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4 Ways Duplicate Content Hurts Your Site

The words ‘duplicate content’ strike fear into the hearts of marketers everywhere, something akin to cavity search or TV Reruns. Actually, it’s pretty similar - who wants to watch the same show over and over again? It’s the same with content - users don’t want to read articles that just repeat information and don’t bring anything new to the table. More than that, duplicating content hurts your reputation as a website and as a business. But what exactly is duplicate content? And why is it so bad?

What Is Duplicate Content?

Duplicate content can be a variety of things, and not all of them are bad. Google defines duplicate content as “substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” Google actually distinguishes duplicate content by two types: non-malicious and malicious duplicate content.

Non-malicious duplicate content includes instances such as syndication - when a website publishes your content on their own website - or when your website has multiple URLs, such as when you have pages optimized for different browsers, among others. These types of content duplication are not penalized by Google and are actually common, if not unavoidable.

Duplicate content that is malicious is done to manipulate search results. The short of it is that duplicating content occurs when a website recycles old content in an effort to rank higher for keywords or tags (more keywords = higher results). This is not always their intent. There are many other reasons that a website might reuse its own content - one example would be an e-commerce store that struggles to write hundreds of product descriptions, so they reuse what they’ve already created. The distinction here is the intention behind the content, but Google is not all-knowing and can often misconstrue it, so it’s better to avoid duplicating your content as much as you can.

Note: It’s important to distinguish duplicate content with outright plagiarism, which is not only seriously bad form but can carry legal penalties. We know you would never plagiarize, so we’ll keep our definition of duplicate content to the reusing of your own work. Additionally, if someone else has plagiarized your work for their own site, you should report the site to Google.

Of course, you own the rights to your work and are free to reuse it in any way you see fit. But if you’re looking to bring your website high SEO rankings and an engaged audience, it’s a bad choice for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at them.

It Hurts Your Keyword Rankings

Duplicate content hurts your keyword strategy. Keyword placement is a staple of good SEO practices, and getting your content keywords just right can take a lot of time and effort. That’s why some websites recycle old content that has successful keyword rankings - you know they work, so why not use them again? It’s faster and cheaper than writing new, original content!

While this may seem smart, it’s actually counter-intuitive. Because when you recycle your content and keywords, you’re actually giving yourself competition. As Google algorithms crawl the internet, they collect keywords and index them for searches. So, if you post content that uses the same keywords multiple times, Google is going to crawl both articles and pit them against one another. See the problem? Your original content will now suffer because of increased competition, essentially making all of that time you spent doing keyword research a waste. It’s a lot like hobbling yourself before the big race - just not smart.

It Hurts Your SEO

As we’ve noted, search engines crawl websites and index the results for users. Because they want to give users the best possible experience, they rarely post multiple websites with the same content on their result pages. For you, this means that if multiple websites online have your content, Google may not mark your original page as the best page to show. If your duplicate content is on a different URL that has a higher domain score than yours, this can lead to them getting higher search results for your content. Plus, you don’t want your printing pages showing up as the landing page for users, or your mobile site ranking higher for desktop users.

Syndication is an important part of marketing, so you shouldn’t avoid it. But, be sure that any websites that publish your content link your site as the original page so Google knows which one to index first. Also, there are plug-ins and other technical ways to note your own website pages as the original pages and remove other pages from indexing altogether. If you aren’t sure how to do this, contact us for a consultation. We’re here to help!

Google May Penalize You

Google’s algorithm is constantly learning and evolving, and it can now separate duplicate content that is malicious or non-malicious - to an extent. If Google decides that you are copying or “scraping” old content to increase your search results, it will do a manual audit of your site. If you’re found guilty, they can penalize you stiffly - even so far as removing your site from their results altogether. And getting back into Google’s good graces is no easy feat - it requires that you address and fix all of your duplicate content and then request a new investigation, which can take some time. You don’t want to get called into the proverbial principal’s office, so avoid posting duplicate content when you can.

