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7 Reasons Why Duplicate Content is Bad for SEO

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In the SEO world, duplicate content has become one of the top concerns. Publishing the same content on different URLs may dilute the quality and the ranking of a website.

Having the same content on multiple websites causes difficulties for search engines to select the most relevant content for a given query.

Duplicate content can negatively affect SEO in many ways.

It Dilutes The Value And The Popularity Of Your Original Content

Links pointing to your content are critical for SEO. Having identical content on the internet in several URLs reduces the number of links pointing your site.

For example, let’s think URL-X and URL-Y contain identical content. URL-X has 20 links pointing to it. And URL-Y has 20 pointing to it. If there was no duplicate content, the original URL-x might have a total of 40 links pointing to it.

Since the quantity of links directing to your URL is very important for SEO, duplicate content could cripple your SEO.

Difficulties For Direct Link Metrics

Page rankings, trust authority, anchor texts are considered as link metrics. When you have duplicate content search engines find difficulties to direct your link.

By going through an optimisation process and publishing fresh contents, you can avoid this situation.

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Then you will have new visitors to your site and that will signal the search engines about your content’s uniqueness.

These signals will also increase your domain strength.

Negative User Experience

Sometimes, for a given query when the user is directed to the same content multiple times, it causes negative user experience.

For a user who seeks for fresh content, it will be a waste of time.

It Decreases Traffic

Site owners sometimes suffer lower traffic and rankings because of duplicate content.

Risk Of Your Content Not Getting Crawled

Even search engine bots don’t like to read the same content over and over again.

Sooner or later they will decide not to crawl to your content because it has read the same earlier.

Even if your content is original there is a risk of it not getting crawled.

Risk Of Getting Banned From Search Engines

Every search engine tries to avoid duplicate content.

If a search engine identifies your content as duplicate, your site might get removed from search engine index.

And it will be no longer available in search results.

It Will Affect Categorisation

For a given query sometimes the results come under multiple categories and different URLs.

It happens because the same content is posted under various categories. This could harm categorisation processes.

How to avoid duplicate content?

The best way to avoid duplicate content is by writing original content.

However, if you must use duplicate content on your site, it is highly recommended using a canonical tag.

A canonical tag is a simple code that you can insert into the page which has duplicate content.

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As soon as search engine bots identify the canonical tag, they skip the content on that page.

Alex likes to write about anything related to technology, marketing and gadgets. He sometimes reviews the latest tech and also writes on other blogs.

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How to Boost Search Traffic Using Long-Tail Keywords

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How to Increase Website Traffic with the Help of Long-Tail Keywords

Are you tired of trailing behind on the search engine results pages (SERPS)?

I get you. Nobody likes losing out to competitors. But what should bother you most is when you invest effort and money in SEO but don’t get the desired results.

If that sounds familiar, you’re reading the right article.

Your SEO efforts may be failing if you are investing in outdated SEO techniques, like targeting short, popular keywords.

You need to revamp your SEO strategy and start focusing on long-tail keywords.

Sound weird?

Actually, it’s a sound strategy, backed by research and successful use cases.

In this post, I’ll explain how you can take advantage of long-tail keywords to top the SERPs.

But first, let’s talk about what long-tail keywords are and why they matter.

What Are Long-Tail Keywords and Why Do They Matter?

Long-tail keywords contain three or more words. They are very precise but unpopular search terms. By “unpopular,” I mean they generate fewer searches than corresponding shorter keywords. Then, why do I recommend using them?

That’s because long-tail keywords convert exceptionally well. They closely resemble the actual search queries that people type in search engines. Since they match user intent so precisely, they get more clicks and your website gets more targeted traffic.

Need evidence?

One of my blog posts about Instagram Spaces is getting a lot of traction on Google. I compiled the keywords it’s ranking for, and here is what I found:

blog posts about Instagram Spaces

Note that “how to space out Instagram captions” (a long-tail keyword) beats its shorter counterpart (“Instagram spaces”) in most aspects. It’s generating more clicks, click-throughs (CTR) and gets me to position two on the SERPs.

Though it’s lagging in impressions, that doesn’t impact my website traffic as much as the other parameters.

If you’re still not convinced about the efficacy of long-tail keywords, take a look at their main advantages below.

1. Long-Tail Keywords Have Low Competition

There is fierce competition to rank for short keywords. But their targeting is not as precise as long-tail keywords.

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Fewer marketers target long-tail keywords, though the trend is changing after Google’s Panda update. Lower competition means more opportunities to rank as well as more cost savings (more on that later).

Google Panda

Image via Instapages

To verify the low-competition claim, I did some keyword research of my own.

I compared the keyword difficulty (KD) of three semantically-similar keywords (LSI): “lose weight,” “how to lose weight,” and “how to lose weight fast.” Take a look at the results:

semantically-similar keywords

Image via SEMrush

The longest keyword had the lowest difficulty score (KD%). That means you can reach the top of the SERPs faster if you build your content around longer keywords. That’s good news as moving up one spot on SERPs can improve your CTR by nearly 30.8%, according to Backlinko.

