How Duplicate Content Can Harm Your Website
Google hates duplicate content, so much so it has a Panda that chases it down and then hits the websites that dare to partake in such practices. Although Panda is the algorithm that looks for this type of “bad SEO”, the emphasis is still true that the search engines, especially Big G, really do hate this type of content on your site, which is why over the past few updates, more and more sites that have published their content on other sites as well have been hit with both algorithmic and manual penalties.
It is important to say that they only punish this type of content because they consider it to be a lazy effort on the part of the site owner, because in their eyes, every piece of content that you publish in your site should be:
If you manage to tick all of these boxes then your page (and website) has a really sound chance of ranking well, but if you decide to take the quick route and publish other writers work or just repeat and repeat rubbish, then look out, the Panda is coming to get you, if it hasn’t already.
There are two main types of duplicate content that you should be thinking about:
Onsite Duplicate Content
Google rewards effort and therefore loves every page on your site to be unique and not use the same copy over and over again on many of your site pages. Common causes are location pages where you just change the names of the places but keep the same text surrounding them, blogs that you take large snippets off and put on other pages on your site and content that you have used on one page and replicate in certain other areas throughout your website. Generally, you can get away with 30% duplicate content throughout the site, but it is really important that you try to make sure that every page is as close to being unique as possible.
If you feel that you are repeating the same old stuff throughout your website then you need to either re-write it or get it re-written by a professional, as the Panda update really does look at every page and looks at the quality to work out where it should be ranking. Unique content is half way to having good content, and as long as it is well written, informative and engaging, you should be getting the correct rewards for the effort that you have put in, but if it is just repeated rubbish, expect a rankings dip soon enough.
Offsite Duplicate Content
Every piece of content you write for your site has to unique, as if you decide to post a blog on your own website and then use it on others, including article directories, press release sites, Wordpress (offsite) blogs and many other examples, you are asking for trouble. It was once thought that Google would be able to credit the original poster of the content, which would of meant that this would not be an issue, but over the past couple of years it has become evident that sadly, this is just not the case, so you can be in danger of getting your own website penalised by allowing your content to be used elsewhere.
Prime examples are press releases that you then send out to other websites and resources, blogs that you post in more than one place and in-depth articles that you republish around the World Wide Web. Although there are many other examples of duplicate content, these three are the main ones that have stung the online world, with more and more sites getting hit for having their content on other sites as well. The general rule is to write unique content for your own site, and if you are going to write for other blogs (like this), make sure that you do not have the same content on your own domain.
What To Do If Your Website Is Not Bringing In Sales
Getting enquiries and making sales are pretty much the two things that most business owners need to get right if they want to stay in business, as without the enquiry, there is no sale, which means that the more enquiries a business can get, then the more sales they can hope to close. The primary reason any business owner has a website is to increase business, else we would all just have one for vanity reasons, but just having a website does not necessarily mean that it is going to get you success.
If you have a website and you are just fed up of it not working, then instead of giving up on it, you need to take a step back and work out why, taking an often required unbiased view and being critical about its performance and the lack of enquiries you are getting. It is very easy to get proud with websites and try to paint a rosy picture, but unless you are true to yourself, then you are never going to get anywhere. Criticism of your pride and joy can be hard to take, but if the criticism leads to changes that get you more business, it is time to take it on the chin and get some honest feedback.
The first thing to do is check your traffic levels. There are many free website statistic tools online, but the one I would always recommend is Google Analytics. Having a website is one thing but getting people to use it is another, so it’s important that before you start ripping your design to shreds, you make sure that the lack of enquiries is not down to no visitors. You need people on your site to make sales, so if they are not coming, then there is your problem and you can start to take steps to address it. From SEO through to Pay Per Click, there is a huge amount of ways to get traffic and visitors, all of which most firms should be considering implementing anyway.
If the traffic is not the issue, then you need to take a step back and really look at the site in depth.
Although there are many things to look at, some to really focus on are:
· Lack Of Conversion Points – Make sure that your contact details are on the bottom of every page and that your phone number is always in top right of the website, because no matter where the visitor is on your site, you need to make sure that it is easy for them to contact you the moment they decide they want to make an enquiry.
· Over Complication – If your website is too complicated, fussy and it is just not easy to find things, then this is going to be a major issue for your visitors. Make sure the site is easy to use, easy to find the information they need and easy to contact you, which doesn’t mean the design has to be boring, it just means it has to be useable.
· Mobile Compliant – One area still overlooked is websites on smart devices and tablets, which means that if your website does not work on mobiles or tablets and a lot of your traffic is coming from these areas, then you need to sort it by getting a responsive website that will work, so that these people can actually use your site.
· Poor Navigation – You literally have seconds when it comes to website visitors making their mind up about you and your business, so it is vital that you make sure that when they enter your site, they can get what they need quickly. A decent top menu that is easy to understand makes a big difference, with easy to follow navigation structures throughout your site.
· First Impressions – There is nothing wrong with minimal content on your site, but it is still important that the content you do have sells you and your business, else you are not going to hook the visitor into making an enquiry. Your website is an impression of you and your business, so if it looks cheap and badly run, people will assume this is how you run your business. Effort and time are both needed to make a good website, especially if you want your site to start working for you.
Websites require a lot of work if you want them to start performing and earning you money. The more content you write and the more blogs you produce, the higher you will rise in the search engines ( as long as the website is well optimised ). To be honest, if you have a website and never bother to add anything to it, then you cannot expect or demand success, as this should be considered a crucial part of your marketing strategy and you have to work it, and work it hard.
So, if your website is not bringing in the money, instead of giving up and moving on to something else, do some research and take a stand backwards to evaluate what you are offering and if it can be improved. I say this because any website you ever see has room from improvement, and with a bit more effort and unbiased views, you can make your site work for you, that is 100% guaranteed!
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