This week, in part two of ten in my lessons on the basics of SEO, we’re going to review the problems of repetitive or duplicate content and ways to avoid this problem. Let’s face it, it’s never easy to come up with new ideas! If you find yourself grasping at straws it’s really easy to accidentally get caught in a loop and repeat ideas or content. It’s fine if there’s an occasional overlap but you can’t continue to write about the same thing over and over without risk of an automated or manual penalty. So how do you avoid the pitfall of duplicate content? My advice is to review what’s popular in your Google Webmaster Tools report. Identify keywords that have high impression but lower position and consider creating a series around that topic. Another trick I like to use is to review your previous posts and pages to identify ideas that you may not have had enough time or room in your posts to include. Another problem we all run into now and again is trying to incorporate older ideas of content into new posts. In my opinion this is a bad idea because your regular readers (and therefore search engines) are likely to pick up on this trend. It’s going to turn off your audience and make them not want to continue reading articles, especially if they are intended to be part of a series or additional information on a particular topic. For example, in this series on SEO basics I’m creating a new post on a topic within the scope of the series theme but it’s important that I haven’t covered the ideas presented already or that I haven’t done it already in the past as part of a different series. Now granted, this is easier said than done because as time passes you get more and more content and then you’re struggling to come up with the next post. So another idea I like to use to come up with original content is to review what’s trending or news in your industry and provide your perspective on it. For example, Google recently announced that mobile friendliness is a ranking factor (which is probably has been for a long time as far as I’m concerned). This is important to readers though, it’s timely or recent and can help you to carve out some rank for a topic that’s trending. So next time you’re having trouble coming up with new ideas, look into Google Webmaster Tools keyword queries report, check out recent industry news or try other out of the box methods such as asking your readers and customers what they want to know more about!
If you’re stuck in a rut or worried you may have too much overlapping content, just give me a call at (480) 277-3675 and I’ll help you to develop a strategy for your business. It’s not easy but if you’re carefully planning a direction with a schedule it can make the work a lot more manageable.