2. Long-Tail Keywords Help Drive Qualified Traffic

I already mentioned how content that is optimized for long-tail keywords satisfies user intent.

What exactly is “user intent” or “search intent”? It is what triggers users to turn to devices (the web, in this case) in search of information. User intent can be transactional (buying-type), informational (educational-type), or navigational (locational-type).

If you understand a searcher’s intent, you can present them with content they are looking for, which can push them down the sales funnel.

Long-tail keywords help you align content with user intent.

When a searcher types a query like “affordable camping gear in Texas,” (a long-tail keyword), you know they are ripe to convert. You can serve them listicles of top suppliers or tools to search for vendors, or to your own product pages (if that’s relevant).

For doing this, you can create SEO pages with exact-match keyword anatomy. You can include the long-tail keywords in the page copy, meta-tags, and images so that Google crawlers don’t miss your page. You can create an SEO friendly landing page using the best landing page software.

If your content is insightful and high-quality, there’s a good chance that the searcher will engage with it. Being broad terms, shorter keywords don’t have scope for such precise matching. That’s why long-tail keywords are more effective in driving targeted traffic organically.

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3. Long-Tail Keywords Are Cheaper

Now, we come to the best part about long-tail keywords.

What’s that?

Long-tail keywords have lower cost-per-click (CPC) compared to their shorter peers.

lower cost-per-click

Image via Instapages

CPC is the actual amount you pay when you invest in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. If you build your Google ads around long-tail keywords, you incur lower advertising costs since these keywords have a low CPC. As a result, you can draw more mileage from your advertising spend.

Refer to this image from the “lose-weight” example we saw earlier.

lower cost-per-click

Each click on Google ads that target “how to lose weight” will incur you a cost of $1.21. The cost goes up as the target keyword gets shorter.

In short, long-tail keywords can help you excel at organic as well as paid searches.

How Can You Use Long-Tail Keywords to Drive Website Traffic

As you can make out, long-tail keywords can help you win the coveted top position on Google. No matter how often Google algorithms are updated, targeting long-tail keywords remains the preferred strategy of experienced content marketers.

Yes, long-tail keywords are the secret weapon to win more website visitors. But that doesn’t mean that you should stuff them in your landing pages and other pages. After Google’s RankBrain algorithm, such marketing ploys can get you a red flag.

Here are five ways you can use long-tail keywords naturally in your website content.

1. Write Keyword-Rich Headlines

Your page headlines grab the attention of Google crawlers first. So, front-load your long-tail keywords in your page titles.

If you’re wondering how to write catchy headlines, use Google’s Keywords Planner, Just insert your target keyword and hit the “Get Ideas” button.

Google Keywords Planner

Image via Google Keyword Planner

Google will list variations of your target keyword.

Next, identify the search intent of the keyword variation you select. Simply, copy-paste the keyword into Google’s search bar and click on “Enter.” Analyze the kind of pages ranking on the SERP. You will learn what kind of content Google indexes for the keyword.

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content Google indexes

Image via Google

In this example, I can see that service pages are topping the charts for the keyword “affordable search engine optimization.” So, I can either create a new, optimized service page or keyword-enrich my existing service page.

Whatever format you select, ensure that the keyword should fit naturally in your headlines and sub-headings. You can try LSI keywords in the Related Search section or auto-fill suggestions.

LSI keywords2

2. Write Long-Form Content

When we compare long-form and short-form content from an SEO perspective, longer content wins, hands down.

Why, you ask?

Because longer content offers more opportunities to add long-tail keywords. Your page’s keyword density increases. Plus, they allow you to deep dive into the topic and deliver value to consumers. All these factors add up to make your page attractive to search engines and visitors.

Since our key concern today is attracting website traffic, you need not worry about losing social audiences who don’t have the patience to read lengthy content. You can also use tools like LinkedIn automation tools, Facebook tools, etc to get best results for your social audiences.

3. Optimize File Names

Lastly, don’t forget to add long-tail keywords to your page URLs. Enrich your image URLs as well. The Backlinko research I cited earlier shows that if your page URL perfectly matches your target keywords, the organic CTR soars.

organic CTR soars

Image via Backlinko

Even Google recommends this. Their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide says that  site URLs should resonate with the page content, which is molded around keywords.

URLs

Image via Google

Are You Ready to Be a Long-Tail Pro?

Long-tail keywords are effective but underrated. However, seasoned marketers vouch for their effectiveness, especially for driving organic traffic. Today, I’ve explained how they can help you excel at PPC marketing as well.

Do you have any questions about SEO for website optimization? Leave them in the comments below. I’m always happy to answer.

