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Thin or Duplicate Content is Not a Safe Bet for SEO

Duplicate or thin content is very dangerous for any website but especially E-commence websites as Google disapproves of these methods.

Now a lot of E-commerce website owners may not even be very aware of SEO, and especially not aware of the term “Google Algorithm”. Therefore when changes happen and the big G set out new rules for everyone using their search engine to follow by, then the owners maybe left scratching their heads wondering their traffic is gone.

Heck they may even end up contact the old SEO guy they paid and complain to them, thinking that there has been some type of error. But nope, of course this is not the case.

So first we are going to find out how this type of content not only violate Google’s search engine policies but also the future of your website.

 

Why does Google care about your content?

Well Google want their search engine to be the best not only right now, but also consistently and even on in to the far away future. Remember guys they aren’t the only ones available, and have competition such as Bing and Yahoo.

So they want to give great value to the people using their services. They simply do this by making sure that the websites who have long content, usually over 2000 words, gets shown on the serps, and typically on the 1st page. Exactly where you want to be.

Therefore by doing this Google feels it is being fair (not that it really cares if it is fair or not to be honest) in that both people are being rewarded. The visitor with being able to read good content, and the website owner being places on the first page, then gains the visitor.

 

What exactly is duplicate content?

You may think that you can sneak around duplicate content, but there is no point wasting your time. I have tried it and just ended up back tracking and as a result lost more money in the process of trying to save it. So take my advice.

Not only will you lose money in the long haul but your website will also be affected in the following ways:

  • The users will not enjoy the experience and less likely to return
  • Your website will not be found on the SERPS- a direct result of no search engine rankings
  • Very low traffic which means no visitors, and we all know that converts into 0 money being made, therefore worthless

So I’m sure you get the point now duplicate content is a big NO in Google’s eyes. But what exactly is duplicate content? Have you got it on your website? Well we are going to go through a few factors that will demonstrate what it is, and you may be surprised by the time your finished.

 

On-Site Content

When on-site content is duplicate it simply means that the same content can be both found on pages internally within the website as well as on the Homepage.

 

Non-Canonical URLS

If URLs such as http://yourfoodhouse.com/organics/breakfastfoods.html and http://yourfoodhouse.com/breakfastfoods.html arrive at the same page on your website, it will be seen by Google as duplicate content.

They are known as non-canonical URLS and the situation can be fixed by turning them into canonical URLs. How does this work? Well Google recognizes canonical URLS as the original source of content, and therefore not read the others as duplicates.

 

These settings are not difficult to change at all. In fact it can be done in the admin section of your website. Or if you prefer to put a tracking code at the end of each URL.

Category pages

Make sure the content you write describing the products is kept interesting so that it is not dull. This will also save it from appearing to Google as duplicate content. especially if you have some products with the same/similar names.

 

Off-site content

Off site duplicate content appears when Google finds two or more similar websites. This can happen because of guestposts scraping content or syndicated content for example.

 

Product description

In the case of e-commerce websites, there is quite often a lot of duplicate content when it comes to product descriptions. This is because a lot of the time people are just copy and pasting the information of the manufactures website which is foolish.

In order to avoid this all you have to do is write unique content, and post a number of photos, perhaps your own that you have professionally taken.

 

Thin content

If you have a lot of pages on your website with thin content, Google will deem them as unnecessary and therefore refuse to rank them on the serps.

They see them as this because usually these pages have a high bounce rates with users leaving them within a few seconds. If you feel that you are not experienced enough to write content that will keep readers engaged. Outspreading.com is a great copywriting agency that can do it for you.

 

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Site Redesign Necessities

There always comes a time when we want a new and most of all better-looking design. Not only will it be easier on your visitors eyes, it should also be cleaner meaning kept simple which will work wonders for your rankings as Google loves that sort of stuff.

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However it isn’t as simple as you may think. Simply installing a new theme or completely importing a custom one can not only be a lot of work, but you need to be careful so that you do not lose any URLS and so on.

 

Below are a few points for you to take into consideration

  • Set enough time aside before you do the update. You can use this time to plan the new structure that your website will have so that everything has the best chance possible of running smoothly when you make the big changes.
  • Prior to making the installation and choosing your new design, make sure you do your research. This means knowing the list of thing that could go wrong. In order words, be prepared.
  • Arrange the topics you want your site to ran for and then narrow them down. Yep, you read that right. This will also help you with arranging the URL structure, which as mentioned previously is key.
  • Make sure when you change the URLs you have a redirection strategy. This is because if you do not, you will end up with a ton of broken links, such as 404 pages, which Google does not like.
  • Now for all of you java script lovers out there, I’m sorry to say that you may have to let it go or at least keep it to a minimum. This is because although Google is becoming better at crawling it, it still isn’t the best, so don’t risk your whole website rankings for it. The video below explains it a little.

 

 

 

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The Hardest Parts of SEO

SEO is obviously not easy. You probably already know this as if you thought differently it is unlikely that you would be visiting our website for some tips, guides or to even buy our amazing services

I have been learning and implanting on-page and off-page SEO since 2004 and to say I love it is an understatement. Those years of hard work and grind at my computer only left me hungrier to get better at it.

Each week I would get excited about seeing how what I did the week prior had affect the keyword rankings I was trying to get to number 1. And when they did get to number, I will admit…. I had a little victory dance in my chair. Which was well deserved if I do say so myself.

So maybe you don’t have this type of drive for organic SEO yourself and feel somewhat guilty about it because to some extent it is holding you and your business back. Well never fear as this is completely normal and probably how most people who have websites feel.

That’s exactly why we have chosen to break down the most difficult steps of SEO, so that you can get a hold on these parts first so you will feel more confident about moving on and getting a better grasp of your rankings.