Your Audience Will Get Bored

Setting the technicals aside, duplicate content will negatively affect your audience’s interest in your site. As we said earlier, nobody likes reruns. Publishing old content that doesn’t add any value to your readership will ultimately lead to a decrease in your website traffic by itself. If you’re posting duplicate content across landing pages, this will negatively affect your click-through and bounce rates as users leave your site for something more interesting. If your published content is stale or repetitive, you may lose user loyalty and sabotage your chances of return visitors.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with your content marketing - or just need some fresh ideas - let us help! We can create a content marketing strategy that’s perfect for your business and then help you implement it!

What do I do?

Publishing content that is new and original is the best way to avoid the negative effects of duplicate content. Be sure that anything you’re posting on your website is authentic, adds value to your readership, and introduces new keywords and ideas. If you have an article syndicated by another site (go, you!), be sure that they are appropriately linking back to your website as the original version so that they don’t beat you in the search results. And be sure to use the correct URLs and tags when creating duplicate pages to make sure that Google indexes the correct one.

Need more help? Contact us today! BIS Designs can handle all of your content marketing and website design needs.


Why Your Business Needs A Paid Facebook Ad Budget

Whether you’ve noticed or not, organic traffic on Facebook has dropped – and it’s likely impacting your company in a big way.

There are a few reasons that you need a Facebook advertising strategy and budget.  Let’s start with the basics – because Facebook’s algorithm does not make it easy for business pages to succeed on Facebook. 

What does the term “Facebook algorithm” actually mean? And how does it work?

Facebook’s algorithm controls who sees the content that you share.  It’s not as simple as you posting a status update then Facebook pushing it out to all of your followers.  That’s a thing of the past.  Not everyone who follows your page will see your posts.  Facebook is way more intelligent now.  And, there’s a reason for that, but we’ll get into that later.

Adam Mosseri (VP, News Feed at Facebook) puts Facebook’s algorithm in layman’s terms for us.  He says he thinks about it like he would when ordering his wife something to eat at a restaurant. 

The Facebook algorithm process goes like this:  

  1. Facebook considers all recent posts (this is like checking the menu to see what options you have).
  2. Facebook looks for signals that you might like a particular post (like knowing your wife likes salmon).
  3. Facebooks makes predictions on what you like and shows those posts first (like ordering the salmon).

This process happens on millions of devices countless times each day.  And, it’s also the reason why your Facebook business page’s posts aren’t getting as many views as it used to.

Why isn’t my Facebook business page performing well?

This makes a lot of sense when you think about it from a business perspective. The reality is that Facebook is a business.  And how does a business like Facebook make money? You guessed it – paid advertising. 

So why isn’t your Facebook business page making you money? Because the only way for company pages to succeed on Facebook is through Facebook paid advertising.  Facebook’s only real concern is to find ways for more business pages to spend more money.  You can’t blame them.  Any CEO would do the same thing.

The truth is that social media doesn’t work the way it did in the past.

Facebook’s current algorithm is very different than it used to be in 2000.  Back then, you could post anything on Facebook, and it was guaranteed to be shown to your audience. 

This is because posts were served in reverse chronological order.  In 2009, Facebook changed the algorithm to be based on popularity. 

As you might’ve guessed, the Facebook algorithm is changing more frequently than ever.  Simply posting on your page every day without a Facebook advertising strategy or budget is a waste of time.

Here’s what you should be using Facebook for –

Facebook Paid Advertising

The new reality is that businesses on Facebook are unlikely to succeed without putting a budget toward Facebook paid advertising.  In turn, this requires a Facebook advertising strategy similar to how you would strategize for billboard, radio or TV ads. 

When creating a Facebook ad campaign, there are a few key things that you need to consider – like your goals, target audience and the content of your ad.  Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Facebook ad campaigns can get incredibly detailed and complicated, and the platform itself isn’t exactly user-friendly.  We’d love to dive into the specific best practices for executing a Facebook advertising strategy, but that’s a whole other blog

Its Database

What you’re really doing when you create a Facebook ad campaign, is using Facebook for its extremely extensive database.  In other words, you’re using Facebook paid advertising to buy an audience. 

Think about all of the millions of people that use Facebook.  In fact, Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users according to the company’s website.  That’s a lot of people – a lot of people that may be interested in your product or service. 