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The Top SEO Tips for 2020: Breaking Things Down

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If it often feels like search engine optimization success is a lot like trying to hit a constantly moving target… that’s because it largely is. Google is the biggest search engine on Earth and they’re constantly making adjustments to their site’s algorithm that throw rankings into a constant state of flux.

But rather than looking for that one “silver bullet” technique you can use to get to the top of the SERPS, it’s best to just forget all that entirely. Instead, focus on those small-yet-essential SEO moves that, when taken together, add up to something more powerful than anyone could ever be on its own.

Case in point: what follows is a list of some of the most important SEO tips for you to utilize in 2020 and beyond. All of them bring something unique to the table and all are certainly worth a closer look.

Understand What Matters… and What Doesn’t

One of the most important things to understand about the current state of SEO is that things are essentially in a constant state of flux. This is largely happening by design, as Google is always trying to close loopholes and stop people from taking advantage of the system they’ve worked so hard to build in the first place.

Therefore, it’s almost more important to know what doesn’t matter in terms of modern-day search engine optimization best practices than it is to learn what does. Running afoul of Google won’t just get you penalized – it could potentially get you delisted altogether if your violations are egregious enough.

Case in point: keywords. Gone are the days when all you really had to do to rank highly was cram your page with as many “relevant” keywords as possible. Google in particular has been very clear over the years that to rank highly, your content needs to provide something of genuine value to those who will be consuming it. Not just Google’s search engine “spiders” – but real, living human beings.

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Now, that’s not to say that keywords aren’t important – because they are. In addition to including relevant keywords in the title tag and meta description of your content (so that people can quickly confirm they’ve landed on the type of page that they were searching for), you should still include them in the body as naturally and as organically as possible.

But don’t start with the keywords and try to work your way backwards to the content. Instead, head to a site like Respona to see what real people are searching for and what topics they’re interested in. Then, craft content around those ideas and add something tangible to the discussion that they may not otherwise have had access to. If you build your content around these hot-button topics, you won’t have to worry about finding ways to jam in as many keywords as possible after the fact. Your high quality, relevant and valuable content will have already essentially taken care of that by design.

Infographics: More Powerful Than Ever

Everyone knows that it’s a good idea to create social media graphics because this type of content is naturally more popular (read: shareable) on sites like Facebook and Twitter than something that lacks relevant visuals. Infographics, on the other hand, are your opportunity to take these effects one step further by helping to build brand awareness and increase your SEO prowess at the exact same time.

Infographics are essentially your opportunity to have your cake and eat it, too, as they still allow you to tell a full “story” with your content but you get to express as much of that narrative in a visual way as you can. However, there are still a few rules that you should keep in mind the next time you sit down with a tool like Visme (which I founded) to create that next compelling Infographic.

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Experts agree that:

  • The most shared Infographics tend to have an average word count of about 396 words. So don’t assume you can get away with only visuals, but also don’t assume that there’s no such thing as “too long” for the accompanying text.
  • The average size of the most popular Infographics are around 3683 pixels by 804 pixels. In other words, don’t make people scroll too much and make sure that your content can be adequately consumed on devices with smaller screens like smartphones and tablets.
  • Roughly 73% of all Infographics use some type of identifiable color scheme – meaning that you need to use every tool in your arsenal to really create the impression you’re after. An Infographic is more than just a black screen with pictures and white text on it. You need to think about the color choices you’re making for each element and how they all tie back into the main theme that you’re going for, narratively speaking.

Even More SEO Best Practices

Finally, there are a number of major elements you’ll want to account for to help your site rank as highly as possible – all of which have less to do with the content itself and are more about the way that content operates on the web.

These types of tips are especially true if you’re focused on WordPress SEO in particular, as that particular service essentially gives you complete control over the architecture of your site from top to bottom.

For the absolute best results, remember to:

  • Use SEO-friendly URLs. As a rule of thumb, try to make your URL something that is easy for an actual human to remember. Sure, a Google spider may be able to make sense of “www.mywebsite.com/998eeuroiiua7”, but an actual person is never going to be able to remember that and it certainly won’t help your organic traffic.
  • Use the most mobile-friendly website design that you can. If your site doesn’t look perfect on a smartphone or tablet, you need to make some significant changes. Google has been incredibly clear that mobile-friendliness is a major part of their current algorithm, which means that you need to care about it, too.
  • Improve page load speeds as much as possible. The vast majority of all people who come to your site will slam that “Back” button and never return if your page takes longer than three seconds to load. With a bounce rate that high (and a time on page rate that low), Google will immediately take notice – and your rankings will suffer as a result.
  • Use the right tools. WordPress, in particular, has all sorts of social media plugins that you can use for social media promotion, and tools like Yoast SEO are great for adding keywords, titles, meta descriptions and more.
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Provided that you follow all of these top SEO tips for 2020, your ranking won’t be something you have to worry about for much longer. Your visibility will go sky-high and at that point, your website will be able to speak for itself – exactly the way it should be.

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