 

Finding correct sources of information

There are so much people around pretending to be pros at SEO. When in fact they are not and most of the time they are just trying to sell you affiliate products, or worse some cheap WSO.

They are scammers and you should stay clear of them. You may be already aware of them but having already been scammed in the past. But nevertheless as long as you learned from the situation you’ve nothing to worry about, as the chances of it happening again are very slim, as you now know what to be on the look out for.

However for those of you that don’t there is one simple rule you need to follow, and that’s read the blog posts or visit the websites of the people who actually tell you how to do it by the book meaning how Google wants it to be.

 

Here are 5 websites that you can trust listed below:

  1. Search Engine Land
  2. Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Fridays
  3. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
  4. SEO by the Sea
  5. SEO Portal (our website)

These are great websites. However we cant urge you enough, if you are really serious about SEO and want to get stuck in yourself, how important it is to go through the trail and error phase of testing.

The more you test and fail the more experience you get. And where does wisdom come from? That’s right experience. So don’t be afraid! Go for it! However if you are the type that wants to hand over all of the hard work to a company, then shoot as an email and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

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How to Engage Social Media Followers

Having a social media following is great. After all these people took time out of their day to click on your social media profile whichever one it may be and clicked follow or like etc.

However that is not the be all and end all. What you really want is for your followers and fans to engage with you or with your content. This is exactly what Google likes, whether it is a retweet, reply or a share.

Not only does Google like it but it’s also great for your business. Thin about it, you get direct contact with potential leads and sales, how amazing is that? But what is important is that you don’t talk at them but you have a good conversation with them.

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Get to know them so that you will be able to get answers out of them that you need. Such as what aspects about your business do they like or how could it be improved? It will without a doubt influence your marketing strategies for the future in a positive light.

Below are some examples of how you can go about engaging your followers with ease and so they actually want to respond back to you.

 

Have and implement ideas that will get people excited

A great example of this is a competition. For example if you are launching a new product or want to revamp an old one that hasn’t been doing so well you can give a free service to the winner or even offer it at a discount.

However you cant just run the competition as soon as you feel like it there needs to be a buzz created around it. You can do this by posting tweets such as “coming soon” and then giving more information, as the date of the competition gets closer.

People love to feel special and that is exactly what will happen if they feel they are in for something free. Now if they actually win and liked the services or product you provided them with, you may have a customer/client for life. Well worth the effort indeed.

 

Be available and helpful

Don’t wait for your social media followers to ask you questions but offer help. You can simply to this by writing a post or tweeting a tweet saying when you will be available and that you are willing to answer any questions that people may have about your services and products.

You will be surprised to see what a response you get and this is simply because you will be providing a lot of value, which people love while also showing how much of an expert you are!

 

Follow up

Now it’s all good and easy to arrange a competition, and even actually produce one and find a winner. However what is the point in this if you don’t get to publically engage with the person and get their opinion so other people can see it?

Therefore you must not only follow through, but also follow up on your future prospects via your social media platforms. However this can be extremely time consuming and you may not have that.

However you are in luck as we can run your social media for you. Just contact us by either calling or sending us an email.

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How to Create or Fix your SEO Action Plan

With Google whacking out algorithm updates every few months, it is absolutely necessary that anyone who wants to get “free” Google traffic, and I use that word lightly… needs to have a SEO action plan.

Why? Well you will most likely be up against people who are obsessed with ranking their website for certain keywords, and as a result will be working endlessly to achieve that. And if your business just simply messes about with SEO every now and again, you will obviously have no chance of scooping up that free traffic, or beating your competition.

 

Your SEO action plan

That’s right, you are in luck. As we are going to write up for you your own little SEO action plan, no details left out. This is because the information needs to be extremely clear and concrete so that no one gets confused, whether that is your assistant, client or even yourself when it comes to implementing what we will be discussing.

 

 

On Page SEO

 

  • Keyword Stuffing- Keyword stuffing these days is extremely harmful and would effect your rankings massively. Now if you like me, miss how it used to be where we could ram as many keywords as we liked into a 500-word article, bold them, and wait for them to rank, its ok and try not to feel sad. Just look at this as an opportunity to educate your readers and visitors to your site, and really providing value to them with excellent, well thought out and written content. If you are worried that you may be keyword stuffing go over to seositecheckup.com and it will show you the density that your site currently has. If you want to reduce them just try alternative words.
  • Meta Content- It is absolutely necessary that you review this. You only really need to focus in on the description and title, as the keyword is not really seen as a big deal to Google in terms of ranking.

 

Check for penalties

  • Manual penalties- Needless to say anyone who even knows a tiny bit about SEO, is aware that the word “penalty” is enough to make shivers go up their spine. Why? Well if you site has one, no matter what else you do when it comes to SEO, it will not rank very well, especially depending on the type of penalty your website has been smacked with. Now manual penalties are one of the most serve that the big G can give you and it will usually cause a drop in rankings that will make your website take a hit for traffic loss. Here is a trick, if you want to check to see if your website has a manual penalty search your sites brand name and if it is not ranking number 1 I’m afraid Houston, we have a problem! It is not easy to remove this but all you need to do is follow this post that explains how to submit a reconsideration request.
  • Algorithmic penalties- These are less dangerous to your website than what we have just previously talked about but nevertheless they still need to be dealt with and that means no putting it on the back burner, as the rankings on your website will still be affected. Being aware of your traffic means you can easily spot this, and when you do see a drop, you will need to go check if there was an update to Google’s algorithm. All you need to do to regain your rankings is implement the changes needed.

Here is a video for you to explain details by the master himself, all hail Matt Cutts.

 

 

So there you have it. Now remember these are only a few suggestions and you have plenty more options regarding SEO to increase your organic traffic. Or we can handle all of your SEO worries for you, just drop us a message.

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