July 13th, 2023 at 11:54 am
Ten web content mistakes every new business should avoid
10 minutes reading
Content is your brand’s most powerful tool to increase your reach, promote your products and convert your audience into loyal customers. However, just as good content can bring you immense benefits, poorly planned and written content can ruin your business. That’s why the professional content writing market is rapidly growing, and currently, it’s worth nearly half a trillion dollars. About 50% of all companies plan to increase their content teams, while about 75% of large companies entirely outsource their content writing. That’s not surprising, as 40% of businesses feel intimidated by the need to produce high-quality content for their websites.
It’s true. Producing high-quality content is a challenge, especially if you don’t have a dedicated team to create it. Sadly, if you are a new small or micro business owner, you most probably don’t have the resources to create a content team or even outsource your content creation. So, naturally, this formidable task falls on your shoulders. Luckily HostAramada is here to help. To simplify your job, we gathered the ten most common mistakes new website owners make when trying to create their own content.
1. No Content Strategy
Creating high-quality content is much more complicated than simply sitting down and writing a blog post or an article. First, there is much research involved. Usually, the preparation phase takes about 80% of the time, while writing the text will take only about a fifth of the effort. Naturally, the preparation phase can be cut short if you take the time and create a comprehensive and data-driven content strategy. Creating an entire content strategy is by no means an easy task. It demands a lot of research and know-how. Last week we shared an extremely detailed walk-through on creating a winning content strategy. We urge you to check it out if you missed it since a good content strategy is the foundation on which you will build your content.
In a nutshell, a content strategy is a data-driven blueprint behind your entire content creation process. This is the document that answers the who, what, where, when, and how questions of your content and allows you to plan your content so you won’t need to start from the very top each time you sit to write a blog post, for example.
A content strategy is the most powerful document regarding your content, as it allows you to closely follow your content’s performance and determine which piece of the puzzle is missing. Moreover, it will enable you to focus on your goals rather than a specific topic, which will help you optimize your content, better your communication with the customers, and increase your conversion rate, sales, and profits.
2. No apparent goal for the content
A good content strategy will help you determine your content’s goal long before you start creating it. Each content piece should have a measurable goal. The purpose largely determines the format and the channel you will use to share your content. Some mediums work better with specific content formats, while others will interact much better with the targeted audience. For example, if you want to target audiences at the top of the marketing funnel, a case study shared through email will be highly insufficient. On the other hand, an SEO-optimized educational blog post like this one, which will be shared through social media and search engines, has a lot more potential to receive the desired attention from this audience segment.
Moreover, you need to build your message based on your goal. If you aim to increase your lead generation, you must adjust your wording and your message so it will push customers to follow the provided link to a landing page. For example, product pages usually aim to sell products. Naturally, that’s not the place to educate or to build interest. Your content on your product page should be short, sweet, and persuasive. On the other hand, a post-purchase email aims to increase your social proof by convincing the customer to leave a review. So, it stands to reason that the content shouldn’t introduce new benefits but act as an invitation and express gratitude.
Aligning your content with your goals will give your work meaning and allow you to measure how good the content is and whether it needs some changes. Most importantly, interacting with your audience will be much more efficient.
3. Choosing irrelevant content
For your content to be relevant, you must choose an interesting topic for your audience. This will help you generate higher interest in your potential customers, and your message will spread further. Moreover, a relevant topic will help you reach your goals much easier. For example, if no one cares about t-shirt fabrics, yet you try to create a lead generation campaign based on this topic, it will undoubtedly produce worse results than if you use a trending topic in the t-shirt production industry.
Following the industry trends will give you a good idea of what’s being discussed at the moment. Moreover, constantly observing your competitors will bring you a long way if you don’t have the resources or time to research independently. Naturally, observing your audience’s behavior is a better way to find relevant topics. For example, if we take social media content, some objective metrics, like “likes” and “shares,” can show you what topics fly best with your audience.
Moreover, analyzing your blog and its results in Google Analytics can give you a great sense of the topics that attract the most customers and if they achieve the set goals. For example, if a blog post has attracted 20,000 readers but none have continued their journey. Obviously, the topic is relevant, but the content needs some tweaks. On the other hand, if a blog post has 1000 views, but 900 of them continue their journey, it’s evident that the topic is not widespread but highly potent.
Still, using the GSC and researching long-tail keywords is by far the best way to find new and exciting topics. This will give you a ton of ideas that your potential clients will find mighty interesting.
4. Disregarding the brand voice
Keeping your brand voice consistent across channels is one of the most challenging tasks you will have when creating various types of content. However, maintaining the same brand voice is essential to building your brand personality. Deviating from your established brand voice may lead to losing the trust of your audience. In addition, consistency is key to retaining your customer base, as people seek some security and stability when choosing a product. Varying your brand voice across messages and channels may be a small thing, but subconsciously it affects the audience’s perception of your product in a negative way.
This mistake is quite common among new brands that haven’t yet established a brand voice and content strategy. They often confuse the content tone with the brand voice and try to modify it according to the channel. Still, while following the media’s tone is a good idea, deviating from your brand voice is anything but.
To avoid making this mistake, all you need to do is to write down the aspects of your brand voice which correspond with your product or service. Then, highlight the key elements of your voice, and always check if your content is not contradicting them.
5. Neglecting the channel preferences
Speaking of the tone of voice, we can’t forget to mention that each communication channel has its own preferences regarding content. The tone of voice is probably the most noticeable. For example, a blog post must be more generalized and distant than an email. The latter should be personalized and far more relaxed than a blog post.