Think about Facebook’s database as an untapped market.  You may not have their email or mailing address but you have their Facebook profile. 

When you use Facebook paid advertising, you are purchasing access to advertise to millions of people that you otherwise would have had no access to.  Even better, you can segment your audience to the specifics of your ideal customer by choosing preferred age, gender, interests, etc. to give you an incredibly high customer value. 

Organic Posting 2-5 Times a Week

Just because you realize that Facebook paid advertising is more lucrative than simple sharing updates on your company’s page (otherwise known as organic posting), doesn’t mean that you can give up organic posting altogether. 

There’s a huge difference between social marketing and social selling.  Social selling is where you can really see the return on your investment, and it includes your Facebook paid advertising strategy that we talked about in this blog post.  However, social marketing is also essential.

Other than running Facebook ad campaigns, it’s still very critical to be active on your company page.

Think about this scenario – a highly qualified lead that saw your Facebook ad in their newsfeed now visits your company’s Facebook business page to learn more about you.  But, you haven’t posted an update in months because you focused all of your efforts on your Facebook advertising strategy.  That scenario isn’t exactly ideal because the customer doesn’t get any added value, in turn stopping their customer journey. 

This is why it’s extremely important to pay attention to your Facebook advertising strategy as well as organic posting.  It may seem like a lot to balance, which is why marketing companies like us (BIS Designs) are here to ease you into the process. 

Fun Fact: Did you know that the average person will spend over five years of their life on social media. WOW! That’s a lot of time spent on Facebook!

 

Author: Stephanie May 

 

RELATED: 

5 Benefits of Business Blogging 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,   Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com

 

 

 

 

 


Three Effective Marketing Strategies for Your Business

Three Effective Marketing Strategies for Your Business

There are many marketing strategies for anyone running a business or promoting a product. New and improved strategies may become global trends, however most will become a thing of the past before you even read about it. These three marketing strategies will help keep your business fresh and credible. 

 

1. Content marketing

Why content marketing? Content is king. Search engines love content. Content helps to spread the word about your business and your products. Customers are searching for what you offer online. Their search engine searches bring them to videos, blogs, and social media posts. 

Videos, blogs, and social media gives you a platform to show your prospective customers how you can help solve their problem or issue. Hang up the idea of having to constantly pitch and start showing the world how you or your product are relevant to their needs. 

 

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Gain a better reach to your prospective customers with search engine optimization, known as SEO. Once you have produced your content, your next step is to make sure that it is optimized for search engines. Having a SEO specialist optimize your content – website, blogs, and videos – will help you get an advantage over your competitors. This can be accomplished on a local and national geographical level. 

SEO is a very important process in a customer’s research and purchasing cycle. While it may not be easy to find out exactly how a customer decided to walk into your store, SEO tools can help you gather that data for online shoppers. SEO is a very effective tool for learning how to continually target and retarget the customers that actually buy.

 

3. Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)

A CRM is a Customer Relationship Manager. This database keep a list of your customers and prospective customers (also known as leads) contact information that you ask for such as: name, phone, address, birthdate, and/or email address. People willingly provide this information in order to find out more about your business via a contact form on a landing or capture page. Their information is kept in a CRM for you to maintain and follow up with them. 

CRM’s are the lifeline for your business. The size of your business has no relation to whether or not your need a CRM. You can use a CRM to send out newsletters, informational emails, email marketing of sales/promotions, follow up after a sale, or even generate a winner for a contest. 
These three effective strategies will help you to drive more traffic to your business and website, increase sales, and keep customers coming back. Content, SEO, and a proper CRM are things that must be continually updated and monitored. 

This can be a lot of work for someone who is trying to run a business. Fortunately, there are companies like BIS Designs who can help you manage these things effectively. BIS Designs is a small, but powerful firm with some of the top specialists on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, Mississippi, and the Pensacola panhandle. 

Contact us for a consultation to find out the best marketing strategies that will be the most effective for your business and niche. 
BIS Designs is an internet marketing company serving the Mobile, Alabama area. Our content, development, social media marketing and search engine optimization specialists have years of experience in targeting custom audiences for the B2B community and would welcome the opportunity to help your business grow.

