Could Duplicate Content Be Hurting Your local SEO?
Today’s post is all about duplicate content. If you run a local business website and your not aware of what duplicate content actually is or how it affects local SEO rankings. Then these great tips could massively improve your search engine optimisation efforts.
What is duplicate content?
Duplicate content is content that is exactly the same or a very close copy of the original content that appears on the internet in more than one place.
What does google think of duplicate content?
Google uses fresh and original content to help index websites on there search engine. Because of this there ranking system will always try to pass on any search rankings to the original content and exclude any copy’s of the original from being given a high search ranking, basically google hates duplicate content.
Duplicate content is Bad For Local SEO
As a local SEO company duplicate content is one of the things we see often when taking on a new client. The problem with many local business websites is that there homepage will usually target the town or city they are based in which is perfectly fine. The problem is that most local businesses also target surrounding towns and cities through there websites. Well the problem is not that they target other towns it’s how they do it.
Duplicate Content Example
I’ll give you an example lets say a local plumber in Cannock builds his own website. He creates a homepage that targets customers looking for plumbing services in Cannock. All of the content on the homepage is well written, completely original and ranks on the first page of google for Cannock. The plumber then decides that he’s going to create new pages that target surrounding towns Walsall, Stafford and Birmingham. But this time rather than creating fresh new content for each page he decides to copy the content from the homepage and paste it into the new pages and just replace the town name from Cannock to Stafford, Walsall and Birmingham for each local page. Google eventually indexes his new local pages and they are nowhere to be seen Walsall is on page 4, Stafford page 6 and Birmingham is on page 21.
Well it’s simple google indexed the homepage with the original content and gave it a high ranking. When the new local pages were published google also indexed the pages but passed on a much lower ranking as it could see that the pages were a copy of the homepage.
How can this be fixed
It’s simple all the plumber has to do is rewrite each local page. So that the content is completely original and then Wait for google to re-index the site. Google should then give each page a much higher local SEO ranking.
Boost your local SEO by going duplicate content free
If your website suffers from the same duplicate content issue that I have used in my example. Then you need to get it fixed by creating original content for each local page. Always make sure that the content is well written and at least 500 words for each page. I know writing unique content for a particular service over and over again can be a real pain especially If you’re struggling for ideas of what to write. So go do some research and seek inspiration from other websites and bloggers in your industry. But remember never copy other peoples content the words have got to come from your brain. And don’t think you can fool google by changing a few words here and there. Because Google will figure out the similarity’s between your content and the original and not pass on high rankings for your local pages. Follow these simple rules and I guarantee you will see a massive improvement to your local SEO rankings.