So, let’s be smart about this and use keywords like we use those colorful sprinkles – sparingly and with precision.

16 – Forgetting to be mobile-friendly.

Mobile devices are like pocket-sized universes these days. If your website copy doesn’t fit in that universe, you miss out on a galaxy of potential customers. So, let’s make sure your website is mobile-friendly and not as outdated as a VHS tape.

17 – Overuse of adverbs. 

While adverbs can emphasize your content, overusing them can make it dilute it. Make sure you use adverbs sparingly. Consider them accessories to your content. Like accessories, too much can overwhelm readers. 

So, let’s wear our adverbs like our jewelry – sparingly and with taste to make a statement.

18 – Overuse of adjectives.

Similarly, overusing adjectives can make your content sound fluffy and unconvincing. Use adjectives sparingly and focus on providing value to your readers.

Adjectives are like toppings on a pizza-; they can make or break it. So, let’s use our adjectives like we use our pizza toppings–with balance and harmony. Few enjoy a pizza with too many toppings; most don’t prefer adjective-overloaded content.

19 – Unattractive formatting.

Formatting makes a first impression. Of course, you must make it count. So, let’s ensure your content looks as good as a supermodel in a designer outfit, not as messy as a teenager’s bedroom.

20 – Overuse of filler words that dilute the impact.

Fillers are like salt in your cooking. A little bit can add flavor. But too much can ruin the whole dish. So, let’s sprinkle our fillers like we sprinkle our salt–with caution and great taste.

21 – Serving up a “word salad.”

“Word salad” refers to writing that is difficult to understand and lacks coherence. Make sure your copywriting is easy to follow and flows logically.

Word salad is like a fruit salad with onions – it’s confusing and tastes weird. So, let’s ensure our content is as explicit and logical as a math equation and not as confusing as a traffic jam in a foreign country.

22 – Writing too long of a post for the topic.

Writing a blog post that’s too long is like telling a joke that’s too long – it loses its punchline and becomes a snooze-fest. So, let’s keep our blog posts as engaging as a conversation with a friend. Nobody wanted a post longer than a season of a Netflix series.

23 – Writing too short a post for the topic.

Writing a blog post that’s too short is like eating a tiny cupcake. It is cute but unsatisfying. So, let’s make sure our blog posts are as satisfying as a good meal, not leaving you hungry for a bigger bite.

24 – Forgetting to spellcheck.

While it may seem obvious, forgetting to spellcheck your content can harm your brand’s reputation and make you appear unprofessional.

Forgetting to spellcheck is like leaving the house with mismatched socks – it’s embarrassing and shows that you ignored details. So, let’s make sure our content is as polished as a new car, not messy like a toddler’s playroom.

25 – Over-reliance on spellchecking and grammar-checking tools (use your human eyes!).

While spellchecking and grammar-checking tools can be helpful, they could be better. Make sure you use your human eyes to check your content for errors and ensure it flows logically.

Relying too much on spellchecking and grammar-checking tools is like relying too much on a GPS. You may end up lost or in the wrong direction. So, let’s use our tools like a map. Let them be a guide, not a substitute for our common sense.


Summing It Up: Avoid These SEO Copywriting Mistakes for Crisper Output

So, there you have it, copywriting compatriots–the most common SEO copywriting mistakes to avoid. Remember, writing copy that engages your audience while also pleasing the search engines isn’t rocket science, but it does take practice and attention to detail. And if you need assistance, don’t hesitate to give me a shout. 

But seriously. Let’s create content that’s so awesome that even Google will give us a standing ovation. Happy writing!

Deborah Tayloe

Deborah Tayloe is the founder and CEO of Word Innovations, a seasoned copywriter who got her start in print magazines almost two decades ago. She specializes in writing about technology, SEO, gardening and agriculture, home services, and for the health industry. When she's not writing for clients, she's training for her next 5k or volunteering for her local animal rescue. Deborah lives in Aulander, North Carolina with her husband, Randy and their rescue pets.