 

Digital Marketing Trends for 2016

As 2015 is winding down—with only a couple more months left until the New Year, we want to discuss some marketing trends to look out for in 2016.

One main theme we can expect is the continuing evolution of technology and how it will affect our marketing strategies. We can expect that 2016 will only become more wrapped up in the latest apps, social media platforms, and the mobility of the internet.

We’ve seen a rapid growth in the amount of internet users getting online via cell phone and tablet as mobile devices have advanced. And as mentioned above, with technology only becoming smarter, faster and more portable, it’s clear the majority of internet users are leaving the desktop computer in the dust.

But just what exactly can we expect for 2016 in terms of digital marketing? Well no worries, don’t expect something completely foreign. Actually, there will be many marketing strategies from the past few years still taking the limelight, but just progressing more. For example social media.

Social media has been around for the past decade, at first attracting only a few pioneers and internet savvy-users, but now everyone and their grandmothers have a Facebook account. Social media and the terms we use to describe social media are growing at a light-speed pace. Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, are some social media channels are just a few out there. Everyone is searching for the next social media app. And businesses can make great leaps in their marketing as they embrace social media.

So without further ado, here are the predicted marketing trends we should expect to see in 2016:

1)      Social media is becoming a main resource for articles and information.

Facebook and Twitter particularly have seen a big increase in users reading articles and watching videos on their platforms as opposed to reading articles and videos on the actual publisher’s website.

This means social media marketing will become even more important for your brand. If users are getting a brand’s information straight off social media and rarely going to its website, that means you need to be active in social media if you want to be heard. The more social-media centered our society gets, the more people will be looking for brands on social media to get their information from.

Note: This does NOT mean you should not have a website.  Websites should be a mandatory tool for a company. Websites help in SEO rankings as well as provide necessary information to customers that you just can’t put on a social media channel.

 

We all know social media is key to creating two-way communication with your customers, as well as creating meaningful relationships with them. A.k.a. not just spitting advertisements and promotional material in their faces. Refresher: social media should be used to engage and entertain your customers and potential customers, not directly promote your brand: Think that more PR and less marketing.

 

 

2)      Desktops are being left behind.

Mobile usage has gained rapid popularity and will only gain more traction in the future. In fact, it’s looking like the desktop may never go back to what it once was. As of this year, roughly 2,000,000,000 global internet users get online on a mobile device, which has surpassed the number of global users that use a desktop computer.

Google even decided that in order for a company to be ranked in SEO, the company has to have a mobile-friendly website, but doesn’t have to have a desktop-compatible website necessarily.

 

Put simply, if your company’s website is not responsive to different devices, then expect to be hidden from a majority of your potential customers.

 

3)      Video Advertisements will grow.

You’ve seen them in many places already- on websites, before your video on YouTube and in social media, but in 2016 video has the chance to become a mainstream digital advertising component. Currently, Google Search is testing out video advertisements. So instead of just those sponsored ads you see at the top of the search results page, embedded ad videos will live there too.

 

4)      Personal, meaningful content will be more important than ever.

As mentioned above, digital marketing needs to be relevant and useful for a company’s target audience.

 

It should be about providing interesting, relevant information that is within your business’s industry. For example, social media is where people want to read about topics that are important to them – not read about why they should buy your product. Entertain them, provide them with information they are interested in, but don’t try to directly sell them.

 

When it comes to a website’s content, make sure it remains meaningful and interesting to your visitors. Give them targeted messages that appeal to their interests and preferences.

 

This is true when it comes to content and digital advertising too. There are so many ways to collect consumer insights: what they use, what brands they like the most, what products are of most interest to them. By finding out these insights you can target your content to appeal specifically to a certain group of people.

 

If you walked onto a car lot and told the salesperson exactly what you wanted and they showed you cars that were completely outside of your preferences, you would be confused and probably aggravated, right?

Create content that is purposeful and specific to your target audience.

 

We can expect to see more than just these four trends in 2016, but the trends listed above will be more important and influential.

 

The only question is: is your business ready for the change? We know digital, that’s why we are in the digital marketing business. Our goal is to help businesses get the most out of their marketing efforts and help them navigate effectively through the digital world. Let us help you!


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