Some platforms have specific preferences for the content format as well. The most obvious one is YouTube, where text content is definitely not optimal. On the other hand, social media content can differ depending on the platform. For example, TikTok is well known for its short videos. Instagram allows videos and pictures, depending on your audience and product, which will work better. Crafting unique Instagram story designs using a tool like Wepik can add visual appeal and increase your brand visibility.
The main mistake regarding the channel’s preferences is that people often try to create multipurpose content, which they can later distribute across channels. Most often, the reason is lack of time. However, that’s the worst idea you can have. A text segment of a blog can’t work just as well as a social media post, as it simply doesn’t correspond to the tone of the social media platforms. Moreover, the text has a vastly different goal, making its use in another channel highly inefficient.
6. No added value or personal experience
This brings us to the value of your content. Each piece of content must be valuable to the audience if you hope it will achieve its goal. For example, a common mistake we see in some young brands is to publish an abstract picture on Facebook with an “inspirational quote.” This content has absolutely no value and delivers no information. Moreover, that also doesn’t work as brand awareness. It doesn’t represent the brand in any way. Here is where the content strategy comes into play. If you’ve done your job of creating a good content strategy, you will already know what added value each of your content would have.
Naturally, the added value should closely relate to your content’s goal. For example, this blog post is educational content with a brand awareness goal. Therefore, its added value is the shared know-how to create better content for your website. Naturally, this topic interests most new business owners who just started their websites and have no idea how to create compelling content. We are highly interested in this audience, as most of our clients are precisely such people.
When it comes to blog posts, your content should aim not only to be valuable but also unique. It needs to showcase your knowledge and understanding of the industry and business. Sharing personal experiences will help you achieve that.
Creating good valuable content is definitely not an easy task. You must have a lot of experience and know-how in creating such content. Still, a good start is to familiarize yourself with Google’s Helpful Content document. This is the guideline that Google uses to determine the quality of your content. Naturally, it pretty much mirrors their user’s behavior. So it stands to reason to try and be as close to these guidelines as possible.
7. Using edgy content
That’s another common mistake newbies make when trying to stand out in front of their competitors. While edgy content will certainly attract users’ attention, it will definitely not help you reach your goals. Moreover, more often than not, edgy content is penalized by search engines, so it will even make the audience shrink.
Ultimately edgy content has no value other than pure shock value. Unfortunately, shock value is not ideal for marketing purposes and has long since been proven ineffective. On the contrary, edgy content will alienate segments of your audience, devastating your brand image and authority.
So, while edgy content can certainly deliver vast amounts of clicks, it’s doubtful this will lead to some benefits for your brand goals.
8. Overlooking spell and grammar check
With about half of the American population struggling to spell correctly, one can easily be confused that spelling is not that important when it comes to content. But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. Impeccable spelling and grammar are mandatory for any and all channels and formats. Any sort of mistake hinders your brand authority and destroys your credibility in front of the audience. So, naturally, this leads to fewer conversions, fewer sales, and lower profits.
Unfortunately, many new business owners, who can’t afford to hire professional writers, often fall for the error blindness trap. Error blindness occurs when you have spent several hours writing a piece of content and cannot see obvious errors due to fatigue. The best way to avoid this mistake is to use a spell-checking program like Grammarly or hire an editor to proofread your content.
If you can’t afford either, you can at least give yourself some rest before starting to check your writing. A good tactic is to edit your work the next day. This way, you will have enough time away from the text.
9. Ignoring the content’s SEO optimization
As we’ve discussed many times until now, SEO is the cornerstone behind your success. Naturally, if you want your content to be visible in search engines, you need to make sure your SEO is in top shape. Every single piece of content must receive optimization. Most often, you need to manually add meta headlines and descriptions as well as some keywords. Moreover, you must ensure your website has perfect readability, which imposes some pretty restrictive requirements. For example, each paragraph needs to be less than 150 words. You need to have enough pictures in your text. Your text must not be too complicated, but at the same time should not sound simplistic.
Its high load speed, security, and reliability are a general must for content. For example, 53% of users will abandon a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Moreover, a 2-second delay will increase the bounce rate by 87%. Therefore, you need a fast, reliable, and secure hosting service. This way, you will avoid hindering your content success due to technical issues like load speed. Thankfully, HostArmada can offer you just that. Our cloud-based server technology guarantees high speed and practically no downtime at all. If you want to improve your content load speed, just contact one of our representatives, who will help you choose the perfect plan for your needs.
10. Not tracking the content’s performance
The last mistake on our list is one that not only newbies commit but some established businesses as well. Tracking your content’s performance is the key to improving it over time, ultimately guaranteeing that it will serve its purpose. Naturally, if you’ve created your content strategy, you will already have some KPI to follow based on the content’s goal. If you haven’t done your content strategy plan, you can start by separating your content based on channel, format, and goal.
For example, put all social media lead generation content in one document. Then, closely check the statistics in your business social media account and study the best and worst performers. Since that’s lead generation content, you’d want to follow the CTR and the landing page views count, as they are the most relevant to the content’s goal. Then analyze the differences and what may cause them to perform the way they do. After you’ve drawn some conclusions, it’s time to test them by implementing the changes in a new lead-generation social media post.
The biggest mistake is not to create content at all
Even if you’ve committed some of these mistakes with your content, at least you avoided the biggest mistake of them all – not having any content whatsoever. Content is King for a reason. Refusing to acknowledge its importance won’t change the fact that having no content will guarantee you oblivion in the vast information ocean of the Internet. Unfortunately, in today’s business world, you are practically invisible if you are not on the Internet. So, even if you can’t allocate the money and resources to hire a content team or to outsource this tedious task, make sure to offer your audience at least some content that’s devoid of these ten common mistakes.