We have discussed SEO content numerous times over the last 10 years and it has been, and always will be, very important.  In this post we thought it would be a good idea to run through some of the main problems, or challenges, we have seen with content over the years.  This is a follow on from our SEO lessons which can be found here: SEO lessons.

"Content is king" handwritten on chalkboard.

Thin Content

This is an obvious starting point. For some industries it is difficult to write a good amount of meaningful content but for others it’s easy.  Holiday, retail and other “Business to Consumer” industries tend to find this a lot easier than “Business to Business” industries.  Without good, quality, meaningful content it is not possible for Google to understand the topic of the page and thus the page will struggle to rank for anything at all.  Another factor to consider here is whether people would link to your content?  Quality, meaningful and interesting content will prompt people to share your page, which will, in turn, aid your rankings.

The key is to be passionate about the content that you are publishing, and to view it from different perspectives.  Try think of the different people that will visit your website, and how the content can serve them.  All visitors should be taken into account here, though you should obviously aim to produce your content to suit those that you wish to attract, more than the ones you don’t.

Duplicate Content

Always ensure that your content is unique.  If you have duplicate content on your website, or from other websites, your Google rankings will suffer.  Firstly, it is difficult for Google to understand which content to rank, as it will obviously not want to rank multiple pages for the same content.  Both internal and external duplicate content are issues here.

Internal Duplicate Content: Some website systems automatically duplicate content across different pages on the website.  For example, a product could have different URL’s depending on how the information is displayed on the page (the ordering of the products etc.).  Issues like this need to be solved so that Google knows which content to deliver to it’s searchers.  There are numerous ways that duplicate content can be an internal problem and all have a solution.  In the majority of cases we see canonical tags to be the solution.  Here is some information on canonical from Google.

External Duplicate Content: This can be much more difficult to solve than the internal issues.  If you are concerned about duplicate content then here are a couple of ways you can address it.

  1. Use Copyscape: Here you can enter the URL you are not sure about, and discovef if there is duplicate content on another site/URL.  There are also other tools you can sign up for such as: https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/find-duplicate-content/
  2. Search for your content on Google.  This is quite a straightforward solution. Simply place “quotation marks” around a substantial amount of content from your page and view the results returned by Google.

If you find duplicate content then you face the task of getting this content removed.  If it is a case of someone copying your content, then politely contacting them and asking them to change their content is the recommended initial approach.

Content Above the Fold

It is always important to have good content above the fold on your pages.  This is something that we have recommended in all of our lessons over the years.  It is important that users see the best content at the top of the page, in order to capture their attention.  Google understands that visitors to your website probably won’t want to scroll down the page view all of the content, and, for this reason, more weight is assigned to the content at the top of the page than to that at the bottom of the page.

Content Across Devices

As we have known for quite some time, Google now prefers mobile websites to desktop sites.  Google will actually judge a website based on the content which is displayed on their mobile site first.  Therefore it is important that your Mobile site shows as much of the desktop content as possible.  We understand that some content has to be changed, or even hidden, on mobile devices (normally to improve the mobile speed) but please ensure that this isn’t meaningful content.

This post should have given you some more insight into creating content for your website, and aid you in not falling into some of the SEO traps we have seen over the years.

In our next post we will discuss Content Marketing and Link Building.