On Friday 27th April, the Zinc Digital Marketing Team attended the biggest digital marketing event in the country – BrightonSEO. We like to be at the forefront of the newest developments in everything we do, so we sent our team armed with notepads and plenty of Zinc business cards. There were talks on everything from advanced SEO to the most experimental techniques around.
Our in-house Content Writer, Caitlin, attended a talk by Eleni Cashell where she explained the pitfalls, consequences and solution for duplicate content. This is an issue that Zinc’s SEO team can encounter quite regularly, and that we’d love our clients to know about as well.
The internet is full of duplicated content – 29% of it, and rising every day. In a situation when your site has the exact same content as another site, the Google crawlers don’t know who is the most relevant, or who the content originally belonged to. As a result, everybody’s ranking suffers.
Eleni works for a site that offers information for prospective students, to help them choose a university. Part of this involved content being supplied from universities to describe and sell themselves to the site visitors. However, the majority of the content supplied by their users was lifted directly from their own websites and marketing material, essentially filling Eleni’s site with hundreds of pages of duplicate content.
This duplicate content was having a significant negative effect on the site rankings. Clients were asking why the site wasn’t getting the traffic and attention it should, when in fact the target market were simply finding the information in the other places it appeared on the web.
Eleni then embarked on a mammoth mission: removing and rewriting every piece of duplicate content on the site.
As a Digital Agency, Zinc often requires our clients to send us the content that they want in their site. More often than not, this is content that is copied directly from a previous site or even from a competitor – and this can spell real trouble for your search engine rankings. If your site uses press releases or features product descriptions, you need to be aware of the amount of duplicated content on your site.
Once you know exactly what you’re dealing with, make the plan of action:
Find and list every piece of duplicate content – you can use Copyscape or Google to pinpoint it all.
Internally and externally communicate with everybody who will be affected by your content audit. Will you be rewriting it or removing it? Make sure that your clients and team are aware of the change, and those who will need to be doing the work are aware of what is happening and why.
Formulate and stick to guidelines. You need to make sure that the new content is high quality, not still duplicated and delivered to you on time.
Have a single point of contact for your clients to speak with, and have this person maintain a spreadsheet to keep track of the project progress. Allow feedback and listen to them.
Maintain your content quality once you are finished.
As always, Google can take a while to show the benefits of SEO. Patience will pay off. After two years, Eleni’s site is now reaping the rewards of their unique content strategy. They’ve seen a 51% increase on entrances, and over 100% increase on postgraduate search as a direct result. That’s an incredible result, from a change that every one of us can make.
At the end, you’ll have a site full of exclusive content. That’s a USP that most can’t claim, so make sure that your hard work is not only appreciated, but celebrated. This is something that can appear on marketing collateral and social media, but only if you maintain that standard going forward.
Zinc Digital are here to help with your SEO strategy. We don’t accept duplicate content on our site, or for any of the clients we work with and write for. That’s why we get the best SEO results in Northamptonshire. Get in touch with us today to see what we can do for you.