The common belief that plagues most of the online marketers or web property owners is that cranking out tons of content is all that it takes to rule. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way because even your competitions have also taken the same route. While volume has to play a key role in content publishing, it should never happen at the cost of disregarding the quality of the content in any way. Instead of flooding the web with fluffy content, you should gear up to provide your visitors with value-added information which proves to be a ‘great help’ rather than a ‘frustrating experience’.
Whether you want to woo visitors or search engines, it’s crucial to take a microscopic look at all the content pages on your website and take appropriate measures – to both rank and convert well.
Given below are three types of content pages that you should start fixing now, regardless of how big or small your website is –
#1. Duplicate Content Pages
One of the most debated topics in SEO communities around the world, dealing with content duplication is one of the top priorities on a webmaster’s checklist. After Google launched its Panda algorithm, getting rid of any type of duplicate content on your website has taken center-stage. Simply put, any content that looks or reads similar to other content that may be present either on your own website or someone else’s is considered to be duplicate.
If your own website’s content is copied on to others’ websites (or vice versa), you’re in trouble. Though this is one of the commonest reasons for getting search engine penalties or losing rankings altogether (i.e. being de-indexed), there are a number of other ways in which your website can be subject to duplication. Many times, you’ll notice that the same homepage of a website can be accessed with multiple URL versions (e.g.- http://xyz.com, http://www.xyz.com, http://www.xyz.com/index.htm etc). There are also several cases where a content page gets duplicated only because of varying session IDs and URL parameters created automatically. Other reasons include similar Meta tags, pagination, pages with tracking/ affiliate codes etc. Whether the issues have resulted from deliberate attempts or automatically, you should ensure that you take good care of such duplication issues immediately. [Please note that using other people’s quotes on your pages in moderation or re-publishing someone else’s infographic on your website occasionally is not counted as duplicate content.]
There are both free and paid tools to detect such issues. Once the issues have been detected accurately, you may want to rewrite the duplicate content pages, remove them altogether or fix them by using techniques like ‘Rel= “canonical”, 301 redirects, no-indexing and hashtag tracking. In any case, don’t forget to update your site’s XML sitemap and resubmit the same to Google Webmaster Tools to reflect the changes you’ve made.
#2. Low Quality Content Pages
Whether it’s in your knowledge yet or not, your website may be running a lot of low quality content pages already. It’s because you don’t know what low quality content exactly refers to. Rather than looking up for a definition here and there, it’s best to step into Google’s mindset straight and find out how it assesses the quality of a piece of content.
As per Google guidelines, key content quality evaluation factors include –
> Accuracy of information presented
> Grammar and quality of editing
> Amount/ originality of research or analysis done
> Relevance to readers’ everyday issues
> Quality of search engine optimization
> Attention to detail
So, you now understand what low quality content means. But, how do you track these pages so you can take action? Well, all you need to do is find those content pages that have shown the poorest performance; 1> pages that have the least number of backlinks, 2> pages that bring your website little or no organic traffic at all and 3> pages that have the highest bounce rate. With any good website analytics tool, you’ll be able to check out these metrics.
When it comes to fixing low quality pages on your website, you may decide to either modify the content in terms of better grammar, stylistics and facts or get them deleted altogether. What you choose to do depends on the overall quantity of the low quality content you have. But you can never ignore fixing this content because one bad person can influence or ruin everything around it. Remember, Google’s made it official that even if your website contains some low quality content, your website’s entire rankings might be impacted.
#3. Scanty Content Pages
These are not necessarily low-quality pages, as scanty content pages refer to those pages that contain little or no content. On many websites, you’ll find pages that have an incredibly low word-count (below 200 words) or none at all and they exist only to make a website look bigger to visitors or search engines. When you start evaluating the content on your website, you may stumble across such bare pages. If you have pages with scanty content on your website and they’re meant to guide or advice users around a specific topic, you should identify all of them and take quick remedial action. Not having adequate content on pages where it’s an essential requirement will only lead to getting your website a similar kind of attention or treatment as far as ranking in Google SERPs or other major search engine results is concerned, because users will snub them too.
Giving preference to quality over quantity will always pay great dividends over time. What’s most required is to understand that you are on the web to improve the life of users in one way or another. Adequately investing in your website content will always make it perform better. And once you start enjoying the fruit of your labor, you’ll never want to look back.
Are you sure your website doesn’t have these content issues? Please feel free to talk about your concerns or share your views.