Let’s talk about duplicate content and best SEO practices. Frequently, in our planning meetings, our clients wonder why duplicate content is an issue? Especially if they’re taking the text from one of their own pages? They also wonder how much of a page needs to be rewritten to avoid being flagged by Google as having duplicate content? Today, I’m going to take a moment and answer these questions. Hopefully, I can provide some insight into why new original content is important on every page you write for your website.
Before I begin, it’s important to note that SEO experts are unsure exactly how much Google will doc you for using duplicate content. But, we are certain that it happens. The main reasons, it’s confusing for their search engines that index your site, and it negatively impacts your readers’ experience.
The SEO issue with duplicate content:
Google dislikes duplicate content because it confuses their search engines. When two pages have identical information, Google can’t discern which page they should show someone searching for that topic. For example, if you offer CBT, and use the exact same wording to describe how you treat depression and anxiety, then Google becomes confused. Their search engines that index your page can’t determine which page is better to show your potential client. This means it is possible that neither page would show up for someone searching for “CBT for anxiety” because Google is unsure which page has the correct information. Or, Google could potentially show the wrong page containing information about depression.
In addition to being confusing for Google, duplicate content may confuse your potential clients. Using the example above, if a Google user is searching for “CBT for anxiety” and your depression page appears, would they be likely to click on it? Probably not because they need anxiety treatment. So, they’d likely move on to a page that’s a better fit for their needs.
So, it’s important that you don’t leave your SEO to chance. Explicitly tell Google what you want to rank for using original content. This makes your page rank better, and it improves your user experience!
How many words need to be changed to avoid being flagged for duplicate content?
The short answer: there is no magic number. If we need to say essentially the same things on more than one page, we usually opt to change a minimum of three words per sentence. We also like to switch up the internal links or the anchor text whenever possible. For example, if you have a link to your homepage saying “counseling in Kansas City, MO,” we may change your anchor text to read “mental health services in Kansas City, MO.” This has two benefits: it creates original content, AND it helps your homepage rank for two keywords.
When in doubt, we highly recommend writing fresh content for every page. Copying and pasting information may be tempting, but we’ve found there are usually simple tweaks you can make to convey the same message but have different text.
Remember, if you’re ever unsure, our SEO specialists would be happy to look at your page and provide some input.
Begin SEO Services with Simplified SEO Consulting:
Thank you for reading this blog. I hope I was able to provide some insight into why original content is so important for your website! If you have further questions or other SEO questions, our team would be happy to discuss SEO strategy and our services with you. To get started working on your SEO and increase your Google rankings, please follow these steps:
- Schedule a free 15-minute consultation meeting with Simplified SEO consulting.
- Speak to one of our SEO specialists during your consultation appointment. At this time we will happily discuss SEO strategy and answer your questions.
- Begin optimizing your webpage and see your pages rank better on Google and get more clients!
Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting
Simplified SEO Consulting provides a wide variety of SEO services designed to meet the needs of mental health professionals and private practice owners. We know you are very busy, so if you want someone to do the SEO work for you, we provide a Done for You SEO Service package. We also offer al la carte SEO services for clients who may not need as much help,. but still want a specialist to work on their pages. If you are interested in learning SEO, we would love to teach you how to get your website ranking better. So, we offer SEO training packages. the “Top of Google” online course, and 12 weeks of online video training. Lastly, if you are just getting your website up and running, or are redesigning your site, we offer an SEO strategy package to get you started.